On Sunday, the North Korean government launched eight ballistic missiles as the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, tries to establish the country as a global military force with nuclear capabilities.
The New York Post reported that South Korean military sources confirmed that the North Korean military launched the missiles over a span of 35 minutes near the capital city of South Korea, Pyongyang.
These missile launches are North Korea’s latest provocation of the international community and is the 18th round of missile tests conducted by the reclusive communist nation so far in 2022. This round of missile tests came just one day after the South Korean military conducted a naval drill in the Philippine Sea alongside the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.
Reportedly, North Korean leadership is preparing a nuclear test site in the town of Punggye-Ri as it plans to launch its first nuclear weapons test since 2017. Since 2006, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests.
Kim Jong Un has sought to make a global statement about the North’s military capabilities as it pushes to develop weapons that could potentially reach the U.S. mainland.
Nuclear disarmament discussions between the U.S. and the North stalled out over sanctions pursued against the North in 2019. Some experts believe that Kim’s strategy is to increase his military might so that his country may be able to negotiate from a position of strength on the international stage.
Recently, the U.S. pushed the United Nations Security Council to place further sanctions on North Korea to attempt and quell rising tensions over the North’s continued missile testing. This sanction package was vetoed by Russia and China.
The package vetoed by the two countries would have imposed sanctions on North Korea for its continued launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be used to carry nuclear weapons.
After vetoing the measure, Chinese and Russian representatives said that the countries oppose implementing any further restrictions on North Korea and stressed the need for more dialogues to be held between North Korean and American leadership.
The last sanctions resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council in December of 2017 emphasized collaboration from member states as they committed to implementing further restrictions on petroleum exports to North Korea in response to the country’s continued ballistic missile tests. At this time, it was believed that North Korea’s missiles had intercontinental range.