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Moon orders helpless ‘peace’ on the day of N. Korea’s provocation

Moon orders helpless ‘peace’ on the day of N. Korea’s provocation

Posted January. 06, 2022 07:57,   

Updated January. 06, 2022 07:57


North Korea launched a projectile estimated to be a ballistic missile to the East Sea on Wednesday morning. The first missile provocation of the new year came after 78 days since the launch of a new submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in October last year. The South Korean government announced that a standing committee meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) was held to express concerns and reconfirm‎ the importance of the resumption of dialogue. “We should not let go of the communication line in order to fundamentally overcome the situation,” President Moon Jae-in said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the East Sea railways from Gangneung to Jejin, which ultimately aim to connect the two Koreas.

North Korea’s missile provocation can be interpreted as a low-level armed protest to showcase its presence externally. As the U.S. is focusing its diplomatic power on conflicts with China and Russia and has pushed North Korea aside, the country is trying to get attention to be not forgotten. In particular, it is trying to further develop its nuclear and missile capabilities according to its plan to strengthen national defense power, which was announced at a plenary meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea last year, in order to put pressure on South Korea and the U.S. to make concessions before the upcoming presidential election in South Korea and ROK-US joint military exercise in March.

North Korea has been rejecting South Korea and the U.S.’s continuous gesture for dialogue, demanding the removal of hostile policies. While the North may think time is on their side, it will get more nervous as time passes. The country has been completely isolated due to COVID-19 beyond the level of what any sanctions against North Korea has done. Provocations will bring further pressure from the outside, which in turn will grow internal pressure, such as food shortage.

The South Korean government is desperately trying to calm the North as always. The government did not categorize North Korea’s missile launch as ‘provocation’ and nor express any warning or regret. “When both Koreas work together and build trust, peace will be by our side someday,” President Moon repeated his helpless comment. However, it is overlooking the fact that such responses will only make North Korea fall deeper into a misjudgment that its provocations are working. One-sided efforts to soothe the North will only aggravate its impulse to make provocations, rather than managing the political situation.