North Korea has had a busy 2017 as Kim Jong-un stepped up his attempt to make the country a nuclear power.
Testing a series of missiles, the nation’s latest effort was visible to passenger planes as it flew an incredible 4,475km (2,780 miles) into space.
The Hwasong-15 flew 950km during its 53 minute flight and scarily, based on this information, it could have a range of more than 13,000km which means it could reach Washington DC.
However, Jong-un has much bigger plans for the country for 2018 guaranteed to send shockwaves around the world.
Although theoretically his recent missile could reach America, it is unclear how much payload it could realistically carry meaning a nuclear warhead may not be an option for it.
However, despite it reaching a high altitude, the missile only made it 950km before falling into the Sea of Japan.
Realising the issues that need resolving, next year Jong-un will reportedly concentrate on the distance his missiles can fly rather than the height they can reach.
He knows his missiles can hit the altitude required but distance still needs work, especially if Jong-un wants to prove that he can reach the US.
Asia-Pacific expert Evan Medeiros told The Daily Star:
I think the holy grail for him is really having a fully operational, nuclear-capable ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] that can range the United States.
I don’t think he has that capability and can convince others that he credibly has that capability until he does a full horizontal test.
The tests they’ve been doing to date have been what’s called lofted trajectory. You shoot it up really, really high on a vertical trajectory and have it come down.
And you can test what the full trajectory would be without actually flying a parabola — and I think they’re going to need to demonstrate that.
If a test is completed successfully, the world really would have more reason to fear the nuclear obsessed nation that it does already.
It can also be expected that Jong-un will also look at how to increase the number of nuclear warheads on missiles to make them more powerful.
With the prospect of North Korea growing stronger, President Trump has been in talks with the country’s neighbours.
Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the group of leaders have been discussing how exactly to tackle the problem saying that they will handle the situation.
It is no wonder Trump is getting prepared to battle North Korea seeing as the countries have had a dramatic war of words this year.
An editorial in the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmum said:
The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership.
He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.
Who knows what will happen if things all come to a head?
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.