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In the dead of night, North Korea test-launches its most powerful missile yet.The North, some speculate, may announce that since it now considers itself a nuclear power equal to the United States, it can put more effort into Kim's other priority of trying to fix one of the world's worst economies.In short, could the end be near for North Korea's years of headlong, provocative nuclear development?Wednesday's test of what the North called a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the entire U.S. mainland was, like all the others, calibrated to both convey defiance and boast of a dramatically improving military capability to Washington. The glimmer of restraint suggests the North may see itself nearing the point where it can claim military victory, however far that might be from the truth, and turn more toward other matters by next year, the 70th anniversary of the country's founding.Many observers expect at least one more big test aimed at showing the full range of the ICBM by sending it flying over Japan and deep into the Pacific. And the North has yet to perfect its submarine-launched missiles.
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