North Korea Launches another Set of Ballistic Missiles amid Sanctions
Last updated on August 1st, 2019
Amid North Korea’s tensed bilateral relations with other countries, the South Korean staff claimed that the former launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday. South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said that it has been the second such launch in less than a week.
The timing of the launch of the ballistic missiles coincided with a series of ASEAN meeting being held in Bangkok, which was to be attended by the world’s top diplomats. Though the launch did not pose any threat in the region, South Korean officials condemned the move, saying that it did “not aid in efforts to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
On Wednesday, the Blue House, the South Korean presidential office, also called for an emergency National Security Council meeting, saying, “We call for cessation of these actions.”
Earlier during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed that the security in the Korean Peninsula region fully depends on the US. Amid various US sanctions imposed on North Korea by a number of countries and international bodies in order to halt the nuclear weapons program, the analysts believe that the citizens have been suffering with innumerable issues.
Other than the ban on nuclear weapons, the sanctions also cover bans on materials and goods, expanding to luxury goods to target the elites. Further sanctions have been expanded to cover financial assets, banking transactions, and general travel and trade.
Following the poor circumstances, the launch of ballistic missiles was an act that has been highly criticised by the neighbouring South Korean leaders. The missiles were launched from the Wonsan-Kalma area just after 5 a.m. local time and 5:27 a.m. (4:27 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, and travelled an estimated distance of 250 kilometres (155 miles) and height of 30 kilometres (18 miles).
The US officials confirmed that the launching of the ballistic missiles did not pose any threat to the US or its allies, and instead it fell into the sea. In regards to the stalled talks between the US and North Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while boarding his flight to attend the ASEAN meeting hoped that the talks would restart soon.
Recently, Donald Trump became the first sitting US President to have met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which is a heavily militarised border between North and South Korea. His meet was considered historical as by stepping over the demarcation line, both the leaders agreed on resuming work-negotiations by scheduling talks in future.
Since no progress has been made on the negotiations, the speculations of how the talks would mould in favour or against the North-Korean government remains uncertain. Like the earlier launches that were a clear warning to South Korea, the analysts believe that the recent ballistic missile launches could be a signal of Kim’s frustration over the deadlocked talks with the US.
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