April 20, 2021

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Analysis of North Korea’s Launch of Two Cruise Missiles to Western Waters: A Probe into Biden’s North Korea Policy

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North Korea launched two short-range cruise missiles into the western waters of the Korean peninsula on the 21st. South Korean sources stated that the North Korean launched was not a ballistic missile and did not violate the UN Security Council resolution. (AFP)

North Korea launched two short-range cruise missiles into the western waters of the Korean peninsula on the 21st. South Korean sources stated that the North Korean launched was not a ballistic missile and did not violate the UN Security Council resolution.

North Korea launched two short-range cruise missiles into the western waters of the Korean peninsula on the 21st. South Korean sources stated that the North Korean launched was not a ballistic missile and did not violate the UN Security Council resolution.

The South Korean Army confirmed yesterday (March 24) that North Korea launched two short-range cruise missiles into the western waters of the Korean Peninsula on the 21st. This is the first missile launch by North Korea in nearly a year and the first missile test since the Biden administration took office. The analysis pointed out that North Korea’s move was to test the Biden administration’s North Korea policy.

“Washington Post” quoted a U.S. official yesterday and reported that just a few days after U.S. Secretary of State Brinken and Secretary of Defense Austin visited the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, North Korea tested two short-range missiles on the 21st.

In response to this, the South Korean army confirmed yesterday that North Korea had launched two short-range cruise missiles into the western waters at about 6:36 am on the 21st in the hot spring area of ​​South Pingan Province, North Korea. Both missiles have relatively short flight distances, and the Korean army is analyzing the specific parameters of the missiles. A source in the South Korean government pointed out that North Korea’s launch was not a ballistic missile and did not violate the UN Security Council resolutions.

Since South Korea did not announce the news in the first time, it was first disclosed by US officials, which aroused high attention from the public opinion.

In this regard, a relevant person in the Korean army explained that due to reasons such as the possible leakage of intelligence detection assets, North Korea did not disclose all the contents each time it launched a cruise missile. However, South Korean public opinion pointed out that when North Korea launched its cruise missile in April last year, the South Korean side immediately disclosed it to the public on the same day.

Biden doesn’t think North Korea is provocative

South Korean Congressman Ha Tae Kyung pointed out that according to the report of the intelligence authorities, “South Korea and the United States have long known (North Korea’s missile launches), but the two sides agreed in advance not to disclose the content.”

The diplomatic community believes that South Korea and the United States did not disclose North Korea’s missile launches in advance, or that the US Biden administration deliberately ignored North Korea’s strategy.

US President Biden said at the White House on Tuesday night that he did not see North Korea’s move as a provocation. “We learned that nothing has changed.”

When asked if he thought the test was provocative, he said: “No, according to the Ministry of Defense, this is going on as usual. They did not go beyond the scope of many UN Security Council resolutions.”

Experts pointed out that the Biden administration is conducting an inter-departmental assessment of North Korea’s policy, and North Korea has launched provocations to show its presence. But North Korea seems to want to avoid causing “unnecessary stimulus” to the United States, choosing to launch cruise missiles that do not violate the UN Security Council resolutions instead of ballistic missiles.

At the same time, the North Korean launch time was just after the US Secretary of State and Defense Secretary concluded their visit to South Korea, and after the US and China held high-level talks in Alaska, this is of great significance.

Park Yuankun, a professor at the Department of Korean Studies at Ewha Womans University, pointed out that the more conflicts between the United States and China intensify, the higher the probability that China will support North Korea. North Korea must have seen that the US-China talks did not reach a consensus and were convinced that “China will be on our side” before launching the missile.

Wen Shengmo of the National Institute of Strategic Studies of South Korea pointed out that Trump is worried that his policy toward North Korea will be criticized. As long as North Korea does not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles that threaten the entire territory of the United States, he will turn a blind eye. But the Biden administration is different. There are many experts on North Korea who understand North Korea’s intentions too well. The Biden administration, which values ​​”principles,” tacitly acknowledges that the probability of North Korea’s provocation is very low.

Expert: If North Korea launches ballistic missiles, the Biden government will definitely be held accountable

Experts who declined to be identified also believe that in the future, once North Korea launches ballistic missiles, the Biden administration may adopt further sanctions. Biden’s cabinet personnel have a wealth of experience with North Korea. As long as North Korea goes beyond the bottom line, it will definitely be held accountable.

After the Biden administration came to power, the United States sought to contact North Korea, but the North Korean side “has not read back” the relevant US proposal. So far, North Korea and the United States have not resumed contact.

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