The New York Times newspaper concluded: “This sounds like a warning from Kim Jong-un to President Trump that if the once-promising negotiations with Washington will not resume, the two countries may again find themselves on the path of conflict.”
Shortly after the test (April 17, 2019), North Korea demanded that Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, be suspended from negotiations on nuclear disarmament as another sign of the deterioration of diplomatic relations with Washington after the failure of their second summit in Hanoi, the British The Daily Telegraph.
– The sudden, cold attitude towards Mr. Pompeo, who came to Pyongyang several times over the past year for a personal meeting with the North Korean leader, is seen as part of Kim’s strategy to show his power to Washington and his internal audience.
What is surprising: overseas and European media are no longer subjected to the irony of the North Korean tests, as it was before. Today, analysts talk more about Pyongyang’s power diplomacy and the powerlessness of Washington, and also that the time of rocket firing has successfully fit into the current international situation.
It is no secret that the 45th President of the United States, unlike his predecessors, seeks to fulfill electoral promises. In particular, Trump achieved the abolition of medical reform of Barack Obama, conducted a tax reform, increased the military budget, began the construction of the Mexican wall, ignores the Paris Agreement on Ecology. At the same time, the “punishment of Kim Jong-un”, along with the blockade and even the destruction of Iran, was the cornerstone of the international policy of future President Trump in the fall of 2016.
According to Tehran, apparently, election promises are beginning to be fulfilled. As you know, from May 1, 2019, the United States imposes a ban on the import of Iranian oil, which will certainly have consequences. Thus, the next aggressive attack on America is logical to wait against North Korea. After all, the next year in the United States will be marked by the election campaign, which means “for the bazaar” will have to answer.
Recall, Trump, having barely entered the White House, rather accurately predicted the development of the DPRK military program: “This guy (Kim Jong Un) does not play games. Because he does have rockets. And he does have a nuclear weapon. Moreover, this weapon is getting better and stronger, which means that the clock is ticking faster and more alarming. ” And the 45th US president called Juche a rogue nation and promised to act tough if Pyongyang continues to develop missile and nuclear weapons.
Then, as is known, detente followed between the United States and the DPRK, but after the dead-end February meeting in Hanoi, North Korea felt deceived. She took reciprocal steps and stopped rocket and nuclear tests, but in response the United States raised the stakes, demanding that the peninsula be completely denucked. In this regard, Kim’s April shooting should have the effect of a cold shower for the American leader.
On the one hand, the development of an unnamed system does not belong to the strategic forces, therefore, consistent with the letter and spirit of last year’s agreement between Trump and Kim. That is, Pyongyang does not test the means of delivering nuclear weapons over long distances and does not detonate atomic bombs underground. The US, however, did not relax the sanctions, as promised.
On the other hand, Kim Dong-Yub, an analyst at the Seoul Institute for Far Eastern Studies, believes that the tested weapon is most likely a cruise missile capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons. Considering also the DPRK’s aspiration to create analogues of advanced Russian weapons, taking their characteristics as TK to develop their systems, we can safely assume that Pyongyang has experienced something similar to our Iskander, which has already become an instrument of Moscow’s power diplomacy.
According to American and South Korean experts, North Korean specialists could gain access to the Iskander-E operational tactical missile systems in Algeria, which bought them in September 2017. “Free Press”, by the way, wrote about the export of this unique weapon to this country.
It seems that Juche, although they are, according to Americans, a nation of rogue states, but they are well aware of the US program in relation to the DPRK. The American doctrine of the existential containment of Pyongyang does not allow the deployment of nuclear weapons by North Koreans in strategic delivery systems. If Washington will have information that Kim has appeared or will soon have ICBMs with an atomic warhead, this will mean an automatic start of war.
As for the North Korean tactical missile weapons, which fall under the still “live” DDRMD between the USA and the Russian Federation, Washington calls on all countries, except, of course, their allies France and Great Britain, to join the Gorbachev-Reagan treaty. Therefore, the White House’s reaction to North Korea’s test of short- and medium-range missiles, including those with nuclear weapons, cannot be sharply negative.
Over the ocean, they simply gritted their teeth in rage, unable to do anything. The new missile system of the North Korean army is a deadly threat to US military bases and key military infrastructure south of the 38th parallel.
Obviously, the United States could not even assume that a guided cruise missile could even appear in the DPRK army. After all, this is a completely different technological level of development of military equipment, which in turn means a loud slap to overseas intelligence agencies.
There is another interesting point: the test that has passed is also the message of North Korea to other countries that would also like to have such weapons. There is no doubt that there will be buyers, and the logistics have already been established. Trump, of course, with this unpleasant fact will also have to be considered.
However, the White House has already announced that it will not lift sanctions against the DPRK until Kim gets rid of missile and nuclear weapons. Actually, there is no way to expect another decision from Washington, which has itself cornered itself in relations with Pyongyang.
Yes, today it is too early to talk about creating a full-fledged analogue of the Iskander in North Korea, at the same time, this country has already shown what it is capable of, therefore its work in the field of cruise missiles on mobile carriers will only accelerate. It is striking that the test took place 10 days before the proposed meeting between Putin and Kim in Vladivostok on April 26–27 within the framework of the One Belt, One Way Summit.
Probably in Pyongyang they decided to solve a whole series of international tasks with one rocket volley. First of all, specify the United States that Mike Pompeo is viewed by the DPRK political leadership as a toxic figure. This is the first. The second is to demonstrate to Trump that America is no longer as dangerous to North Korea as it was several years ago. Third, Washington should lift the sanctions on Pyongyang’s terms, otherwise the Juche Country reserves the right to export modern missile weapons. Fourth, show Putin that Kim Jong-un is also a “tough guy,” just like the Russian president.