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ON POINT: Expert's take on implications of N. Korea's recent ICBM launch Updated: 2022-03-29 05:34:23 KST

Now it’s time for On Point, where we speak to experts to delve deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now.
At the current time, most of the world’s attention is on Russia’s war against Ukraine, understandably.
However, last Thursday, North Korea attempted to grab itself a few column inches by launching what it claimed to be a new, larger ICBM, which it calls the ‘Hwasong-17.’
Since then, South Korea and the U.S. have reportedly concluded it was - in reality - the North’s existing Hwasong-15 ICBM, not the brand-new 17.
Despite that, according to the North’s state-run media after the launch, Kim Jong-un said the North needs powerful weaponry like ICBMs and nuclear bombs to ensure the regime’s survival.
For more of this, we connect to Mark Barry, North Korea expert and Associate Editor Emeritus of the International Journal on World Peace.

Good morning, Mark.
Firstly, what is your reaction to reports North Korea was likely economical with the truth by claiming the ICBM was the Hwasong-17 when it was really an earlier iteration.
Do you believe this was the case? And if so, why lie about something that can so be easily be proven to be false?

Kim Jong-un signaled over the weekend that the regime also needs a nuclear deterrent. Does this suggest to you that a nuclear test is imminent, especially considering next month's 110th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, his grandfather and the North’s founder…

Outside South Korea and Japan, the North's launch barely reported by the international press since they are so focused on Ukraine.
Do you think the lack of attention riles Kim? And could this be an extra incentive for him to really go for some headlines with a nuclear bomb test?

Finally, you were quoted in a news article following the launch as saying the actions or inaction of former U.S. President Trump and President Biden led us to this point. Can you expand on what you think both should’ve done differently? And since Biden the one in charge now, does he need to totally overhaul how he approaches diplomacy with the North?

Mark, we are grateful for your insights. It’s always a pleasure talking to you and thanks as always for joining us.
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