Crisis Unfolds: North Korea Ballistic Missile Launches Amid Kim’s Russian Visit

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Unprecedented North Korea Ballistic Missile Launches During Kim’s International Visit

In an unexpected turn of events, North Korea ballistic missile launches created a state of tension as the country fired two ballistic missiles from its eastern coast while its leader, Kim Jong Un, was on an official visit to Russia. This marks a significant departure from Kim’s usual behavior and represents the first time such North Korea ballistic missile launches have occurred while he was abroad. The timing was particularly noteworthy, coming just hours before his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Details regarding the precise size and range of these ballistic missiles involved in the North Korea ballistic missile launches are still pending confirmation. Within approximately five minutes of the initial missile launch alert, Japan’s Coast Guard reported that the missile had safely fallen into the sea. Responding swiftly, Japan lodged a diplomatic protest against North Korea through diplomatic channels in Beijing. Importantly, both missiles fell outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

International Concerns and Diplomatic Responses to North Korea Missile Launches

The recent launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea have increased tensions internationally and stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue. It is a clear breach of resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council most recently in 2017 with the backing of China and Russia, friends of North Korea. Following these resolutions, Beijing and Moscow have repeatedly urged a relaxation of sanctions against North Korea in an effort to advance diplomatic negotiations and improve the country’s grave humanitarian situation.

North Korea Ballistic Missile Launches

Kim Jong Un’s International Engagements and Oversight of North Korea Missile Launches

Kim Jong Un’s absence from international trips was notable for six years after he assumed power in 2011 following his father’s death. However, in 2018 and 2019, he embarked on a series of nine separate trips to various countries, including China, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and Russia. His current visit to Russia marks the first such international trip since then.

One of the perplexing questions surrounding Kim’s international engagements is how he maintains command and control over North Korea’s missile and nuclear forces while abroad, especially during critical events like the North Korea ballistic missile launches. Recent exercises have shed light on a system for overseeing nuclear weapons that shares similarities with those used by the United States and Russia. A report from the 38 North program, which monitors North Korea, outlined a process that involves unit commanders, sub-units, a launch approval system, and various technical and mechanical devices governing nuclear weapons control.

In light of these recent North Korea ballistic missile launches and growing tensions in the region, the international community remains vigilant, closely monitoring developments as they unfold. The world is watching to see how diplomatic efforts and responses evolve in the wake of this provocative action by North Korea.

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