On Sunday, the North Korean government launched eight ballistic missiles in an apparent bid by dictator Kim Jong Un to establish North Korea as a global military power with nuclear capabilities.
According to the New York Post, South Korean military sources confirmed that North Korean missiles were launched over a 35-minute period near Pyongyang, the country’s capital.
North Korea’s latest attack on the global community is its 18th round of missile tests this year. This launch of missile tests took place just one day after South Korean forces staged a naval exercise in the Philippine Sea alongside the United States aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.
North Korean leadership is preparing a nuclear test site in the town of Punggye-Ri for an eventual nuclear weapons test, which is its first since 2017, according to reports. North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006.
As North Korea continues to develop weapons that may potentially reach the United States, Kim Jong Un has attempted to make a worldwide statement about his country’s military strength.
In 2019, discussions over nuclear disarmament between the United States and North Korea came to a halt after the latter was sanctioned in response to its continued weapons testing. Some warn that Kim’s plan is to improve his military power so that he may engage at a position of strength on the international stage when negotiations begin.
The U.S. recently urged the United Nations Security Council to impose additional sanctions on North Korea in order to try and reduce rising tensions over Pyongyang’s continued missile tests. This punitive measure was blocked by Russia and China.
The package that was vetoed by the two countries would have levied sanctions on North Korea for its continued deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could be used to carry nuclear weapons.
Representatives from both China and Russia criticized the bill’s passage, stating that they opposed any further restrictions on North Korea and stressing the importance of more talks between North Korean and American officials.
The United Nations Security Council’s latest sanctions resolution, which was passed in December of 2017, emphasized member states’ commitment to putting further limits on North Korea’s petroleum imports in response to the country’s continuing ballistic missile tests. It was believed at the time that North Korea’s missiles had intercontinental range.