mandag 31. januar 2022

Kim Jong Un wants the world to know he still matters. Seven missile tests in a month may prove it

Since the turn of the year, North Korea has ramped up missile tests in defiance of international law at a frenetic pace that many who keep a close eye on the rogue state expect to continue. According to analysts, seven North Korean missile tests in the first four weeks of 2022 suggest the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, is both striving to meet domestic goals and show an increasingly turbulent world that Pyongyang remains a player in the struggle for power and influence.

"By threatening to destabilize Asia while global resources are stretched thin elsewhere, Pyongyang is demanding the world pay it to act like a 'responsible nuclear power,'" said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.

Those seven missile tests have run the gamut, from what is believed to be a hypersonic glide vehicle -- potentially one of the most powerful weapons on the planet -- to an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), Pyongyang's longest range missile tested since 2017 -- to cruise missiles, arms that powers like the US have had in their inventory for decades.