North has stepped up arms testing in what appears to be a resumption of its provocation and engagement strategy.
North Korea has what appears to have fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea said Thursday as nuclear weapons Pyongyang sharpens weapons tests and strengthens its defenses in the face of what it claims is a “hostile” United States. .
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced the launch – the sixth of this month – in a text message sent to reporters, Yonhap news agency reported.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said they had tracked down the launch in and around Hamhung, a city on the east coast, around 08:00 (23:00 GMT), Yonhap news agency reported. It did not expand further.
“Our military is closely monitoring related North Korean movements and maintaining a readiness position,” the JCS said in a message sent to reporters.
Amid this month’s spate of tests, including cruise missilesbans ballistic missiles and “hypersonic“weapons, Pyongyang also hinted to resume”all temporarily suspended activities“, presumably a reference to a moratorium on the testing of nuclear and long-range missiles.
The United States and South Korea have urged North Korea to return to talks on denial, which has been halted since the collapse of the summit between Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump in Hanoi in 2019, over Pyongyang’s demands for easing of sanctions.
Under Joe Biden, who took over as president last year, U.S. North Korea has recalibrated policy and stressed its readiness to hold talks anywhere and anytime.
Despite Pyongyang’s provocative behavior, Biden’s administration took a reluctant response than in 2017 when North Korea conducted its last nuclear test and also launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Trump and Kim insults traded and Trump promised to respond with “fire and anger.”
“Ty better and for worse, Biden shows no fire and no anger,” says Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
This month’s launches have led to a recalibration of some sanctions against individuals linked to the North’s nuclear program, but while there was a meeting of the UN Security Council, Russia and China blocked attempts at further action.
“The fact that Pyongyang violated resolutions unanimously approved by the Security Council is not just a matter of U.S. opinion or South Korean intelligence,” Easley said. “North Korean state media have repeatedly provided details and photos of illegal missile launches and issued threats of future nuclear and long-range missile tests. Beijing and Moscow allow Pyongyang to disregard international law, and essentially welcome further provocations.