Another Move by North Korea 🚀

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Testing testing

On Thursday, North Korea authorities shared that their leader Kim Jong-un had attended the testing of a newly-developed, large-calibre, short-range rocket system. This system would heighten North Korea’s ability to strike South Korea, and the American forces stationed there. It is also NK’s second missile test of the week. 

On the heels of US-NK talks

North Korea’s missile tests came after talks between Kim and President Trump on June 30th, where they had failed to come to an agreement. The tests also happened on the day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said he was “hopeful” that stalled talks between the US and NK would be resumed. 


Global News: North Korea tested missiles, but that didn’t violate a pledge to Trump: John Bolton

GMA News: US-S. Korea military exercises still on despite North's warnings

Those who see the tests as empty threats on the part of North Korea tend to reason that these tests do not violate their agreement with Trump regarding the ban on intercontinental-range ballistic missiles. Some also call the missile tests signs of NK’s frustration at their failure to extract a better deal from Trump. The fact that the US-South Korea military tests are still set to go ahead is also mentioned as an indicator that there is nothing to fear. 


AP News: North Korea says it tested crucial new rocket launch system

News Max: North Korea tests missiles, skips key nuclear talks in warning to Trump

Those who see the tests as a serious threat often focus on how North Korea describes this new rocket system as serving a “main role” in NK’s land-based military combat operations, and Kim’s declaration that it would create an “inescapable distress to the forces becoming a fat target of the weapon.” Some also mention how on Thursday, South Korea officially accused the North of testing a ballistic missile: their first accusation since 2017. 

Where's the common ground?

North Korea’s missile tests have been an ongoing source of conflict between the US and NK. Neither side sees signs of either the US or NK backing down, or anticipates an agreement being reached any time soon.

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