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The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile test which the North Korean government says can hit anywhere on the U.S. mainland. (Dec. 22)
AP

Terrorism, tension with North Korea and political upheaval were the top international stories of 2017, following a pattern that has become tragically familiar in recent years.

Here is a look at USA TODAY’s list of the biggest world events of the year:

Menace North Korea heats up 

The reclusive nation triggered worldwide attention with its numerous missile tests in 2017, including reaching a milestone in November with testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S. mainland.

More: How safe is the U.S. from a North Korea nuclear attack?

More: Anthrax antibodies in defector raises fears North Korea is developing chemical weapons

An unprecedented war of words escalated between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump. Trump called Kim “little rocket man” and “a sick puppy,” and threatened that North Korea will “be met with fire, fury, and frankly power” if it continues its nuclear ambitions. Kim called Trump “a mentally deranged American dotard.”

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The latest scare involving North Korea came this month after a reported discovery of anthrax antibodies in a North Korean defector renewed fears that Kim’s regime is developing lethal biological weapons in violation of international law. 

North Korea has denied it is developing chemical weapons, something it has been accused of doing in the past. The heightened concerns about anthrax…