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Sunday, October 1, 2023

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Testing Put Under The Lens

North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles, under the UN Security Council resolution

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd

NORTH KOREA: On Thursday, North Korea has claimed that the missiles were a “new-type tactical guided projectile”. This was the first statement by the Asian country after the launch of its ballistic missiles.

US President Joe Biden has said that the US will “respond accordingly”, as the US, Japan, and South Korea have condemned the missile launch. North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles, under the UN Security Council resolution. The missile launch was North Korea’s first in almost a year.

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The country’s statement on Friday, issued through state media outlet KCNA, says that the two weapons struck a test target 600km (373 miles) off North Korea’s east coast, negating Japanese assessments that they flew just over 400km.

It also added that the new missile is capable of carrying a payload of 2.5 tons, which suffices it for a nuclear warhead.

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In the news conference, Biden told reporters that the launch was a violation of UN resolutions and that the US was consulting with partners, adding “if they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly”.

“But I’m also prepared for some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearisation,” the president said.

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In retrospect, the question remains – why is North Korea testing now?

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Analysts said that North Korea has new weapons and they can try them.

But the country’s recent messages to the US warning them to not cause “a stink” and that the Biden administration would have to “pay a price” suggests that North Korea is making a point.

According to South Korea’s spy agency, North Korea had timed the missile launch ahead of President Biden’s press conference. It also claimed that Pyongyang was protesting against the extradition of its citizen, Mun Chol Myong from Malaysia to the US, and also cited the recent UN Human Rights Council resolution against North Korea.

However, the message North Korea is sending the world and what it conveys to its people is very different as the front page of the state newspaper showed Kim Jong-un checking out new passenger buses – not supervising the test of new missiles.

Kim is portraying his military muscles to the world but trying to picture an image of an economic reformer to his people.


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