In another bid for attention, North Korea launched a missile across the sea at Japan. The Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) reached farther than any previous launches in the past five years, prompting the government to issue a warning for residents to take cover and stopping some train services. Typically, these missile tests end with the missile being lofted into space to avoid flying over nearby countries. However. a missile that can cover that distance will allow North Korean scientists to continue to test their weapons under more realistic conditions. If this continues to be saber-rattling, it stands to reason further tests will be used to instill fear in their adversaries. The US and South Korea condemned the launch with the US National Security Council calling the latest test “dangerous and reckless”.
The latest tests seem to be in response to the joint military drills that the US conducts with South Korea and Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent visit to the DMZ. Regardless, it’s more likely to demonstrate to the world that North Korea is continuing its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs and that their missile systems continue to become more sophisticated, unhindered by sanctions or attempts at diplomacy. Kim Jong-Un, shockingly, seems uninterested in continuing diplomacy that he pursued with Ex-President Trump.
The US and South Korea responded by launching a volley of missiles into the sea and staged a bombing drill with fighter jets in the Yellow Sea. The USS Ronald Reagan will return to the sea between Japan and Korea with other warships intending to demonstrate the allies’ resolve. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council met on Wednesday to discuss North Korea, in spite of China and Russia opposing an open meeting on the topic.
China and Russia’s opposition is frustrating with the US condemning them for ineffectively implementing sanctions on the rogue state. I suspect that they see some gain in keeping the US and its allies on their toes with a belligerent country in the East Pacific, but no one is going to win if the DPRK ever get a handle on reliable missile technology that can successfully carry nuclear payloads. They will quite literally hold the world hostage.
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