Yet another threat has been made by North Korea to release its “super-large multiple-rocket launcher” bombs on an opposing country; in this instance, Japan. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un responded to statements from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, criticising the number of missile launches reported from North Korea. Kim Jong-un protested that the reports of ballistic missiles being launched are false, and in fact, it was a multiple rocket launcher that was being tested. BBC reported that he then went on to call Abe an “idiot” and “the most stupid man ever known in history” for mistaking the rocket launchers for ballistic missiles. Fear amongst the public is being felt because of Kim Jong-un’s comments about potentially launching a ballistic missile at Japan. After critiquing Abe he said, “Abe may see what a real ballistic missile is in the not so distant future.”
The comments made by Kim Jong-un are horror inducing, but it is not the first time threats have been made with no real outcome. However, it is important that the international community does not overlook the threats or underestimate their importance. The United Nations has banned missile launching from North Korea, but the country still holds its military and nuclear power over the heads of international governments. Express reported that Jack Jacobs, a retired U.S. Army veteran said that the testing landing on thanksgiving was likely no coincidence, as symbolism is important to and common with Kim Jong-un. He also said that North Korea is, “not interested in giving up their nuclear weapons” and that they will continue with this behaviour for as long as they have them. BBC also reported that associate professor of political science at MIT, Vipin Narang, said that actually, the launcher could potentially be considered a ballistic missile because of its size and technology, it only technically isn’t one.
Regardless of threats made to Japan, it is still important to consider what these tests mean to the international community. Narang’s comments suggest that North Korea is pushing the boundaries of their ban on launching missile ballistics, and are clearly in the works for creating longer ranging, more destructive weapons. Any country that feels the need to have and test the weapons should be considered a threat to peace, as they create fear, and an unstable international climate.
North Korea has, since its formation, been a terrifying country to look in on from the outside. They began to test weapons to protect themselves from outsiders but have now taken to threatening anyone who dares speak out against their actions. Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un were underway early into Trump’s presidency, about negotiating peace. However, no agreements were made, and progress has been halted. Some experts argue progress has even backtracked since Trump’s visit to North Korea. What we are seeing now is a scary reality that North Korea is still working on creating weapons that could potentially cause mass destruction if unleashed.
In conclusion, what we as an international community are witnessing could very well be a meaningless spat between two country leaders, or potentially we are getting a look into just how dangerous North Korea is really becoming. There is no immediate threat or danger right now, but these words likely will not sit well with world leaders or the public.
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