The BM-25 missile, also known as Musudan with a range of 3,000 km, is able to reach the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific, according to the South Korean new agency Yonhap.
Although Pyongyang has not confirmed the firing, the timing, selected on the birthday of late DPRK top leader Kim Il Sung, is widely believed to manifest its intrepidity against the ongoing U.S.-South Korea military drills and the latest sanctions brought by the UN Security Council resolution last month.
Solely within 100 days, the DPRK have conducted a nuclear test and a satellite launching, which was widely taken as a disguised ballistic missile test.
Pyongyang’s interpretation of the resolution as a sign of animosity is injudicious. Largely wrought by an alarming lacking of trust between the DPRK and the United States, its nuclear show of force has blatantly breached the UN resolution and betrayed the global aspiration to achieve denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula through talks.
Besides, the pertinacious show of force proved counterproductive for Pyongyang’s sake.
Firstly, these provocations have played into the meddling hands of the United States and Japan, which have long expected excuses to rock the boat in Northeast Asia by enhancing their military presence. Such prospects will severely menace the DPRK’s security and disturb the regional strategic balance.
Secondly, Pyongyang has undermined its credibility by accusing Washington and Seoul for spoiling the atmosphere of dialogue, while coming up with the tit-for-tat response that would create the same effect, fueling the already simmering peninsular situation wrought by its nuclear tests.
Last but not the least, the DPRK’s relentless muscle flexing will heighten the vicious circle of provocation and sanction. Nuclear weapons will not make Pyongyang safer. On the contrary, its costly military endeavors will keep on suffocating its economy.
The only viable solution for all parties concerned is to resume the China-proposed six-party talks so as to achieve denuclearization and replace the Korean armistice with a peace agreement. This will meet the interests of all parties including the United States and the DPRK, and by no means give rise to unequal dialogues Pyongyang fears.
Pyongyang’s claim that dialogues cannot coexist with sanctions does not hold water either, for sanctions are not the end in themselves but the means to curb the DPRK’s repeated violation of UN resolutions and bring relevant parties back to the negotiating table.
It is high time for all parties concerned to realize their due responsibilities and unlease restraint and flexbility so as to achieve denuclearization in the Peninsula at an early date. Endi