On Tuesday morning, North Korea conducted its fourth failed attempt in two months at firing an intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile.
These constant attempts do nothing to alleviate worries that North Korea is advancing towards creating a nuclear-tipped missile that will reach America’s mainland. South Korean news agency Yohnap confirmed the missile launch failed and provided more information about the military’s response to the attempted launch.
A North Korean official traveled to Beijing on Tuesday to discuss relations between the two countries, whose historically close relationship has been strained due to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Mr. Ri’s visit is a part of Kim Jong-un’s efforts to strengthen alliances with China, one of North Korea’s main trading partners.
China has grown frustrated by North Korea’s testing of nuclear weapons and launching of missiles, resulting in an agreement to international sanctions. However, it seems unlikely for China to offer North Korea its support. It is possible that Mr. Kim ordered Tuesday’s missile test as a warning to China that it would use necessary measures if Beijing did not help North Korea, concluded Evans J.R. Revere, former senior State Department offician in charge of North Korea affairs. He also added, “Over the years, the North Koreans have shown themselves nothing if not skillful in manipulating the Chinese.”
As unlikely as it seems that China will offer North Korea its support, it seems equally unlikely that North Korea will be deterred in its pursuit to develop more efficient nuclear weapons.