On Friday, North Korea tested a “newly developed ultramodern” weapon under the supervision of the leader Kim Jong Un.
The weapon test comes during the faltering nuclear disarmament talks with the United States. While there’s very little information about the weapon other than it is a ‘tactical’ weapon and was commissioned personally by Kim Jong II, Kim Jong Un’s father, it does indicate one thing that North Korea is all set for a militaristic relationship with the US given that the negotiations go poorly.
According to Josh Pollack, Senior Research Associate at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Kim Jong Un is slowly moving towards a more aggressive position, signaling the US that if it does not change its stance against North Korea, they will not hesitate in returning to their old militaristic practices.
As he said, “What kind of weapon this may be is perfectly ambiguous… but they did attribute it to the Academy of National Defense Sciences and they are associated with the missile program.”
Meanwhile, South Korean sources say, the weapon is likely a long range artillery something like a multiple rocket launcher. And since it was a tactical weapons test, South Korea does not consider it as a military provocation.
As the South Korean researcher at Asan Institute in South Korea, Shin Beom-chol, mentions, the weapon type is unknown, it is unlikely a missile otherwise they would have detected it and as for the reason why North Korea did not mention any further detail about it is because they “probably didn’t want the situation escalating out of proportions.”
Additionally, Lee Eu-gene, South Korean Unification Minister, while downplaying the significance of this weapons test, said that Kim Jong Un had been inspecting military sector from time to time.
North Korea and the United States deteriorating relationship:
Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States, said on Thursday, that the US is backing down on a requirement prior to Kim and Trump’s second meeting, which is providing a full list of missile and nuclear sites.
Whereas, on 5th November, a North Korean Foreign Ministry Official, warned the US that if it does not start to remove the imposed sanctions on North Korea, it is highly possible that Kim Jong Un will start building up nuclear forces again.