North Korea has tested a missile that is considered to be the largest missile test conducted by the country since 2017. This is North Korea’s seventh missile test of the month.
According to reports from South Korea, the missile was launched off the east coast of North Korea at 07:52 local time on Sunday.
Japan, South Korea and the United States have all condemned the missile test.
The United Nations has banned North Korea from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons and has imposed strict sanctions on it.
But North Korea’s East Asian state regularly breaks those sanctions, and leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to step up his country’s defense.
Testing of a medium-range ballistic missile
South Korea’s National Security Council says a medium-range ballistic missile (IRBM) was tested on Sunday, the largest missile test since November 2017.
Japanese and South Korean officials estimate that the missile reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1240 miles) and flew 800 kilometers (500 miles) for 30 minutes before crashing into the Sea of Japan.
Earlie this month, North Korea tested a number of short-range missiles, including those fired at sea.
The United States has said the experiments violate UN resolutions and has called on North Korea to refrain from provocations and negotiate.
North Korea conducted seven missile tests in January
South Korean President Moon Jae-in says January’s missile tests are reminiscent of the days of 2017 when North Korea conducted several nuclear tests.
One evening in August 2017, North Korea test-fired a long-range missile without warning, which landed in the Pacific Ocean crossing Japan. North Korea’s move was bold.
In a speech before the New Year, the North Korean leader vowed to strengthen the military with modern technology.
Prior to today’s test, North Korea fired only short-range missiles in January this year. It was said that Kim Jong Un is still showing restraint, but if he does not get the desired results, his policy may change.
What does Kim Jong Un want?
If you talk to a military expert, they will tell you that North Korea is seeking complete protection from nuclear weapons.
Former South Korean naval commander Kim Dong-yip says he expected that.
“We are surprised that we see North Korea’s technology as inferior and that we understand that they are facing difficulties. In fact, North Korea is increasing its military might faster than we expected. “
North Korea claims after tests on January 5 and 10 that it has successfully tested a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV).
Why is this important?
North Korea successfully tested the hypersonic glide vehicle on January 5 and 10
North Korea’s claim that it has successfully tested a hypersonic glide missile is significant because it aims to defeat the US and Japanese defense missile systems.
According to Professor Kim Dong-yup, North Korea wants to disable the enemy’s missile defense system”. North Korea wants a scorpion tail defense system.”
A scorpion uses its tail to defend and attack.
Professor Kim says North Korea’s goal is not to attack but to ensure its own security.
That’s the view of most North Korean observers.
But North Korea’s nuclear and conventional military capabilities do not yet guarantee effective defense in the event of an attack by the United States and South Kore. Both the United States and South Korea say they have no intention of attacking North Korea.
But why is this small, poor country spending one-fifth of its annual income on defense?
Ankit Panda, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says one reason may be that North Korea’s allies do not believe their military capabilities are sufficient to defend them.
“Kim Jong Un always feels insecure”. I don’t think Kim Jong Un trusts anyone, including China and Russia, so maybe he wants to increase his defense capabilities.”
According to Brian R. Meyers, a professor at South Korea’s Dangsio University, the goals of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are huge.
Professor Bryan believes that North Korea, with its nuclear weapons and missile program, wants to negotiate a peace deal with South Korea that would make US troops to withdraw from South Korea and North Korea could then dominate South Korea.
But for now, North Korea has another goal.
North Korea wants UN sanctions on it over its nuclear and missile programs lifted. North Korea also knows it needs to talk to the US administration.
North Korea has in the past resorted to crises to attract Washington’s attention. In the eyes of some experts, North Korea is still doing just that.
“This is a signal,” said Kim Jong-un, a member of South Korea’s National Security Advisory Board.
Professor Kim Jong-un says Kim Jong-un wants to test as many of his missiles as possible before the peace effort.
“He wants to force Biden to negotiate. If that is the case then maybe Kim Jong Un will be disappointed. Joe Biden is very busy with the Ukraine issue today.
In addition, Biden, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, is less interested in negotiating with North Korea.
Ankit Panda says North Korea’s leadership is adept at putting itself on the agenda. But Joe Biden has called Kim Jong Un a “tyrant” and for talks with him Biden is unlikely to have a political advantage.
“So I think Biden will turn to North Korea in the event of a major crisis.”
The images of the missiles, which were tested, have been published in North Korean local media
If all this is known, it is because it has happened in the past.
We saw in 2010 that North Korea sank a South Korean navy ship and a few months later it started bombing some South Korean islands.
Then in 2017 we saw North Korea firing long-range missiles over Japan and threatening to attack the US base in Guam. We may see such acts again in the coming months.
Ankit Panda believes there is a possibility of a crisis.
“North Korea wants the United States to take it seriously. It is a small country but it has nuclear weapons and it wants the US president to recognize that fact.
“Unfortunately, North Korea’s aspirations are unlikely to be fulfilled any time soon,” he added.