N. Korea’s missile escalation

North Korea, in recent years, has heightened its military prog­ress, launching multiple new bal­listic missiles with the potential of destructing its arch-rivals, like the US. This tactic of testing new weap­on systems has further isolated North Korea from the globe, leav­ing it in a crippling economic crisis.

Last year, North Korea, in a dra­matic move, successfully tested four Intercontinental Ballistic Mis­siles (ICBM) to showcase its re­gional military strength. Likewise, launched in February 2023, Hwa­song-17 was the first full ICBM test since 2017, having the poten­tial of covering the entire US main­land. Following it, Hwasong-18, which North Korea launched in April, proved a lethal ICBM. This astonishing ICBM was designed to use solid fuel to further make it more powerful. Another Hwa­song-18 was launched in July and had the capability to cover a range of 1,002 kilometres. Most recent­ly, in December, North Korea again unveiled another Hwasong-18 that can cover the whole US.

On the other hand, these mil­itary developments pose a sig­nificant regional threat and can further damage relationships be­tween North Korea and its neigh­bours. In this context, the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, termed the back-to-back launches of such sophisticated ballistic mis­siles as a “threat to peace and sta­bility”. The West, particularly the US, is concerned with such an ad­vanced weaponry system. Since its creation in 1945 after World War II, North Korea has been under fierce arms competition and has a keen desire to become a nucle­ar state despite mounting interna­tional pressures. North Korea does not care how their aggressive ap­proaches can hinder their econom­ic progress, leaving its people in fragile conditions.

It must be remembered that both South and North Korea were formed in the same year, yet the South surpassed the North politi­cally, economically, and above all, militarily. In this connection, none of the hypotheses of ignorance, cul­ture, or geography are responsible for the downfall of North Korea, but it is the leaders of that nation who preferred weapons to peace, progress, and prosperity. There is a massive difference between the lifestyles of the people of North and South Korea. The people on the South of the 38th parallel line live ten times better and more pros­perous lives than the people on the northern sphere. Thus, the leaders of North Korea should take some pragmatic measures to soften or possibly halt its military develop­ments and mend its ties with the international community.

The global landscape has entire­ly changed, and the nations are moving towards economic sta­bility. North Korea should also follow suit to convert its focus from developing fatal weapons to strengthening its economy.



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