On October 4, 2022, North Korea, for the first time in five years, fired a ballistic missile over Japan without warning. Early Tuesday morning many japan residents were awoken by the sound of an emergency siren.
North Korea’s assertion of power consisted of firing a ballistic missile without proper warning in cases where the drill triggered a rarely issued ‘J-alert’ designed to alert residents of mass public emergencies. Tuesday these alerts, in the form of smartphone and radio broadcasts appeared at 7:30 a.m. According to Japanese officials, the warning messages were exclusive to the surrounding area of Aomori Prefecture, Hokkaido, Tokyo Izu, and Ogasawara Island.
The distance covered by North Korea’s successful launch displayed the potential to reach the U.S territory of Guam.
Although not surprising, coming from Kim Jong Un’s recent weapon testing. However, this action was clarified as a “reckless” provocation by some. Already showing retroactive results as the South Korean military and its allies conduct drills to further strengthen their resolve.
The criticism of North Korea’s recent display is accompanied by swift action. The following Thursday the U.S, South Korea, and Japan performed a missile defense exercise in the sea of Japan. Consisting of two warships, the US deployed guided missile cruisers, USS Chancellorsville and USS Benfold. This exercise also included the proceedings of one Korean and two Japanese destroyer vessels.
Korea’s Reliance on Weapons
The combined reactions to North Korea’s “blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms” has further certified America’s commitment to allying with Japan and South Korea. The North Korean country’s regime, known for its tension with American leaders, continues to develop tactical nukes and submarine-range ballistic missiles to “outrun South Korea in an arms race and drive wedges among US allies.”
The intensity of these weapons tests also has the potential to develop a new nuclear weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency warned of North Korea’s ongoing preparation of a nuclear weapons test, a first since 2017.
This rush to test military power has also caused South Korea to run into dangerous incidents in an attempt to compete with North Korea. On short notice, the day after North Korea’s unannounced missile launch, South Korea ran an unsuccessful ballistic missile test with the U.S.
The malfunction caused a ballistic missile to plow into the ground and let out an explosion. A short-range Hyumoo-2 missile crashed into an air force base on the outskirts of Seoul. There were no casualties however the explosion panicked citizens after the previous false alarm of North Korea’s weapon testing. Despite the malfunction, citizens did not receive a notice from the government about the cause of the malfunction until much later.
Lawmaker, Kwon Seong-dong, criticized the military for failing to issue a notice about the mishap. Stating, “They don’t even have an official press release yet.”
The increase in tests is an attempt to compare North Korea’s development of short-range missiles designed to invade the South’s missile defenses.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
CNN: US, Japanese and South Korean warships perform missile defense exercise after North Korean tests
CNN: Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile without warning over main island
APNews: Seoul’s reprisal blows up after North Korean missile success
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of TenSafeFrogs’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License