North Korea: Missile Launches Were Nuclear Attack Simulations

    North Korea: Missile Launches Were Nuclear Attack Simulations
    Last updated Oct 10, 2022
    Image credit: abc


    • North Korea's state media reported on Monday that recent missile tests simulated the use of "tactical" nuclear weapons against potential South Korean and US targets to "check and improve" its military deterrence, in response to US-South Korea joint naval exercises in the region.[1]
    • Pyongyang claims that the seven barrages of missiles recently launched were short-range weapons designed to carry tactical nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield, and that they successfully simulated hitting South Korea's military bases, ports, and airports.[2]
    • Kim Jong-un supervised all the tests, which reportedly included the firing of a ballistic missile under an inland reservoir in the northeast, a new ground-to-ground ballistic missile that flew over Japan, and other ballistic missiles designed to hit South Korea.[3]
    • So far this year, the North has test-fired more than 40 missiles and adopted a new law allowing the preemptive use of its bombs under certain circumstances. This comes amid growing international concern that the country may be about to conduct its first nuclear test in five years.[4]
    • On Sunday, the US National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, said that Washington remains open to nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang "without preconditions," but is working closely with South Korea and Japan to prepare for future North Korean provocation.[5]
    • Since Kim declared the North an "irreversible" nuclear power last month, Japan, South Korea and the US have expanded their joint naval exercises, which Pyongyang sees as rehearsals for invasion.[6]


    Republican narrative

    You can’t blame Kim Jong-un for flexing North Korea’s military muscle when Biden is recklessly saber-rattling with Taiwan and China. How does Kim know the US won't also team up with South Korea to invade the North? Trump's relationship with and policies towards North Korea maintained stability in the Korean Peninsula.

    Democratic narrative

    Kim Jong-un's geopolitical actions have been erratic, and his missile launches are destabilizing the Peninsula. Instead of provoking a confrontation, the leader should take the Biden administration up on its offer to meet without preconditions, and settle any of his grievances peacefully. Biden is showing strength and prudence in the region.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The US has threatened to nuke North Korea, which has the right to defend itself. The US should stop playing "GloboCop" and prioritize solving its domestic problems.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 33% chance that there will be at least one fatality from an offensive nuclear detonation in North Korea by 2050, if there's an offensive detonation anywhere, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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