North Korea and Iran Both Launch Missiles and Flout Sanctions

The two remaining members of the "Axis of Evil" launched rockets on back-to-back days, with Iran and North Korea blatantly flouting international resolve as each took significant steps toward developing their own nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korea on Friday for the second time this month successfully launched an ICBM into space and had its re-entry vehicle splash down. Friday's rocket landed in the Sea of Japan, about 600 miles from the launch pad; however, U.S. officials were still assessing the missile's apex, which more accurately determines how far away the rocket could strike.

On Thursday, Iran launched its own rocket -- based off a North Korean design -- towards space. The Islamic Republic said the launch was a success, but U.S. assessments pegged the Iranian posture as propaganda. Officials believe the Iranian rocket suffered a "catastrophic failure" and likely blew up.

While North Korea is actively and openly engaged in trying to perfect its ICBM technology so the rocket could one day be topped with a nuke and potentially launched at foes around the globe, Iran's program is far more secretive.

Following the landmark Iran nuke deal signed two years ago and championed by the Obama administration, Iran's development of a nuclear bomb was believed to have been pushed back significantly. But officials believe Thursday's launch of a space vehicle carrying a satellite payload was merely a test of technology that could be easily adapted to an ICBM.

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