North Korea has Launched 21 Missiles & Fourth Nuclear Test in 2016
In response to North Korea’s 21 missiles already launched in 2016 including land and submarine based launches and conducting its fourth nuclear test in January, 2016, South Korea and the United States had already put in place a site in the South to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to counter threats from the North.
Once again, the United States is looking to enforce the strongest sanctions on North Korea. The imminent threat is challenging and bringing old rivals like Japan and South Korea closer together. Placing more heated pressure on China as Washington pushes Beijing to do more to stop its ally as tensions over the South China Sea simultaneously complicate cooperation. Prompting a new international push for tougher sanctions like those placed on Iran to force Iran to the negotiating table.
Enforcing the strongest sanctions on North Korea is once again the brinkmanship of the combined military forces of South Korea and the United States. But this time calling for an international approach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a blunt call for international action at the UN Wednesday September 21, 2016. Abe said, “Right before our eyes, North Korea is carrying out a plan about which there can be no doubt. There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now.”
On Friday September 23, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry met at the UN General Assembly with foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a 10-member bloc addressing economic, political and security cooperation. The call for the strongest sanctions will hopefully prove to be critical enough to deter North Korean Kim Jong Un to stop the saber-rattling under his regime and most importantly avoid an international disaster.
At the meeting Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The United States will do whatever is necessary to defend our own citizens and to honor our security commitments to our allies.” He called on all allies to “vigorously” enforce sanctions against the isolated regime and urged ASEAN members to “ensure that the DPRK pays a price for its dangerous actions.”
North Korea then, went on the offensive on Friday, September 23, 2016 blasting the US for “aggression” in Asia, blaming Washington for its pursuit of nuclear weapons and threatening the US with “tremendous consequences beyond imagination”.
Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the UN General Assembly the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea “had no other choice but to go nuclear, to defend itself from the constant nuclear threats from the United States.” This kind of cause and effect, blaming rhetoric is supposed to appear to the world that North Korea had no other choice.
“Ri Yong Ho’s comments came as the US and Asian nations gathered in New York on Friday, September 23, 2016 with a fresh reminder of what they consider the gravest threat facing the region: North Korea’s announcement this week that it had successfully tested its most powerful rocket engine.”
“The test on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 was followed by a US show of force, as the Pentagon on Wednesday flew two B-1B bombers alongside the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, setting the stage for US-South Korea joint military exercises in October that will include a simulated nuclear facility strike.”
“In May, North Korea’s 32-year-old leader Kim Jong-un made the country’s ambitions official, announcing that Pyongyang was on a dual track of developing nuclear weapons and the economy.”