When asked about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test, Kim Tae-hye, the first deputy director of the National Security Agency, said, “I don’t think it’s imminent within a day or two, but enough. I think there is a high possibility after that. “
According to Kim, detonator operation tests have been detected in Punggye-ri and elsewhere. “The detonation experiments have been carried out several times in a row. The final preparations for assessing the scale and performance that North Korea wants are imminent.”
“Even the North Korean leaders themselves would not have made a decision on the timing of the nuclear test,” he said.
“Expanded deterrence is another term for a nuclear umbrella, in case a missile with a nuclear warhead threatens our safety,” he said of the extended deterrence agreement between the leaders of Korea and the United States.
In a joint statement released after the Korea-US summit meeting on Saturday, the two leaders designated “nuclear, usually missile defense” as a means of “extended deterrence” that the United States would provide to South Korea in an emergency. ..
Four days after the Korea-US summit meeting, North Korea launched three missiles on the day, the second provocation since President Yun took office. So far this year, North Korea has carried out 17 such provocations.
“It is an attempt to intervene in the domestic political schedule at the beginning of the Yoon Sin Shu administration, and it may be a political intention to test the security posture of the new administration,” Kim said.
The Cheong Wa Dae believes that North Korea’s provocation as US President Joe Biden on his way home from a trip to South Korea and Japan was a “strategic message” by North Korea to bring South Korea and the United States together. ..
South Korea and the United States have started a joint response. On the morning of the same day, the South Korean army launched a Hyunmoo-2 surface-to-ground missile into the Tokai from near Gangwon-do, Gangwon-do. They also released a video of 30 F15 fighters operating in an “elephant walk” position. Separately, the US military also launched an ATACMS surface-to-ground missile.
Yun chaired the National Security Council and was attended by the National Security Advisor, Foreign Minister, Unified Defense Minister, and Defense Minister.
Participants in the National Security Council have called North Korea’s missile launches a “violation of UN Security Council resolutions” and a “serious provocation that raises tensions” and have strongly condemned them in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, threatening international peace.
They also said that North Korea’s provocation took place after the Korea-US summit and before US President Joe Biden returned home.
Yun has instructed authorities to work closely with relevant countries and the international community to thoroughly enforce sanctions against North Korea, including UN Security Council resolutions.
Cheong Wa Dae issued another statement, saying, “North Korea’s continued provocation will inevitably provide a stronger and faster deterrent to the Japan-US alliance, leading to North Korea’s international isolation.” ..
The statement called on North Korea to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and respond to dialogues to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Diplomatically, Foreign Minister Park Jin spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han discussed with White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan how to cooperate.
Both sides shared the view that North Korea’s continuous ballistic missile launch on Wednesday was a direct breach of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious provocation that threatened the Korean Peninsula and international peace, the Cheong Wa Dae said. They urged North Korea to stop the provocation immediately and respond to the dialogue.
They also agreed to continue to closely coordinate strong and effective response plans based on the strong South Korean and US combined defense posture.
Kim Gan, Special Representative for Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula, also called the Chinese Ambassador to Korea Xing Haiming and the Russian Ambassador to Korea Andrey Klik to discuss measures to launch ballistic missiles in North Korea. They expressed sympathy for the importance of stabilizing the situation on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirmed their position that they would play a constructive role in the peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue.
Is it possible to stop NK?
According to experts, the dilemma still remains. Some say that the response of the Yun administration is not much different from the response of the former Moon Jae-in administration.
Kim, the National Security Agency, said the difference from the previous administration was that South Korea and the United States prepared and responded together. But he added that some people here aren’t happy with the seemingly weak reaction compared to Yun’s previous bold remarks.
“I gave a moderate message today, but I’m considering additional steps,” Kim said.
North Korean experts say there is no way to stop North Korea from launching missiles and conducting nuclear tests, despite a stronger reaction.
There are three main pillars for responding to North Korea’s provocation, said Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korea’s faculty at Efa Women’s University.
“It’s a way to stop North Korea’s continued nuclear (experiment) and missile launches. How can we deter North Korea’s advanced nuclear weapons? And how to bring the regime to the negotiating table. “He said.
All three aspects are included in the joint statement by South Korea and the United States. But the problem is, in the first place, there is no way to answer the first question of how to stop nuclear tests and the continued launch of missiles by North Korea, the professor said.
“We can launch missiles accordingly. We can deploy US strategic assets if needed, but North Korea will not stop,” he said.
He added that the United States and Yun seemed less interested and it would not be easy to bring North Korea into the conversation.
Park believes that the most effective way to strengthen extended deterrence is the missile defense network between South Korea and the United States. “It has real deterrence and a message to China,” he said.
“If China continues to give North Korea a green light, we will have no choice but to strengthen its missile defense network,” he said. When North Korea launched a 17-Mars intercontinental ballistic missile on March 24, China did not blame North Korea, but instead pointed to the United States.
Shin Jihe ([email protected])