News Analysis |
North Korea has undergone another test for short-range missiles which was supervised by the Chairman of the Democratic Republic of North Korea Kim Jong Un himself, as reported by the state media. While the missiles were not of medium or long-range ballistic category nor do they have the capacity to take the nuclear warhead, yet they were able to make the waves on international media as they fell in the sea of Japan.
Political commentators were quick to take the jibe at President Donald Trump who has been soft on North Korea, assuring the American people and the world that he will work out the solution to the pressing issue of global security. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is still optimistic about the prospects of an accord pertinent to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. “There’s an opportunity to get a negotiated outcome, where we get fully verified denuclearization,” he stated while making the point that the missile test was not any sort of threat for the United States or its allies.
Similarly, President Donald Trump also tweeted about the bright prospects that a deal will happen soon. “Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. The deal will happen!”
What has happened so far?
It all started with the Singapore summit held in June 2018, between the respective head of states of North Korea and the USA, where a document was signed which centered around the aspiration of a denuclearized Korea. It was an extraordinary meeting between the U.S President and his North Korean counterpart but nothing substantial was yielded eventually.
Then, in February 2019, both leaders reconvened in the capital of Vietnam to discuss further what was agreed in the last meeting, but it was again a let down as the deadlock could not be broken.
The United States of America wants North Korea to take concrete steps which would show that the country is serious toward the end goal on denuclearization and on the other hand, North Korea demands that economic sanctions must be lifted first. No side is willing to concede its stance and as a result, the chances of a deal are going down especially with missile test such as the one which happened recently.
Testing the Waters
Since there has been no serious development over several months and the United States’ primary focus has turned out to be Iran, a missile test could be an attempt for Kim Jong Un to test the waters. The subject of the test was not a high end, sophisticated technology featured missile but simple short-range conventional missile with a maximum range of 200Km.
It was enough to stir the monotonous calm but certainly under the threshold of a major rebuttal from the United States. The success of the move could be monitored from the response which it has got from the international, especially the United States’ media.
Trump administration is being criticized for not handling the two countries – Iran and North Korea as they should have been respectively. Iran, where there was a working nuclear deal, which had reduced the threat of nuclear proliferation the United States decided to use stern hand and renege on the JCPOA agreement; and in case of North Korea, where the country undergoing continuous nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Donald Trump has preferred diplomacy.