“QUIET” NORTH KOREA has tested another missile to celebrate the anniversary of its survival of its invasion of South Korea. Based on the range, it was probably a SCUD, which makes the test a violation of UNSCR 1695, 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, in case you’re keeping track. According to Yonhap:
Saturday’s firing is the 15th rocket launch, and the sixth ballistic missile launch, by the North this year, which the international community condemned as a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
I think Yonhap meant to say that this is the 15th missile launch; after all, North Korea has probably fired at least 100 artillery rockets.* His Porcine Majesty was present to oversee the festivities in person. Knowing that our current Secretary of State can be a bit hard of hearing, he spoke in our direction:
“He examined a firing plan mapped out in consideration of the present location of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces’ bases in South Korea and under the simulated conditions of the battle to strike and destroy them before guiding the drill,” the KCNA said in an English dispatch.
North Korea routinely test-fires missiles, artillery and rockets, but the number of weapons tests it has conducted this year is much higher than previous years. Outside analysts say this indicates that North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, is handling things differently than his late father, Kim Jong Il, who sparingly used longer-range missile and nuclear tests as negotiating cards with the outside world to win concessions.
I suspect John Kerry already regrets his characterization of North Korea as “quiet.”
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* Correction, July 28: An earlier version of this post stated that “North Korea has fired well over 100 of its 300-millimeter rockets.” While crunching the numbers on this, I realized that not all of these rockets were necessarily of the new 300-millimeter type, and that some of the artillery fired in the big barrage of July 14th was old-fashioned tube artillery. I suppose now you’re going to want to see the numbers crunched. The dates are hyperlinked to my sources.
- 2/21 4 300-mm rockets
- 2/27 4 SCUD missiles
- 3/3 2 SCUD missiles
- 3/4 4 300-mm rockets
- 3/16 25 FROG rockets
- 3/23 46 FROG rockets
- 3/25 2 Nodong medium-range missiles
- 6/26 3 300-mm rockets
- 6/29 2 SCUD missile
- 7/2 2 300-mm rockets
- 7/3 2 300-mm rockets
- 7/8 2 SCUD missile**
- 7/13 2 SCUD missile
- 7/14 >100 Rockets and artillery
- 7/27 1 SCUD missile
** According to this N.Y. Times report, “North Korea has conducted 13 rocket and missile tests this year, launching a total of 90 projectiles, most of them fired from sites on the country’s east coast. Ten of those missiles were ballistic, including two Rodong missiles that were fired from Sukchon, north of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on March 26 and flew 403 miles across the country before landing in waters off the east coast.”