North Korea Launches Missiles comes at a time when Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, is trying to improve ties with China and Russia, which are against the United States.
North Korea shot two ballistic missiles at Japan and warned that the U.S. and its regional partners would face new consequences for what Pyongyang sees as provocative behavior.
Early Thursday morning, two short-range missiles took off from locations near North Korea’s capital and flew toward the East Sea. They went through the economic zone that Japan says is its own. It happened while the U.S. and South Korea were doing live-fire drills with hundreds of fighter jets, drones, ground-based weapons, and other military equipment. The drills ended this week.
Even though the missile launch wasn’t mentioned directly, North Korea’s Ministry of Defense released a statement criticizing the drills and threatening a “inevitable” reaction.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is the country’s official name, is the target of the drills, which are “targeting the DPRK by massively mobilizing various types of offensive weapons and equipment,” according to the statement.
“Our army strongly denounces the provocative and irresponsible moves of the puppet military authorities that are escalating the military tension in the region despite our repeated warnings,” the ministry said. It ended with a warning: “Our armed forces will fully counter any kind of provocative moves and actions by the enemies.”
The launch comes at a time when North Korea wants to get along better with China and Russia, two countries that are against the United States. This week, Kim Jong Un’s leader sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a letter in which he praised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and said that he and Putin should be “holding hands.”
In response, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Wednesday, “We would always be worried about any country that sides with Russia to support its illegal, unfair invasion of Ukraine.”
Two weeks before this launch, North Korea failed to launch a rocket that was supposed to send a satellite into space and also help its intercontinental ballistic missile program move forward. At the same time, South Korea and Japan were doing military drills, which was a big step in the right direction for ties between the two countries.
Analysts are worried about the speed at which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s government is now putting the development of missiles and nuclear weapons at the top of its list of priorities. They are also worried about whether the U.S. is keeping up with the technologies needed to stop it.
In a statement released on Thursday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the large rise in military exercises with allies is still an important part of the country’s ability to defend itself against North Korea’s aggression.
“While strengthening its monitoring and vigilance against more provocations, our military is keeping a ready posture in close cooperation with the United States,” it wrote in a text message to reporters, according to Yonhap.
Following the Trump administration’s efforts to make peace with Pyongyang failed, the Biden administration seems to have put diplomatic outreach to North Korea lower on its list of priorities. This policy has become even more hardened by the recent launches.