Pyongyang is not alone in provoking arms races in the region
North Korea has once again become a cause for concern for world powers. Pyongyang confirmed that a ballistic missile was fired from the DPRK's territorial waters on October 19. The authorities of neighboring South Korea and Japan were the first to respond to the tests. Gradually, Western countries began to share their reaction. However, according to an expert contacted by the Ministry of Culture, regular missile tests did not bring anything fundamentally new to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, they are not the only destabilizing factor.
On Wednesday, October 20, the German Foreign Ministry condemned the tests conducted by Pyongyang. Previous statements have been made by Japan, South Korea, the United States, France and many others. Seoul noted that the South Korean side had a planned telephone conversation with Pyongyang shortly before the start, but the North Korean authorities did not warn about their plans.
According to the DPRK, the country's leader Kim Jong-un was not present at the tests. On the one hand, it speaks to the routine nature of the event: the North Korean leader will appear in person for the frontier military tests. On the other hand, the absence of the head of state could be due to the nature of the launch: Kim, as you know, cares carefully for his own safety, but a submarine on the high seas, even armed with ballistic missiles, is an extremely vulnerable object.
The response to the provocative actions of the DPRK, as considered in the West, has already followed from the UN. However, as Konstantin Asmolov, a leading researcher at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far East Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted in an interview with MK, the current situation is not very different from similar incidents observed in the past. In addition, the expert stressed, North Korea's actions do not address issues for its neighbors in the south.
– The fact is that the DPRK is at the forefront of any step, although South Korea is behaving similarly, it is also conducting tests, etc. – Asmolov reminded. – But everyone is talking about Pyongyang as if he intended to launch the Death Star (a fantastic weapon from the Star Wars movie saga, capable of destroying planets. – MK). At the same time, it is excluded that the South Korean military budget is several times larger than the North Korean, that Seoul launched a ballistic missile this autumn – also from a submarine – launched a guided missile, announced plans to build its own analogy of the Iron Dome (Israeli missile defense system). defense, considered one of the most effective in the world. – 'MK'). Such things affect regional arms races as well.
The analyst also notes that South Korea is also not warning its neighbors of all these steps. It is therefore not worth waiting for the situation to turn around. “The North Korean problem is now seen in the context of the US-China confrontation. It must be understood that when the Northerners launched a hypersonic glider, at the request of France and Estonia, the UN Security Council met in extraordinary session, but ended without a statement. the reaction may be a bit sharper because it was a ballistic missile from a submarine – it is not clear what range should be considered, while Pyongyang launches short-range missiles, it is seen as fulfilling promises made by Kim Jong-un to former US President Donald Trump “In particular, not to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles and not to conduct nuclear tests. It was an informal promise, it is not legally formalized,” the expert reminded.