By: Zack Duvall
North Korea once again initiated tensions in the Korean Penisula- Japan region with an early Monday morning launch of four missiles from the Tong Cheng-ri region of North Korea, on the border with China, into the Sea of Japan.
This newest provocation by North Korea has garnered harsh criticism from Japanese and South Korean government officials and comes just days after the conclusion of joint annual U.S.- South Korean military exercises aimed at training local military units to fight against a theoretical invasion from the north.
“The launches are clearly a violation of (UN) Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action.” Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told a gathering of the Japanese parliament to discuss the matter.
South Korean officials were just as critical of the North’s actions, with acting South Korean president Hwang Kyo-ahn calling the launch “a direct challenge to the international community” and saying that, despite vehement opposition from China, South Korea was set to move forward with the development and installation of a U.S. backed missile defense system.
Experts on the tensions between North Korea and regional powers say that this launch is nothing new for the isolated regime, and that the missiles launched Monday morning were probably not ICBMs, but another variation of missile already deployed by the North.
“It sounds like a field exercise involving deployed missiles, probably ones we’ve seen before.” Joshua Pollack, the editor of U.S. based Non- Proliferation Review said of the launch.
The Trump administration has already been working on and developing a strategy for dealing with the recent uptick in provocative rhetoric and actions from the struggling dictatorship. The New York Times, reported that possible options on the table include a potential strike on various launch sites across North Korea, a report that has not been confirmed by any member of the White House or administration officially yet.
The U.S. military did detect the launch and identified that the launch did originate within North Korea. U.S. officials monitored the launch to ensure the missiles poised no threat to the U.S. mainland or North American hemisphere.
No official statement yet from the White House on new U.S. action as a result of the newest aggression from North Korea.