Go to contents

N. Korea cannot change anything by threatening with missiles

N. Korea cannot change anything by threatening with missiles

Posted April. 09, 2015 07:22,   


North Korea launched short-range missiles off the west coast on Tuesday following Friday. As it declared no-sail and no-fly zone off the east coast, which heralds the launch of missiles with a range of 200 kilometers or more, it could fire its Rodong or Scud missiles off the east coast. The North seems to plan to launch missiles off both the east and the west coast before U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to Seoul from Thursday through Saturday.

As the U.S.-Iran deal is struck and the deployment of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) in South Korea becomes an issue, Pyongyang might want to show off its military prowess and ultimately attract the U.S. on the bilateral negotiating table. The North has stepped up the level of provocation to attract Washington’s attention. It might want to get recognized as a nuclear power and get its regime guaranteed by establishing a diplomatic tie with the U.S. It is regrettable if the North has not yet realized that it cannot get anything with armed protests.

It is right that Washington is extremely concerned about Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon and missiles and think they are important. U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert said in an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Tuesday that Washington is ready to address North Korea’s nuclear issue diplomatically as it did with Iran. He said that Washington is always ready to have a sincere and trustworthy dialogue but it is disappointing that Pyongyang does not show such stance. The North repeated conditions and warnings in response to President Park Geun-hye’s proposal for unconditional talks. It is frustrating that a North Korean official to the United Nations said, “We’re different from Iran,” even if the North saw the U.S.-Iran deal. If Pyongyang come to the negotiating table without giving up provocations, how could it find a way to survive and get out of isolation?

Although it is not an official comment from Washington, some in the U.S. say that North Korea deployed the portable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) KN-08 and successfully developed a technology to minimize the size of nuclear warheads. It cannot be seen that Washington is increasing a sense of crisis intentionally in order to deploy THAAD in South Korea. The government should encourage North Korea’s change, but should be fully prepared for its nuclear threats and missiles, which have become a real threat. It is worrisome that South Korea is rather insensitive to North Korea’s threats, unlike the U.S.