North Korea has unveiled another missile (nothing new in that). Interesting is the fact that the unveiling occurred just a week before Biden’s inauguration as the US President. In that light, let us take a look at how the US-North Korea relationship was under Trump regime and how it alternated rapidly.
Crux of the Matter
New Missile Unveiled
North Korea recently unveiled a new type of “submarine-launched ballistic missile” at a parade. It has been described by the NK media as “the world’s most powerful weapon.”
Message To Biden?
The recent development has come days before Joe Biden takes charge as the US President from 20th January. Besides unveiling the new missile, North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un also called to be wary of the US “no matter who is in power” there.
“Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the U.S., our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development.”Kim Jong Un on the US
- North Korea had unveiled an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in October 2020.
- The ICBM is reportedly able to hit even the US with a nuclear warhead.
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shared an alternating relationship in Trump’s tenure. The relations were tense as Kim accelerated NK’s nuclear programme while Trump continued with his ‘unusual’ diplomacy.
- August 2017: Trump tweeted that “[North Korea] will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they make any threats.
- September: Trump, at the UN General Assembly, claimed that the “Rocket Man [Kim] is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime“.
Kim called him “mentally deranged” in response.
- November: The US officially designated North Korea as ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ – NK was removed from the list in 2008.
In January 2018, Kim claimed that the entire US was within its nuclear weapon range and that he has a “nuclear launch button” on his table. Trump had retaliated by claiming that he had “much bigger” and “more powerful” button on his desk.
Love Over Letters
However, their relation improved drastically with an exchange of ‘letters’.
- September 2018: Trump claimed that he and Kim “fell in love” as “he wrote me [Trump] beautiful letters”.
- June 2019: Trump visited North Korea – became the 1st US President to do so.
No actual progress came though. with denuclearization talks proving unfruitful. It was witnessed in June 2020, when North Korea formally announced to cease attempts to establish diplomatic relations with the US over continued economic sanctions.
The 2016-20 period for the 2 nations witnessed several missile tests and threats by North Korea. Talks with the US also ultimately failed in the period, with several points of tension reminding people of the Korean war.
In 2020, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea will develop strategic weapons to ensure the security of its state until a lasting peace-keeping mechanism is ready. Read about it in detail here.
- Ballistics is the field of mechanics concerned with the launching, flight behaviour and impact effects of projectiles especially ranged weapon munitions such as bullets, unguided bombs, rockets or the like. A ballistic missile is a missile that is guided only during the relatively brief initial phase of powered flight and the trajectory is subsequently governed by the laws of classical mechanics.
- Huolongchushui (Fire dragon) were the earliest form of multistage rockets and ballistic cruise missiles used in post-classical China. The name of the weapon was used to strike fear into enemy troops.
- North Korea’s human rights record is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country’s record.
- Hindustan Times – Kim Jong Un’s new missile could be an attempt to get Joe Biden’s attention
- Business Insider – ‘We fell in love … he wrote me beautiful letters’: Trump boasts about improved relationship with Kim Jong Un during West Virginia rally
- Reuters – North Korea’s Kim calls U.S. ‘our biggest enemy’ in challenge to Biden
- BBC – Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un: From enemies to frenemies
- The New York Times – Trump Steps Into North Korea and Agrees With Kim Jong-un to Resume Talks