When Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in South Korea nobody expected her to have a rocket show bookending her visit. Then again, high-level officials like a VP don’t often visit places undergoing military drills. As it stood South Korea and the US had just begun their joint naval drills around the Korean peninsula.
The first missile test came on September 25th, just before the drills began. On the 28th, the eve of her arrival from Japan to South Korea, two test missiles were fired. To send her off they launched another duo of missiles on the 29th, just hours after she departed to make her way back to Washington.
Naturally, the US and South Korea issued a joint statement about Pyongyang’s frequent launches, and their attempts to gain further ballistics knowledge so they can launch their first truly offensive campaign. Their joint statement came hot on the heels of Harris confirming the US’s support of South Korea, despite mistakenly claiming the US had an allegiance with North Korea. This kind of gaffe is not unusual when talking about either of the Koreas.
Despite being silent since June, North Korea is ramping up the frequency of its testing and has been trying to put more pressure on countries across the globe to recognize them as a superpower. In their minds becoming a nuclear-weapon-ready state will command that respect from even their longest adversaries.
With leader Kim Jong-un’s declaration earlier this month that the country was now officially a nuclear state, he also informed the globe that this meant they now had the right to strike first. A message like this is in stark contrast to their previous claims that their attempts to become nuclear are nothing more than defensive posturing, and ensuring they are left alone. However, unlike the emo kid who always had martial arts books in his backpack, this isn’t a laughable matter for anyone.
This man is deranged and has become more and more unhinged since foreign governments stopped paying him tons of attention due to the pandemic.
Launching these greeting and farewell missiles was his way of ensuring he got back into the news. While VP Harris was safe, her slip of the tongue and the timing of this show of force served as a great combination to underscore just how willfully inept this administration is. These kinds of launches always come with some sort of pre-cursor, a warning if you will.
Currently, there is already a warning for a big nuclear test according to US and South Korean intelligence. However, Kim is waiting until just the right moment to make that test happen. With the Chinese Communist Party congress and the US midterm elections on the way, reports indicate that the test will happen between mid-October and early November. By timing it this way, it has the potential to gain a lot of press and attention.