The Yomiuri Shimbun North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch seems to indicate the country’s clear hostility toward Japan and the United States after the two nations recently reconfirmed their desire for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear missile programs.
Kim Jong Un’s regime is believed to be aiming for the completion of its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, to solidify its position as a nuclear power before the new Trump administration reviews U.S. policies on North Korea.
North Korea attempted to improve its missile capability throughout 2016, conducting test-launches of more than 20 ballistic missiles. This included the first attempt to fire an intermediate-range Musudan, which has an operational range of 2,500 kilometers to 4,000 kilometers.
Pyongyang also carried out nuclear tests on two occasions in its ongoing development of a missile that can carry a miniaturized nuclear warhead.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the North’s latest launch is part of efforts to display its own military forces, by asserting its missile capability to counter the United States’ hard-line stance against Pyongyang.Speech