What North Korean missile tests mean for US relations. The new U.S. president, the same old North Korean playbook.
Two months after President Joe Biden took office, North Korea again returned to the arms test to fight off a foreign permit. But the tests so far have been very small compared to the previous presentation. That shows Washington has a window of engagement before North Korea follows a major outburst.
This week, North Korea’s neighbors reported that the country had fired four short-range missiles at its first arch that would start in about a year. The launch of the program – two on Sunday, two on Thursday – came after the North said it had canceled talks with Biden’s management, citing what it called American hostility.
Here’s a look at the recent North Korean arrow launch and its motives.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE NORTH KOREA STRATEGY?
North Korea has a long history of carrying out major weapons tests during the new regime in power in the United States and South Korea.
In February 2017, less than a month after Donald Trump took over the presidency of the U.S., North Korea explored a central arrow where observers said they were showing signs of advancing weapons. Later in 2017, four days after the inauguration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea fired what was called a newly developed, centralized nuclear power plant.
In 2009, North Korea launched the launch of long-range missiles and nuclear testing in the first four months of the first term of the Obama administration.
This week’s weapons test appears to be in line with the playbook, but experts believe the country has withheld serious outrage because the Biden administration is still testing North Korea’s policy.
The four arrows shot this week were all short and did not pose a direct threat to U.S. territory. According to a South Korean study, the first two weapons unveiled on Sunday are believed to be boat rifles. But Japan said the two ousted on Thursday were ballistic missiles, weapons that provoke North Korea to be banned from being tested by UN Security Council resolutions.
“The basic pattern is not very different. But while North Korea has in the past focused on demonstrating its supremacy with the arrival of a new government in the United States, I feel that the North is trying to control its (outrageous) level, ”said Du Hyeogn Cha, a Seoul analyst at the Asan Center for Policy Studies.
WHAT DO YOU WANT North Korea?
What he was looking for: that “the United States has lifted sanctions while allowing it to keep nuclear power,” said Moon Seong Mook, a consultant at the Seoul Korea Institute for National Strategy based in Seoul.
Because Biden’s management is likely to do so at any time in the near future, some experts say that North Korea could develop a major offensive, such as a long-range missile test or a nuclear bomb.
Meanwhile, it presses its talk with the introduction of short-range arrows.
In January, about ten days before Biden took office, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced he would increase his nuclear arsenals and strengthen the country’s anti-government crackdown on violent US policy and military threats. He also pressured South Korea to suspend regular military exercises with the United States if it wanted better ties.
As U.S. and South Korean troops continued their exercises in the spring this month, Kim’s sister-in-law, Kim Yo Jong, warned the U.S. To “stop creating odor” if it wants to “sleep peacefully” for the next four years.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington had reached Pyongyang since mid-February, but Pyongyang did not respond. In line with the past, however, Blinken continued to break North Korea’s human rights record and nuclear ambitions during a visit to Seoul last week. North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, has said his country will continue to ignore the US provisions because of what he calls American hostility.
The recent launch seems to be an example of North Korea “threatening Kim Yo Jong as he said the United States cannot sleep peacefully if it does not accept its demands,” said Moon Seong Mook.
Experts say it is very unlikely that Biden’s management will return to negotiate North Korean missiles. Biden, who called Kim a “criminal,” may also not sit down and talk face-to-face with Kim unless he gets a guarantee that North Korea will release a nuclear weapon – and officials confirm that the country is honest.
Amid resistance, North Korea could eventually launch major weapons tests, especially if it is not satisfied with Biden’s policy review, which is expected to be announced soon, experts say.
“Biden is unlikely to perform Trump’s ‘real show summit’ style with Kim. Kim’s pain over the next four years will be deepened and his nuclear gambling will not help continue,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University of South Korea.
North Korea could turn to long-range missiles and even nuclear tests, which Kim Jong Un set when he began working with Washington. While Kim Jong Un claims to have gained power to attack the United States with nuclear missiles, foreign experts say the North has not yet found everything it will need to do so.
Such outrage could prompt the United States and its allies to demand further UN sanctions against North Korea.
But the toughest sanctions could be difficult because China, the North’s largest telecommunications partner and the economic life force, has the power to vote at the UN Security Council. Because of the current tensions with Washington, China is likely to be reluctant to accept more sanctions even if North Korea enters into long-term or nuclear tests, analyst Cha said.