With the recent success of a submarine-launched nuclear missile, North Korea has proven their nuclear weapons development is moving faster than expected.
The timing comes amid political tension for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and numerous U.N. sanctions placed upon the exiled country.
Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who commands U.S. forces in the area, warned Monday that North Korea poses "dangerous, persistent, proximate threats" and pleaded for revamped vigilance in the area.
"Just these last few days, we have witnessed attempts to develop ballistic missile capabilities, as well as claims North Korea will do a fifth nuclear test soon," Scaparrotti said. "In the face of that, we cannot rest ... and we must be vigilant and ready, and I know that you will be."
Although the missile only flew for 20 miles, South Korean defense officials and analysts said the submarine-launched ballistic missile test over the weekend showed technical progress.
According to one report, satellite images also have shown signs that North Korea may have resume tunnel excavation and other activity at its main nuclear test site. South Korean officials have detected signs of preparation for an underground blast, which would be the North's second from earlier this year.
Around that same time, North Korea flew a satellite over the Super Bowl in California. This particular satellite, which is a key component in directing ballistic missiles to a target, was thought to be simply tumbling through space. However, just days later, it was found to not only be orbiting in a stabilized manner, but transmitting data.
Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, said Pyongyang is in the process of building a 3,000-ton submarine that could be used to launch three SLBMs or submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
"It seems to have been more developed than we had expected it to be," he said.
It seems as though other nations throughout the world are growing their military capabilities day by day. Iran just recently inked a lucrative agreement with the executive branch of the U.S. for $8.6 million. The deal would require the U.S. to purchase 32 tons of nuclear chemicals from Iran.
Meanwhile, we squabble over who should or shouldn't use a public restroom. Where are our priorities?