Expert: North Korea could launch test missiles every two weeks through 2017

Thursday marked North Korea's fourth missile test within four weeks time, and a U.S. expert predicts it's capable of continuing such trials at a rapid pace.

According to Troy Stangarone, North Korea could fire one missile every two weeks for the remainder of the year.

Stangarone, the Korea Economic Institute of America's senior director for congressional affairs, noted in a June 9 piece published in the Peninsula that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has "averaged 10.8 missile tests per year in the 2012-2016 period."

RELATED: A look at North Korea's missiles

Stangarone makes the case that taking North Korea's more recent yearly averages into account shows the isolationist nation could average a new missile test every 2.1 weeks.

Stangarone explains this, saying:

"While there is no linear pattern to North Korea's missile tests, if North Korean tests continue at the same pace as they have so far this year we should expect a new missile test every 2.1 weeks and another 13-14 tests. If that is the case, which it may not be, North Korea would exceed last year's total number of missile tests by 3-4 tests."

Not all of North Korea's missile launches has been successful, yet analysts note that each launch brings North Korea closer to more improved technology and advanced missile capability.

North Korea notably responded to a months-old tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday, with a veiled threat mentioning how far their DPRK missile is from New York.

RELATED: North Korea's May 2017 missile test