On Wednesday, August 24, North Korea sparked renewed conflict and chaos, shooting yet another a test missile into Japanese Waters, allowing for Japan, China, and South Korea to form a quite unusual unity, that sadly also proved just how much of a threat the communist country poses to their people and global security.
Japan, China, and South Korea had all recently experienced unrest between one another, but this was nothing unusual. Because of this conflict, it was truly a rare occasion for all three nations to stand in agreement with each other during a previously scheduled meeting held in Tokyo on Wednesday regarding North Korea’s recent test missiles.
All nations came to the table with, in one way or another, an opposing statement against the development of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program because the country’s actions are “simply not tolerable,” according to Japan’s foreign minister.
North Korea had fired its latest missile two days after the U.S. and South Korea began their annual joint military exercises. Owing to South Korea’s alliance with the United States, the country was equipped with a U.S.- funded advanced missile defense system in July, which gave North Korea only more reason to consider America a main war target.
There is little question to the matter of North Korea’s hatred towards the U.S., especially regarding the country’s efforts to defend South Korea as well as their constant support towards the peaceful reunification of Korea. The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs explains that, “the United States believes that a constructive and serious dialogue is necessary to improve inter-Korean relations and to resolve outstanding problems, including the North’s attempts to develop a nuclear program and its human rights abuses”.
The drill-like manner in which North Korea often tests their missiles is a strange yet intimidating response to the U.S. and South Korea’s recent joint military exercises. The country considers these and other military routines to be “rehearsals for invasion,” according to The New York Times.
On August 24, Journalist Mokoto Rich interviewed Ms. Park regarding the issue. She commented: “Given the fact that North Korea has an irrational decision-making system under a one-man dictatorship, and that Kim Jong-un is an unpredictable character, there is a high possibility that [North Korea’s] threats could become a reality.” This is a harsh reality for North Korea’s three East Asian neighbors and the U.S. Kim Jong-un recently announced that the continental United States and other military bases in the Pacific were now within the striking range of his missiles. This most recent claim threatening America was released on North Korea’s state media on Thursday, August 18, 2016. However, as reported by The New York Times, “Analysts and defense officials in the region said that North Korea was still years away from achieving the capability Mr. Kim claimed. The country still does not have submarines large and advanced enough to travel long distances without detection to attack distant targets across the Pacific.”
Although the U.S. can disregard the fact that they will have to experience a missile sent from the enemy country in the near future, it is completely undeniable that North Korea’s missile program is making progress, and therefore putting our allied Asian nations into great danger, and, possibly, the United States of America.
By Tasina Westberg