NKorea Confirms Ballistic Missile Test Launch

NKorea Confirms Ballistic Missile Test Launch
Image copyright: Chung Sung-Jun/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • North Korea's state media has confirmed that Pyongyang fired a tactical ballistic missile on Friday to test a new autonomous navigation system. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test launch.

  • Previously, South Korea's joint chiefs of staff had reported that Pyongyang had test-fired what it claimed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Though Kim may seem like an irrational actor, he's simply using the only leverage he has in dealing with South Korea and the US. His nuclear ambitions are designed to seek political gains and sanctions relief after successive American administrations derailed diplomatic routes to denuclearization.

Pro-establishment narrative

As much as North Korea wishes to flex its military potential and threaten war with bombastic rhetoric, it would be best for Pyongyang not to push this too far. Its current rate of military drills will be near-impossible to sustain, and the North is well known to suffer extreme economic hardship.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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