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Armed protest expresses intention to refuse solve the North Korean nuclear problem through communication

Armed protest expresses intention to refuse solve the North Korean nuclear problem through communication

Blue House and the Military remain cautious, Combined Forces Command claim “No threat to the continental US”


Sanctions from the international community to be intensified, Government considering seeking a different approach


North Korea’s surprising provocation has the Korean Peninsula swept up with anxiety again. Just three days after the Korea-US summit conference, on July 4, North Korea carried out a ballistic missile firing. Significantly, the missile was claimed to be an ICBM, heightening the crisis around the Korean Peninsula.



Blue House, “It seems like the middle stage towards an ICBM”


North Korea defiantly carried out a successful firing of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on July 4. In a special important report on the afternoon of the 4th, the Academy of Defense Sciences insisted its scientists and technicians had successfully fired an ICBM Hwasung-14 that they newly researched and developed.


The Blue House and the military are now proceeding with a detailed analysis of North Korea’s announcement, but are remaining cautious. Communication Secretary Yun Young-chan said, “As we understand, we think it’s the IRBM that was already fired in mid-May, but we see this as the middle stage towards an ICBM. It will take a few more days to identify the type of the missile, and we can make some conclusions after receiving the result.” And the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a regular briefing this morning, announced that North Korea had launched an IBCM over the East Sea from Banghyeon, Pyeonganbuk-do, which flew around 930km for about 40 minutes. While the Korea-US Combined Forces Command said the missile North Korea launched is not a threat to the continental US, CFC also posted on its website that the US Pacific Command had detected and tracked the ballistic missile, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command concluded that the missile was not a threat to the American continent.



‘Armed protest’ ignoring the Korean government’s will to communicate


There have been a wide range of analyses put forward regarding why North chose to launch a missile at this point in time. But the dominant opinion is that North Korea refused to engage in a dialogue with our government to solve the nuclear issue. It must be said that since the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in administration, North Korea has evaluated our new policy and kept a close eye on what message would come out from a Korea-US summit conference, but ultimately decided to go its own way. Another analysis holds that the missile launch is a protest against the North Korean nuclear agreement reached the Korea-US summit conference. It can be interpreted as North Korea emphasizing again its will to keep pushing forward with an enhanced ability in the area of nuclear missiles.


Another analysis is that North Korea’s goal is to enter a dialogue with the US, not Republic of Korea. This has long been the North’s policy, and it has been proven again through this missile provocation. Former National Defense University professor Kwon Yong-su said, “There is a strong possibility that Kim Jong-un judged that the US had not changed its stance towards North Korea much, in terms of sanctions and pressure, while watching President Trump’s message from the Korea-US summit conference. So he showed off this ballistic missile firing to initiate a conversation with the US directly.” With this provocation, another analyst pointed out that a solution to the North Korean nuclear problem has been made more difficult. Professor Ko Yu-hwan, Department of North Korea, Dongguk University, said, “This missile shows North Korea’s will to enhance its nuclear weapons. It seems the North concluded that it would be hard to change the solution regarding North Korea right now, if the South and the US resolve the THAAD conflict and enhance the Korea-US alliance and Korea-US-Japan cooperation system.”



International community’s pressure expected to be intensified


It looks like the international community is likely to intensify its sanctions on the North due to this ICBM launch. It is highly likely that the North Korean issue will be dealt with seriously at the G20 Summit, held in Hamburg, Germany, from July 7 for two days. Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), an annual diplomatic security forum to be held in Singapore on July 11 and 12, also seems to be a place where other participating countries can strategize regarding North Korea.


There is a possibility that our government may seek to change the direction, by working to solve the North Korean nuclear problem through conversation. Chief Yun actually said, “If it is identified as an ICBM, we think the intensity of the pressure and sanctions on the North must become more powerful.” Others insist we take more actual decisive action regarding North Korea.


Unification Strategy Research Director Jung Sung-jang, Sejong Institute, said, “North Korea’s goal of having an ICBM can be considered as aiming to prevent the intervention of US armed forces as in the 6·25 War, and to achieve the unification of the Korean Peninsula by force as they threaten the US with an ICBM when the war breaks out. Our government should make China cooperate with us to take firm action against this ICBM launch, by ceasing its supply of oil to North Korea.”



By Yeong-Sun, Lee < >

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