Two Ballistic Missiles Fired Into the Sea, Sending a Message to the US

 


Into the Sea of Japan, two ballistic missiles were launched by North Korea. Japan, on the other hand, claimed that no debris had sunk into its territorial waters. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has now forbidden North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, which are considered dangerous weapons.

The test was condemned by Japan and South Korea. North Korea allegedly launched two non-ballistic missiles into the Yellow Sea a few days ago.

According to the US Pacific Command, the test demonstrated the danger North Korea's illegal weapons programme presents to its neighbors and the international community. The Command is in charge of all armed forces in the Asia-Pacific area.

The two projectiles were fired from South Hamgyong province and flew 450 kilometres at an altitude of 60 kilometers, according to South Korea's Ministry of National Defense.

According to Capt. Mike Kafka, public affairs officer for the United States Indo-Pacific Command, officials were aware of the launches and were tracking the situation.

"This operation emphasises North Korea's illegal arms program's danger to its neighbours and the international community."

The United States' commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains unequivocal, according to the document.

Second Test in Less Than a Week

According to three US officials, North Korea conducted its first weapons drill since US President Joe Biden took office, firing two projectiles in a manoeuvre senior administration officials dismissed as "on the low end of the scale" of provocations.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was supposed to try to send a message to the Biden administration about the country's importance in the region, according to officials and analysts.

In that test, one US official claimed that North Korea fired short-range warheads, likely artillery or cruise missiles, rather than ballistic missiles, a crucial difference that underscored the Biden administration's opinion that it was not a significant violation that would preclude the US from seeking negotiations with Pyongyang.

However, in a speech to the Senate Armed Forces Committee on March 16, US Air Force General Glen VanHerck cautioned the isolated dictatorship that it might go much further.

Pyongyang has "indicated that it is no longer bound by the unilateral nuclear and ICBM testing moratorium announced in 2018, implying that Kim Jong Un could begin flight testing an improved ICBM design in the immediate future," he said.

‘Launch Wasn’t Entirely Unexpected’

A ballistic missile launch is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, which "would make life a bit more difficult for the Biden people," according to Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who specialises in open-source information.

Lewis, who had previously rated the weekend's short-range launches as a "two" out of ten, later said that the latest ballistic launches would be "more than a two."

The launch, however, was not completely surprising given that it occurred only days after the US Secretary of State and Defence Secretary visited the area, as well as following a joint US-South Korean military exercise.

"They practise nuking us while we practise attacking them. That's just the yin and yang of the case "Lewis said.Though it is unknown what kind of ballistic missile was launched, Lewis believes it was impossible to be the more powerful long-range missile.

"Long-range rockets were generally picked up as they went up and remained aloft for 10-20 minutes. With the ICMBs, we knew about the launch before they came down, which was a positive sign "He said.

"This time, they went up and they came down."

Are There More Test Coming?

Many analysts speculated that North Korea will restart testing at the start of Biden's tenure, as it has done in previous US administrations.

North Korea conducts missile drills for a number of purposes, including maintaining the reliability of its arsenal, bolstering domestic support, and delivering a message to its adversaries."

North Korea seems to be returning to a common trend of using provocations to lift tensions and attract interest," said Jean Lee, director of the Wilson Center's Korea programme in Washington.

“With the US implying that it would continue to intensify sanctions, North Korea will seek to extend its arsenal by ramping up testing,” she said.

As part of their efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal, White House officials have stated that they are considering both negotiation and sanctions.

A senior North Korean foreign ministry official said last week that talks with the US would be a "waste of time," and that the country would "readily respond" to any new sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in January of last year that he no longer felt limited by his self-imposed ban on a long-range missile and nuclear testing.

Pyongyang has not performed a nuclear test or fired an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, prior to his negotiations with former US President Donald Trump. Kim has regularly tested shorter-range ballistic missiles, but Trump rejected those experiments as meaningless.

Written by - Anushka Jain

Edited by - Adrija Saha

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