North Korea Fires Suspected Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Photo: Al Jazeera

The Facts

  • On Thursday, North Korea fired a presumed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that malfunctioned in mid-flight, forcing the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts in the northern and central regions of the country.

  • Thursday's launch came a day after Pyongyang fired more than 20 missiles, the most on a single day. It was also the first time one of their missiles landed in the disputed maritime zone, called the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which prompted Seoul to respond with warplanes firing three air-to-ground missiles.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

When Washington was truly committed to de-escalating tensions with North Korea, Pyongyang responded positively, halting missile tests and demolishing several testing sites. This changed when the US began to increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, posing an existential threat to the DPRK. Carrying out provocative drills will only escalate tensions.

Pro-establishment narrative

Seoul and Washington have demonstrated goodwill toward Pyongyang in the hopes of creating an environment conducive to disarmament talks for four years. However, as North Korea has failed to make good on its promises — resuming its missile tests and further developing its nuclear program — a posture shift is necessary for the South and its allies to prepare for an attack from the North.

Nerd narrative

There's a 17% chance that North Korea and South Korea will be recognized as a single sovereign state by 2045, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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