North Korea: the risk of the world reacting to Kim Jong Un’s instigations

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends missile launch test (KCNA via Reuters) (KCNA/)

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, increases tensions on the Korean Peninsula once again. Every week brings new news about missile tests. On Wednesday, the regime said it conducted a test launch of long-range cruise missiles aimed at improving its counterattack and strategic strike capabilities, in its latest weapons display that threatens South Korea and Japan.

The North Korean state media report came a day after the South Korean military detected the North firing multiple cruise missiles towards waters off its western coast, the third launch of such weapons this month. The event extended a provocative streak in weapons tests as North Korea continues to ramp up pressure on the United States and its Asian allies amid a prolonged diplomacy freeze.

The Central News Agency North Korean official said the weapon tested Tuesday was the Hwasal-2 and that the launch did not affect the safety of the neighbors. The report did not specify the exact number of missiles fired or details of their flight performance.

North Korea has previously described the Hwasal-2 as nuclear capable and that its range is up to 2,000 kilometers, a distance that would include the US military bases in Japan.

In recent years, North Korea has been expanding its range of cruise missiles, which are designed to be fired from both land-based and naval assets. These weapons complement the country’s enormous range of ballistic missiles, including short-range solid-fuel missiles intended to overwhelm missile defenses in South Korea and intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to reach the continental United States.

Pyongyang is increasingly escalating its rhetoric and military provocations, raising the question of whether the North Korean leader is seeking to protect his regime and coerce Seoul or whether he is planning an imminent offensive (Europa Press/Contact/KIM Jae-Hwan)
Pyongyang is increasingly escalating its rhetoric and military provocations, raising the question of whether the North Korean leader is seeking to protect his regime and coerce Seoul or whether he is planning an imminent offensive (Europa Press/Contact/KIM Jae-Hwan) (Europa Press/Contact /KIM Jae-Hw/)

Since 2021, North Korea has made at least 11 rounds of testing of what he described as long-range cruise missiles fired from both land and sea.

The truth is that Pyongyang’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is growing in quality and quantity. Simultaneously, Kim launches threats of war against South Korea, now denying the kinship between both countries and accusing his neighbor of being an enemy state.

Pyongyang is increasingly escalating its rhetoric and military provocations, raising the question of whether the North Korean leader is seeking to protect his regime and coerce Seoul or whether he is planning an imminent offensive against South Korea and the United States, according to a recent article published in Foreign Affairs. Although some voices have warned about the possibility that Kim has decided to go to war, there is no conclusive evidence of his intentions.

What worries international analysts is not that Kim wants a major war, which is unlikely, but the risk that their provocations and low-level acts of aggression could trigger retaliation and lead to conflict.

What is hidden behind his provocations?

Kim has upped his rhetoric by appointing South Korea as “the most hostile country” and declare the inevitability of war. His January 15 speech included a promise to rewrite the north korean constitution to label Seoul as the main enemy and call for the destruction of symbols of inter-Korean cooperation.

This significant change adds to his previous statement that reunification with the South was “impossible,” disassociating both countries from any kinship. Kim criticizes and reverses the reunification policies of his father and grandfather, abandoning the narrative of “great ethnic unity.”

Although Kim’s exact motivations are unclear, international experts warn that it is imperative that Washington, Seoul and Tokyo take his words seriously and prepare for any scenario.

Kim announced a “exponential” expansion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and increased production of mobile missile launchers. He also committed to putting into orbit new spy satellites and improve the reliability of its ballistic missiles.

The North Korean missile program is strengthened with Russian tests in Ukraine (KCNA via REUTERS/File)
The North Korean missile program is strengthened with Russian tests in Ukraine (KCNA via REUTERS/File) (KCNA/)

North Korean missile program strengthens with Russian tests in Ukraineannouncing a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile in December 2023. In addition, they develop hypersonic missiles and an intermediate-range ballistic missile is successfully tested in January.

The revitalized relationship between Pyongyang and Moscow involves North Korea’s supply of weaponry and Russia’s assistance in advanced military technologies. There is speculation that Russian experts helped North Korea launch a military satellite into orbit in November 2023.

The need for cooperation

The possibility of war arises from North Korean provocations, from nuclear tests to limited conventional engagements. Although a nuclear attack is unlikely, there is believed to be a risk of confrontations that could trigger a conventional conflict. The situation becomes more dangerous considering North Korea’s lowered threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.

The truth is that it doesn’t help either. lack of security barriers in relations with Washington and Seoul since the Hanoi summit in 2019which increases the risk of accidental conflicts. The Biden administration is pursuing dialogue with North Korea, but Kim has little incentive to engage as he awaits Trump’s possible return.

Meanwhilethe risk of erroneous calculations and accidental provocations persists. Foreign Affairs warns that Washington must continue to strengthen military capabilities and alliances to deter North Korea and avoid an unwanted conflict.

War is not inevitableaccording to the publication, but Cooperation between the United States, South Korea and Japan is essential to prevent conflict. Efforts are needed to establish communication channels with Pyongyang and send clear signals of determination and strength.

(With information from AP)

Source-www.infobae.com