To mark the anniversary of Independence Day (July 4, 1776) this year Uncle Sam must have been rejoicing over the congratulatory messages and presents from the heads of state the world over until its major rival, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, launched its first ICBM Hwasong-14. The missile flew 933km after reaching the maximum altitude of 2 802km. Late in May, when it test-fired a ballistic missile based on precision guidance system, the DPRK announced that it would send a bigger “gift” to the US.

The news of its ICBM launch struck fear into American citizens as it was obviously targeting the US proper, as well as its military bases in the Pacific.

The Trump administration, upon taking office this year, proclaimed an end to Obama’s “strategic patience” and switched over to “maximum pressure and engagement.” This is its much-touted “gift” for the DPRK, which incorporates intensive military pressure and economic sanctions.

In April the US sent a warning message to its rival by striking an air base in Syria and dropping a bunker buster in Afghanistan.

Not content with this, Donald Trump, in his talks with Moon Jae In who was visiting the US on June 30, made it clear that the US and south Korea would strengthen their overwhelming deterrent through a joint defence posture and resolutely cope with the “threat and provocation from the north.” The DPRK’s ICBM launch was a conclusive reply to this challenge, which caught Uncle Sam off guard.

As usual, it will inveigle the UN Security Council into adopting another resolution against the DPRK. But the latter will not be taken aback by it because it cannot be powerful enough to make the country back down. Now the DPRK’s “gift” for Uncle Sam is ever-ready, heralding the end of the US ambition to dominate the world.

Uncle Sam is well advised to stay calm without kicking up a fuss about the “gift” from the DPRK, or else it will receive more of such things from its rival.