The test-launch of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) by North Korea (DPRK) on July 4, 2017 has been a clear message for the United States not only that the DPRK’s military program has passed a very significant threshold but also that the US military should envisage any “military option” very carefully as a result.
On the short term, such development fuels more tension between the US and the DPRK, therefore increasing the likelihood that the Trump administration sends a military response to Kim Jong-Un. The rise in bilateral tensions does impact the US-China relationship as well in a context of increased tension following intransigent statements from both sides in recent weeks.
On the long term, the DPRK could “hysterize” all the disagreements between the two giant powers and start something like a “cold war” that could be just a word away from turning “warm”. What’s happening in Asia’s strategic environment is of utmost significance for every nations, Europe included, given the potentially huge repercussions in every fields a real US-China confrontation would trigger.
How the United States and China interact has become the cornerstone of world stability already.