■ Host: Youngbin Jung, Anchor Yoonji Lee
■ Appearance: Oh Kyung-seop, Research Fellow, National Unification Institute
North Korea fired a ballistic missile early yesterday morning and even held armed aerial demonstrations in the afternoon.
When South Korea, the United States and Japan responded strongly with joint exercises, they responded with demonstration flights.
The possibility of North Korea conducting its 7th nuclear test between mid-October and early November, which has continued its unpredictable provocations of late, is also being raised.
Let’s take a closer look with Oh Kyung-seop, a research fellow at the Korea Institute of National Unification.
North Korea continues its offensive approach despite the redeployment of US nuclear aircraft carriers on the Korean Peninsula and joint exercises, raising the level of tension further. Yesterday, it fired a mix of two short-range ballistic missiles, and even brought out new cards like a military aircraft squadron demonstration flight and air-to-ground shooting training. How do you view North Korea’s recent provocations, which run every two days?
North Korea mobilized 4 bombers and 8 fighters at around 2 pm yesterday to make a demonstration flight south of the ‘Special Watch Line’. Why did the United States and South Korea conduct air-to-ground flights and fire, knowing that South Korea and the United States were monitoring the situation in North Korea?
Some even interpret it as a move that showed the internal unity and health of the army. But further, there are comments that it could be a sign of a lack of desire to maintain the 9/19 military agreement? Isn’t the situation that our military refrains from flying near no-fly zones after the 9/19 agreement?
One more notable thing is North Korea’s mouth. Although he continued his recent ballistic missile provocations, he did not publicly comment on them. Yesterday, I finally opened my mouth and protested against the convening of the UN Security Council meeting and the US-ROK joint maritime exercise in the form of a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What is the reason for changing the tone of the silence that has been happening over the last six months?
If you look at the missiles launched by North Korea over the last ten days, there are different types, from the KN-23 called the ‘North Korean version of Iskander’, the ‘North Korean version of Atacms’ KN-24, and the ‘high multiple rocket launcher’ KN-25. These are new strategic weapons that can move upwards, and it is feared that they could neutralize South Korean and US missile defense systems such as the Patriot and THAAD systems. After all, is North Korea’s goal to complete a small and lightweight tactical nuclear weapon for use in new tactical guided weapons?
I remember that Chairman Kim Jong-un and military officials made threatening comments in 2017, announcing a tough official position, and conducting the sixth nuclear test. The fact that the statement of condemnation also stated the specific intent of the launch raises concerns that it may not be a re-enactment of 2017. What do you think of the comment that this is not an outpost for strategic provocations such as ballistic missiles intercontinental, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and the 7th nuclear test?
South Korea and the United States will hold a joint naval maneuver exercise to improve their combined defense capabilities in the high seas of the East Sea until tomorrow. If such additional South Korea-US-Japan joint exercises and the use of strategic assets such as US B-1B strategic bombers continue on the Korean Peninsula, there are views that it will be used as an excuse to proceed with a nuclear test. The timetable is anticipated from mid-October to early November?
Is there a possibility that North Korea will carry out a series of nuclear tests? IAEA Secretary General Rafael Grossi said he had seen new work on the road leading to Tunnel 4, with signs of restoration work at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. After carrying out a nuclear test in Tunnel 3, there are also analyzes that the next test can be carried out in Tunnel 4 in a row?
If North Korea conducts its 7th nuclear test, do you think there is a possibility that the South Korean government will cancel the 9/19 inter-Korean military agreement? The president’s office mentioned that the defense minister had already raised questions about its effectiveness. Is it being interpreted as leaving open the possibility of violating the 9/19 military agreement?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced the principle of ‘big strong rivers’ at the 8th Party Congress in January 2021. It appears that Kim Jong-un’s calculations to gain recognition as a nuclear weapons state following the declaration of the enactment of a nuclear force as proportionate response to strengthen South Korea-US-Japan cooperation have been postponed. In such an offensive situation, the space for dialogue and diplomacy is very narrow.
Meanwhile, 38 North, a US media outlet specializing in North Korea, predicted that North Korea’s successive missile provocations could lead to independent nuclear weapons by South Korea and Japan in the future. Do you agree with 38 North’s analysis, saying that if South Korea and Japan find that the US nuclear umbrella is no longer reliable enough, they can make decisions about independent nuclear forces?
#North Korea_Ballistic Missiles #Air Force Display #South Korea-US-Japan Joint Exercise #Seventh_Nuclear_Test #9.19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement
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2022/10/07 16:50 Send