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North Korean Missile Launches - Concerns Growing
[389호] 2017년 10월 11일 (수) Reporter Lee Il-bong leeib@

Recently, North Korea has launched numerous missiles into the East Sea and over the Japan archipelago. Not only launching missiles, but North Korea has also conducted a nuclear experiment as recent as Sep. 3. On the left side, there is a timeline for North Korea’s missile provocation. Since President Moon Jae-in's inauguration, North Korea has conducted a total of ten missile launches within five months. Specifically, the missile launches conducted on Jul. 4 and the 28 shocked the whole world. They were Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Hwaseong-14, and its estimated flight distance was over 5,000 miles. The distance, 5,000 miles is important because the missile can reach the United States. The missiles launched on Aug. 29 and Sep. 15 were also sensational. It was the first launched directly over other countries’ territory. The missiles flew across Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan, flew for about 2,000 miles, and then fell into the Pacific Ocean.
Concerning the recent North Korean missile launches, relevant countries’ attitudes and reactions were various. First of all, the United States persists in its strong action toward North Korea. The U.S. President Donald Trump said in his United Nations (UN) speech, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” ‘Total destruction’ and ‘suicide mission’ well describe the current attitude of the U.S. toward North Korea. However, adjacent countries, such as China and Russia have a very different and complex situation. International organizations like the UN have imposed sanctions on North Korea, and these sanctions are directly connected to China and Russia. The main issue of the previous UN Security Council on Sep. 11 was the restriction of petroleum. South Korea and the U.S. insisted on the total prohibition of crude oil exports to North Korea, but China and Russia made objected and the final resolution was a reduction of crude oil exports to North Korea. As North Korea keeps launching its missiles, China and Russia are left with egg on their faces.
With the crisis escalating from North Korea’s consecutive missile launches, financial markets in South Korea are shaking with anxiety. The KOSPI index is literally trembling with every North Korean missile launch. The upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games is also in jeopardy. Several countries including France, Austria, and Germany mentioned their possible absence from the Olympic Games due to the growing crisis on the Korean peninsula. The resolution of the North Korea missile situation is extremely important for South Korea.




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