North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un have a weakness for missiles. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, they begin the show. These are ostensible to test the efficiency of the weapons, and it undertook the latest exercise despite fears of Coronavirus outbreak.
The occasion was to pay tribute to the memory of Kim Il Sung on his 108th birthday. He is not only the founder of North Korea, but he is also the grandfather of Kim Jong-un. Therefore, the country fired missiles into the sea from the east coast.
There was a display of fighter jets also. The military of South Korea confirms this.
Fox News says the weapons fired were presumably cruise missiles with a range of nearly 93 miles.
North Korea has conducted many short-range missile and weapons tests in the recent past. Most of these involved ballistic missiles or long-range artillery shells.
US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had met at different venues to resolve the issue of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
However, right now, there is a break in the talks because of mismatched priorities. While the US attaches importance to denuclearization, the North wants ease of sanctions first.
The missile launches came on the eve of the 108th birthday of North Korea’s late founder, Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un. https://t.co/xGBLjQL1zH
— Arab News (@arabnews) April 14, 2020
The cruise missiles of North Korea
North Korea has been launching missiles for a long time. However, the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance observes that its use of a cruise missile is difficult to explain because these weapons are meant for use in specific cases like in anti-ship operations.
A defense official adds that this would become the first cruise missile launch since June 2017. Subsequently, as a part of its celebrations, there was an aerial display of fighter jets that launched air-to-surface missiles into the waters. The hermit kingdom had scaled back its military in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Fox News adds that in case the North had indeed conducted the test of a missile capable of reaching the U.S.mainland, it could have serious repercussions.
It would mean the end of the country’s self-imposed moratorium on major weapons tests. In fact, it could become a major hurdle in the denuclearization process. Experts hint the latest tests intended to improve its position against South Korea. Some others interpret them as an effort to display its arsenal to its people in the face of US-led sanctions. As far as fears of COVID-19 goes, North Korea claims there are no instances of coronavirus outbreak on its soil.
There is a wide array of missiles with North Korea
According to Al Jazeera, North Korea is suspected of having launched cruise missiles towards the Sea of Japan.
The timing of the launch coincides with a key state anniversary in the North and parliamentary elections in the South. In the opinion of an expert, the country was probably revealing its arsenal of weapons delivery systems. The expert explained to a section of the media that ballistic missiles demonstrate destructive power, but cruise missiles are all about accuracy. The inference is that the country was keen to display to the world its “accuracy in striking targets.” Apart from the missile launch, several fighter jets fired multiple air-to-ground rockets.
Observers feel Pyongyang wants to make a statement to the world at large on specific issues.
These could relate to the failed talks between Trump and Kim and sanctions imposed on the North by the United Nations Security Council. Authorities of South Korea and US intelligence were maintaining a close watch on developments in the region.
North Korea should abandon its nuclear programs
Soon after Donald Trump became the president, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un tested the waters. There were verbal duels between the two leaders, and the North identified several possible targets. However, subsequently, the two leaders decided to meet and resolve the issues. They met thrice in Singapore, Hanoi, and the DMZ, but an acceptable solution has not yet emerged.
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