North Korea weapons program: New ICBM tested and Japan
Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
North Korea is focused heavily on building its military capability. Hence, the hope of a possible deal with America – that was on the agenda under the former leader Donald Trump after initial animosity – seems like a distant memory.
Events in Ukraine concerning the Russian Federation and growing divisions in Northeast Asia are emerging. Indeed, the convulsions of the Ukraine crisis are not fully known. However, if the Russian Federation can contain the crisis in the next few weeks or months, the role of Japan concerning anti-Russian Federation statements – and economic sanctions in-line with America and other G-7 nations – might unleash new developments in the Russian Far East.
The latest missile launch by North Korea – along with Japan’s increasingly anti-China stance related to Taiwan – is a reminder that the ruling Liberal Democrat Party (LDP) is creating possible future storms. This concerns the nationalist tendencies under the former leader Yoshihide Suga and the current leader of Japan, Fumio Kishida.
North Korea tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system. Immediately, America announced new sanctions on North Korea despite having a limited impact on this country. After all, history tells us that North Korea isn’t going to change tact by this method. Therefore, the Joe Biden administration in America needs a different approach to North Korea’s military program.
Voice of America reports, “North Korea had not conducted an ICBM launch since 2017, during the height of tensions between Kim and former U.S. President Donald Trump. A year earlier, North Korea had attempted to launch a satellite. The United States and its allies view North Korean satellite launches as thinly disguised tests of long-range missile technology banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, reiterated that his country will “build a number of new elements in the launching ground so as to launch the military reconnaissance satellite and other multipurpose satellites by diverse carrier rockets in the future.”
North Korea also seeks to develop a high technological system concerning spy satellites. Kim said this would provide “real-time information” on “the aggression troops of the U.S. imperialism and its vassal forces.”
Japan and South Korea are deemed to be “vassals” of America. Hence, Japan’s return to negative rhetoric against the Russian Federation – and involving itself with events in Taiwan – is further emboldening North Korea to focus on developing its weapons program to a higher level.
The Guardian reports, “Japan is particularly concerned about the North’s recent return to missile testing. Two intermediate-range missiles flew over its territory in the space of a fortnight in 2017, triggering alerts warning people to take cover.”
Reuters reports, “North Korea’s latest launches appear aimed at developing and testing technology that can be used both for spy satellites and in a massive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of launching multiple nuclear warheads, analysts said.”
Yoon Suk-yeol, the new leader of South Korea (when he takes office), will be tested during the infancy of his leadership. Hence, with the leaders of Japan and South Korea promising to be even more subservient to the whims of America – and both being in the nationalist camp – it appears that the region will face increasing militarisation in all directions.
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