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With its latest ballistic missile launch tests, North Korea has continued to defy repeated international condemnations and resolutions by the United Nations Security Council. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who hailed the tests last week as a success, should realize that his regime’s nuclear weapons and missiles development programs will only deepen the country’s international isolation and economic woes. Kim’s nuclear weapons policy could eventually lead to a collapse of his regime instead of making it stronger.

Pyongyang launched two Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles on June 22, which landed in the Sea of Japan. The first launch is regarded as a failure as it flew only 150 km before disintegrating. But the launch of the second missile, which flew some 400 km, is largely seen as a success. The second missile reached an altitude of more than 1,000 km — with the state-run Korean Central New Agency claiming 1, 413.6 km — before impacting the sea.

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