North Korea Fired Several Short-Range Missiles in Weekend Drill

Kim was present to supervise launches

Details continue to emerge on the weekend North Korean missile fire. Officials now say that Kim Jong Un was present to supervise the drill, firing a series of short-range missiles off their east coast in an apparent defense drill.

This is the first such drill carried out by North Korea in over a year, as diplomatic progress in 2018 led the nation to announce an indefinite pause on such tests. The test fire comes amid recent diplomatic difficulties, and is likely intended to emphasize the North’s willingness to return to a pre-diplomacy posture.

President Trump downplayed the announcement, insisting the deal will happen either way, and that the tests just show “anything in this very interesting world is possible,” but Kim already promised a deal.

North Korea has been keen to make a deal with the US involving denuclearization and a peace deal. The US, however, has insisted on full denuclearization first, and has redefined denuclearization to include the US getting all the nuclear arms instead of them being dismantled. They’ve likewise rejected peace deals, or easing sanctions, leading North Korea to worry the US is negotiating in bad faith.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.