December 07, 2023

More ‘juvenile behavior’ from Pyongyang?

NK-02 missiles in focus

The DPRK on Sunday announced five new ‘no sail zones’ on both its east and west coast, raising concerns in the South that Pyongyang may be gearing up for more short-range ballistic missile tests.

North Korea’s last round of short-range missile launches in October were passed off by many observers as evidence of Pyongyang’s ‘two-track’ strategy of asserting strength whilst trying to bring the Obama administration back to the negotiating table on the nuclear issue.  So was last week’s artillery barrage near the ROK border.  References to bargaining chips, double standards and even‘the juvenile behavior of a teenager’ continue to pepper analysis of most North Korean belligerency.   As North-South relations warm with talk of a possible summit between Kim Jong-Il and President Lee Myung-bak, any tests in the next few days will no doubt also be explained in similar terms.  However, should we accept this conventional wisdom…