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Global Insight: What is the reason behind N. Korea's test firing of projectiles in the past week? Updated: 2022-03-21 05:46:15 KST

Now it’s time for Global Insight and an in-depth look at some of the main developments in world affairs.
Last week, a missile fired by North Korea blew up almost immediately after blasting off in an apparent failed weapons launch.
Analysis later concluded that it was an attempted test of the Hwaseong-17, a new ICBM that was displayed during a past military parade in Pyeongyang.
This has sharply raised the likelihood of a possible successful ICBM test by the regime, which North Korea has not conducted since 2017.
The failed launch would have been the regime's tenth weapons test this year, following seven missile tests and two of what North Korea has said were "reconnaissance satellites".
And in addition to this, Pyeongyang also fired four suspected shots from multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea on Sunday morning, continuing acts that could heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

So what is the motive behind North Korea's recent tests? Why do they come at this specific time?

For a more in-depth analysis, we are joined by Mark Barry, Associate Editor Emeritus of the International Journal on World Peace and Kim Jae-chun, the Dean of Sogang University's Graduate School of International Studies, via Skype.


1. So Mark, Let's start by taking a look at the timing of this attempted ICBM test and the shots from the rocket launchers.
The ICBM test came a day after South Korea's presidential election and just a few days later, came the rocket launcher firings. Can you tell us, what factors drove the North to attempt this test at the current time?

2. There's also a big anniversary coming up for North Korea- what would be its founder, Kim Il-sung's, 110th birthday on April 15th. That's less than a month away, do you expect more military activity and provocations out of the North between now and then?

3. Turning over to the situation in Ukraine. How much of an impact do you think Russia's invasion of Ukraine has on North Korea, AND ITS ties with Moscow?

4. And staying with the invasion of Ukraine. As far as I know, China hasn't condemned Russia for the invasion. But to prevent China's backing of Russia, the U.S. has been warning China not to provide financial assistance or military aid to Moscow.
So Mark, you know North Korea has been a close ally of China. How does North Korea take this? And what impact does the invasion have on the North's ties with Beijing?

5. Since China has taken a lot of criticizm for its, rather tacit approval of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, do you think there's a chance for Beijing to be happy for, or even secretly encourage, North Korea to conduct provocations to try and get some of the attention off Ukraine?

6. Now let's go back to Pyeongyang's military actions, Professor Kim, how do you think North Korea decides on the timing of its tests? Do you think it tends to concentrate tests into a time period when geopolitical circumstances are favorable or do you think it is more bound by what suits the North?

7. Now the North's attempts to test an ICBM have been continuing. Mark, How do you expect the world to react IF North Korea successfully tests another ICBM? And, once it does, is another nuclear bomb test also inevitable?

how far has the north gone in its icbm development?

8. And Mark, we know that much of the Biden administration's attention is focused on the situation in Ukraine, but what's going on with their diplomacy with North Korea? Lately, there doesn't seem to be any news on diplomatic talks. How would you rate the Biden administration’s handling of North Korea?

9. Finally, the Yoon Suk-yeol administration takes the reins of power in South Korea from May. How do you expect the new South Korean government to approach North Korea?

What about the North's stance? How do you think it will approach the new Yoon administration? Do you think the North will have a hardline approach?

I'm afraid we will have to wrap up our discussion at this point, Thank you so much for making time for us Mark and Professor Kim, we appreciate your insights.
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