North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

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

Previously

  • 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.


Trump-Kim Era
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.

Button Battle

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.

The Result?
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.

Curiopedia
  • 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.

North Korea Fires Unidentified Projectiles Amidst COVID-19 Scare

North Korea Supreme Leader

According to US and South Korean officials, North Korea for the 2nd time in two weeks fired at least three unidentified projectiles on March 9. Kim Jong Un reportedly oversaw the testing of this long-ranged artillery.

Crux of the Matter

The projectiles with a maximum flight distance of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles) South Korea’s Defense Ministry detected different types of short-range projectiles fired from the Sondok area on North Korea’s east coast into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

The launches have violated 2018 Pyongyang agreements. Currently, our military is monitoring related movement in case of an additional launch while maintaining thorough preparedness.

– Japan Defence Ministry

The South Korean Defense Ministry also said this could be a part of Pyongyang’s winter military drills. North Korean state media says it carried out military exercises from February 28 till March 2, when Pyongyang fired two unidentified short-range projectiles from an area near the coastal city of Wonsan.

A spokesperson for the US State Department said, “We continue to call on North Korea to avoid provocations, abide by obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, and return to sustained and substantive negotiations to do its part to achieve complete denuclearization‎.”

Previous Incidents
The recent launches come after a nearly two-month pause in similar activities by North Korea. North Korea test-fired missiles 13 times in 2019 amidst derailed talks with the United States. However, it did not fire the intercontinental-range missiles which are a major cause of worry to US administration. 

In 2019, Kim warned the US that it had until the end of the year to jump-start the stalled denuclearization talks. When that deadline came and no developments were seen, Kim announced during a New Year’s Day message that he would bolster its nuclear deterrent and no longer be held to a self-imposed moratorium on major weapons testing.

North Korea’s military moves are often timed for maximum political impact both at home and abroad. Launches are often an attempt to be on the global radar. While both South Korea and North Korea face the deadly coronavirus outbreak, North Korea has sealed its borders and quarantined all foreigners to prevent an outbreak inside the country.

Curiopedia

The 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit was a two-day summit meeting between North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, held at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27–28, 2019. This was the second meeting between the leaders of the DPRK and the United States, following their first meeting in Singapore the previous year. On February 28, 2019, the White House announced that the summit was cut short and that no agreement was reached. Trump later clarified that it was due to North Korea’s request to end to all sanctions. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho asserted that the country only sought a partial lifting of the five United Nations sanctions placed on North Korea between 2016 and 2017. More Info

North Korea warns of reconsidering its decision of 'Denucelarisation'

Kim Jong Un has declared that North Korea will develop strategic weapons to ensure the security of its state until a lasting peace-keeping mechanism is ready. He asserted that there will never be denuclearization in the Korean peninsula if the US continues its ‘hostile policies’ against the regime.

Crux of the Matter
  • Without specifying any details of the strategic weapons Kim Jong Un said that the new weapons system had been ‘perfectly carried out’ by the scientists.
  • He also warned that he is no longer bound by his self-imposed decision to freeze major weapons testing for more than two years.
  • North Korea had expressed increasing frustration with the US since Trump walked out of their last formal summit.
  • Kim has expressed his anger at joint US-South Korean militarily drills, new US weapons being deployed on the peninsula and sanctions, which have been choking North Korea’s paltry economy.
  • Kim said the US actions will force him to reconsider testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • While Trump has been claiming since 2018 that North Korea is ‘no longer a nuclear threat’.
  • Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said, “the US will be ready to respond if Kim fires additional long-range missiles or conduct any nuclear tests.”
Curiopedia

Kim Jong-un is a North Korean politician who has been the supreme leader of North Korea since 2011 and chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea since 2012. He is the second child of Kim Jong-il, who was North Korea’s second leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui. Kim rules a dictatorship where elections are not free and fair, government critics are persecuted, media is controlled by the regime, internet access is limited by the regime, and there is no freedom of religion. His regime operates an extensive network of prisons and labour camps; the regime convicts people for political crimes and uses collective punishment whereby members of a family get punished for the crimes of one person. On 12 June 2018, Kim and US President Donald Trump met for a summit in Singapore, the first-ever talks held between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President, to discuss the North Korean nuclear program. More Info

US-South Korea to Co-ordinate Efforts for Denuclearization of North Korea

The US and South Korea have pledged to maintain close coordination to ensure the final, fully verified denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and reaffirmed the importance of US-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation – especially in the security and economic realm.

Crux of the Matter
  • The US State department released a statement in this regard after the US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan met with Republic of Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Nagoya, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on November 23.
  • Deputy Secretary Sullivan and Foreign Minister Kang also reiterated their commitment to cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, as outlined in the Joint U.S.-ROK Factsheet released on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit November 2.
Curiopedia

North Korea’s WMDs – North Korea has a military nuclear weapons program and, as of early 2019, is estimated to have an arsenal of approximately 20–30 nuclear weapons and sufficient fissile material for an additional 30–60 nuclear weapons. North Korea has also stockpiled a significant quantity of chemical and biological weapons. In 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Since 2006, the country has been conducting a series of six nuclear tests at increasing levels of expertise, prompting the country to come under sanctions. More Info