The Aftermath of Ballistic Missiles Fired by North Korea
A few days before South Korea and the United States were to meet for a joint military project, two short-range ballistic missiles were launched into the sea by North Korea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. It was the fourth test in thirteen days held by North Korea, and it has the area alarmed as two missiles were fired according to South Korean military officials.
To say they were ballistic was speculation as South Korean defense officials stated, they looked the same as the last ones they fired off on July 25. They were similar to the Russian Iskander short-range ballistic missile. North Korea stated at the time the missiles could be maneuvered during the flight and would make it harder to be intercepted. It would make it a challenge for South Korea and the United States’ missile defense system. Missiles like the Iskander do not take much time in preparation. It is ready to fire almost upon set up, and the missile is easier to hide and transport.
Missile Expert Melissa Hanham and North Korea analyst Duyeon Kim stated, “This means that North Korea can increase the survivability of its missiles by continuously moving them, hiding them in tunnels, warehouses, and even highway underpasses. One, it is difficult to predict where the missile will land and intercept it before it does, Two, it is difficult to detect exactly where the missile came from, meaning that North Korean units might be able to launch more missiles before their location is detected and neutralized by South Korea or the United States.”
Growing concerns came from South Korea as President Moon Jae-in stated after the meeting at the National Security Council, “This act by North Korea does not help efforts to ease military tensions on the Korean Peninsula at all.” The North Korean news agency sent out a message to President Moon stating, “The South Korean chief executive should not make a mistake of ignoring the warning from Pyongyang, however offending it may be.”
North Korea argues the recent test was the new kind of guided missiles and large-caliber multiple rocket launchers. They are working to keep up with the modernization test for its military. They could be showing signs of opposition for the U.S. and South Korean military drills. There was a warning put out last month, North Korea would continue its long-range missile test and nuclear test if the U.S. and South Korea would continue with the drill. North Korea condemns the drills and claims it is an invasion. This is not the first time the drills take place and North Korea fires off missiles into the sea for testing.
A spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry told reporters Tuesday, “The U.S. and South Korean authorities know too well that the joint military exercise will cause a backlash from us. We are compelled to develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defense. North Korea remains unchanged in our stand to resolve the issues through dialogue.”
The spokesman added, “The prevailing situation is dramatically dampening down our desire for implementing the D.P.R.K.-U.S. agreements and the inter-Korean agreements, which also affects the prospect of future dialogue. The prevailing situation is dramatically dampening down our desire for implementing the D.P.R.K.-U.S. agreements and the inter-Korean agreements, which also affects the prospect of future dialogue.” D.P.R.K. stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Mark T. Esper, the American Secretary of Defense, stated there will be no “overreactions” to North Korea wanting to do missile test. Esper told reporters on his way to Tokyo, Japan, “The key is to keep the door open for diplomacy.” He felt the development was positive between North Korea and the U.S. and had no desires to pull back the scale with any military projects or exercises with South Korea because North Korea was firing off missiles.
President Trump promised to end major military drills with South Korea, but he was going to continue small programs to keep the defenses working and in check. In return, the president played down the missile test from North Korea stating they were “smaller ones that did not involve a nuclear weapon or intercontinental ballistic missile.” The President said he is “still getting along very well with Mr. Kim.”
Like any person or animal, you never know what they are going to do so it is best to always stay on guard and never let it down. North Korea is one to keep our eyes on.