With much of the world allegedly headed in the direction of a major, fiery conflict, many world leaders are keeping a keen eye on the less-sophisticated players in the international space who may be looking to make a name for themselves.
Such is the case with North Korea, whose ideological slant is certainly in line with their superpower counterparts in China and Russia, but whose vast poverty and brash behavior has kept them on the outside looking in.
Now, in what could be a bid for attention from all corners of the globe, the DPRK has conducted a few missiles tests just as the US President was leaving Asia.
North Korea test-launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile and two shorter-range weapons into the sea Wednesday, South Korea said, hours after President Joe Biden ended a trip to Asia where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend its allies in the face of the North’s nuclear threat.
The launch was certainly significant.
If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s first ICBM launch in about two months. Breaking its 2018 moratorium on long-distance launches, North Korea in March claimed to have test-launched its longest-range missile as part of its development of functioning nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the American homeland.
The launches took place as North Korea made a much-disputed claim that its first domestic COVID-19 outbreak was weakening.
North Korea has long attempted to use provocation and capitulation as negotiating tactics on the world’s stage, these missile tests may very well be just another bit of economic blackmail.