Fire: North Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile

October 15, 2022 Topic: North Korea Region: Asia Blog Brand: Korea Watch Tags: DPRKPyongyangKim Jong-unSRBMKPANonproliferationMissiles

Fire: North Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been talking up the country’s nuclear capability, even threatening “actual war.”

 

North Korea’s latest missile launch occurred Friday morning and consisted of a single short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) fired toward the East Sea. The North Korean regime claims the launch was retaliation for South Korea’s “provocative action” in the region. 

“Taking a serious note of this provocative action by the South Korean military in the frontline area, we took strong military countermeasures," a spokesperson for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) said through the Korean Central News Agency and cited by Yonhap. "The KPA sends a stern warning to the South Korean military inciting military tension in the frontline area with reckless action.”

 

South Korea had conducted a live-fire artillery drill earlier in the day. And South Korea also placed sanctions on fifteen people whom it claimed: “contributed to bringing supplies related to the funding of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and missile development.” 

The South also sanctioned sixteen organizations, hoping that “the effect of blocking illegal fund transactions with these North Korean agencies and individuals and remind the domestic and international community of the risks of transacting with them,” per CNN’s reporting of a South Korean government announcement. 

Also on Friday, per CNN, North Korea flew warplanes near its border with South Korea. They approached the no-fly zone on the countries’ border. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been talking up the country’s nuclear capability, even threatening “actual war.” 

“Our nuclear combat forces … proved again their full preparedness for actual war to bring the enemies under their control,” Kim said this week, per KCNA and CNN. That statement arrived amid speculation that North Korea is planning to conduct a nuclear test soon, which would be its first in years. North Korea has also recently declared itself a nuclear state. 

On Friday, Jeffrey Lewis,  a nuclear arms control expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that “it’s time to accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons.”

Lewis argued that while negotiation strategies have hinged on North Korea deciding it would rather have a relationship with the United States than possess nuclear weapons, that strategy has not worked. 

“It’s time for the United States to face reality,” Lewis wrote. “Efforts to encourage Mr. Kim to abandon his weapons have not only failed, but he is as clear as ever about using them to protect his country. Washington needs to contemplate the unthinkable: accepting that North Korea is a nuclear state.”

In addition, Lewis wrote that possible diplomacy had hit new roadblocks. 

“The Ukraine war has caused a deep rift between the United States and Russia and, to a lesser extent, Russia’s ally, China. The three big powers were crucial participants in previous multiparty negotiations to disarm North Korea, which ultimately failed. But Russia and China are now less likely to support U.S. pressure on North Korea.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.