According to reports, North Korea fired Hwasongpho-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Saturday, which some Chinese experts believe may have been in response to planned joint military exercises by the US and South Korea.
On Saturday afternoon, the Hwasongpho-15 missile was launched from Pyongyang International Airport at a lofted angle and successfully hit a pre-determined location in the eastern open waters.
The launch was carried out after an emergency firepower combat standby order was given at dawn on Saturday and a written order was issued by Kim Jong-un, who is the chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The official Korean Central News Agency reported on Sunday.
According to the news agency, the purpose of the launch was to confirm the reliability of the weapons system and demonstrate the preparedness of the country’s nuclear force for combat.
This launch occurred shortly after South Korea announced joint tabletop exercises scheduled for next week, which aim to enhance the operations of US nuclear assets, as well as regular springtime drills planned for next month.
On Sunday, Kim Yo-jong, who is the vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, released a statement in which she accused the United States and South Korea of openly displaying their dangerous greed and attempting to gain military dominance and a superior position on the Korean Peninsula.
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According to some Chinese experts, the recent missile launch is another episode in the ongoing cycle of negative interactions between North Korea and the US-South Korea alliance, which has heightened tensions in the region and on the Korean Peninsula.
Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, commented that this situation is a dead end. North Korea and the US-South Korea alliance have become trapped in an arms race-driven security dilemma, which is becoming increasingly entrenched.
Experts caution that in order to reduce tensions in the region, the most important prerequisite is for the United States to revise its current approach to dealing with North Korea. This represents the fundamental principle and starting point for all relevant parties to engage in further negotiations.