A missile pictured against a blue sky.

“North Korea’s series of actions that threatens the peace, safety and stability of the international community are impermissible.”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on North Korea reportedly test-firing another ballistic missile.

Published on

may 4, 2022

  • North Korea has reportedly launched more than a dozen missile tests in 2022 — a marked increase of provocative behavior. These tests can be challenging to independently verify; this latest was confirmed by both Japan and South Korea, who neighbor North Korea.
  • North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is quoted in North Korean state media as referencing the potential use of nuclear weapons and a renewed focus on military power: "True peace can be trusted and national dignity and national sovereignty can be guaranteed by the powerful self-defense force that can overcome the enemy."
  • North Korea's pace and timing of these weapons tests matter. This test occurred days before a new South Korean president takes office; the incoming president has mentioned working toward closer ties with the U.S. and strengthening South Korean defenses in order to counter the threat by North Korea.
  • Why It Matters: North Korea is a "state sponsor of terror" — one of just four nations given this designation by the U.S. government for its support of terrorist organizations. The concern with North Korea isn't just the nation's use of dangerous weapons, but the sharing of weapons technology with other state sponsors of terror or terrorist groups. The U.S. (among several other countries) does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea and has attempted to use sanctions to deter more nuclear tests — to no avail.

North Korea fires ballistic missile amid rising animosities

North Korea launches ballistic missile, Japan and South Korea say

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