Saturday, January 28, 2023

Unfazed By UN Resolution & Bolstered By The War In Ukraine, North Korea Steps Up Provocative Posture

North Korea never relents its aggressive stance against South Korea, Japan, and the US. More recently, Kim Jong-un demonstrated yet another stint of intimidation by firing three short-range ballistic missiles on December 31, 2022.

He chose the occasion when he presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party to review economic and political efforts for this year and decide on policy plans for the year 2023.

This year North Korean regime has test-fired nearly 70 ballistic missiles. Notably, the United Nations resolutions prohibited launching ballistic missiles, but Kim had the audacity to ignore the resolution.

It is believed that Kim has found a morale booster in Russian aggression against Ukraine, which encourages him to ignore the UN Resolutions on the subject.

South Korean Joint Chief of Staff said North Korea fired the barrage from an area south of Pyongyang in North Hwanghae province towards waters off its east coast.

Japan said the three missiles, launched at around 8 am on December 31, flew about 350 kilometers (217 miles) at a maximum altitude of approximately 100 kilometers.

In a statement, the Indo-Pacific Command said that while the missiles did not pose any immediate threat to the US or its allies, the launch highlighted “the destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs.

North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile
A North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched in this undated photo released In November 2022 by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Kim Blames The US

While South Korea and Japan call it a provocative action by the North Korea, Kim says that provocation has been from the US side, which has sent drones to South Korea. The firing of three missiles took place hours after South Korea had a test flight of a solid-fuel space vehicle.

The Japanese foreign ministry informed that soon after the missiles were fired by North Korea, Japan, South Korea, and the US leaders had a telephonic conversation to assess the situation. The three countries condemned North Korea for launching a series of ballistic missile fires this summer in contravention of the UN Resolution.

The frequency with which North Korea has been test-firing ballistic missiles this year poses a “grave and imminent threat to the region’s security as well as a clear and serious challenge to the international security,” according to the converged opinion of South Korea, Japan, and the US.

Observers think North Korea has vented its anger at joint military drills in the region by the US and its regional allies like South Korea and Japan.

North Korea has been focusing on modernizing its missile inventory in three significant areas. These are (a) non-detection, (b) quicker deployment, and (c) difficult to be shot down. But the missile testing for this year has been designed to make South Korea, Japan, and the US the targets of NK’s nuclear weapons.

In a notable move, North Korea launched an ICBM, and Kim’s daughter was present on the platform. Analysts interpret the presence of Kim’s daughter at the launchpad as a signal that another generation was ready to accept the takeover of the family dynasty by drawing strength from the nuclear weapon.

The three countries mentioned above repeatedly say that North Korea will make a nuclear bomb. If that matures, then the entire region will be in an uneasy situation. Disaster will be the new order of the globe.

It must be noted that while North Korea indulges in issuing indirect threats, it simultaneously unveils new military goals. Perhaps Kim is imitating President Xi’s policy parameters announced in the recent General Assembly meeting in Beijing.

North Korea Adopting A Tit-For-Tat Posture

Kim disclosed his plans at the crucial party meeting. On Saturday, the State’s official Korean Central News Agency said that Kim has been analyzing “the recent subjective and objective situation facing our revolution and the condition and circumstances to be foreseen in future.”

Commentators agree that the North Korean leader is looking for a pretext for conducting a tit-for-tat military action against the US and its allies as President Biden concentrates on the war in Ukraine.

Kim-North-Korea
File Image: Kim Jong-un

US engagement with the war in Europe and its heightened hostility towards China could provide grounds for Kim to adopt a dangerous posture. We have already said that Kim does not care to show any respect to the UN resolution forbidding the firing of ballistic missiles.

North Korea could count on the veto power of Russia and China, as had happened in 2017.

Instead of opting for an eyeball-to-eyeball stance, China has a proxy in the Korean region and the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan also has inland proxies like the lashkars, funds or jaishs, etc. War through proxies is an upgrading of the pre-Cold War era guerilla warfare.

In fighting giants, the proxies become the first casualty. This can be true about the proxies of China, Iran, Pakistan, and some South American countries. One can say that a new order in the world is in the making.

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