North Korea Missile Strikes Escalate Tensions Amid Fears of Looming Nuclear Test

The White House warned on Tuesday that a nuclear weapons test could come “at any time.”

“It’s difficult to predict with any degree of certainty what the triggering event might be for Kim Jong Un to conduct any number of provocations that he has in recent weeks or he might in future weeks,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told reporters. “So I would say, in general, our concern remains high – and consistently so – about the potential for a nuclear test.”

North and South Korea exchanged a barrage of indirect missile fire late Tuesday in one of the most significant acts of aggression by Pyongyang since the division of the peninsula in 1948.

Kim Jong Un’s North Korean forces fired at least 17 ballistic missiles and 100 artillery shells into the waterways east and west of South Korea – a record number in itself. One crossed the sea border between the two nations, the first time a missile has landed that far south since before the Korean War.