On May 25th, 2022, North Korea had a nuclear test in the Japanese sea. This act could be seen as a provocation to Japan except that Joe Biden was visiting Tokyo for a diplomacy meeting with the chiefs of the Japanese government. China and Russia are North Korea’s most important economic partners, and the North Korean delegation at the United Nations is one of the few countries that didn’t vote in favor of the economic sanctions against the Russian federation during these last months.
Is it possible that Kim saw the possibility of a military alliance with Russia and China in order to be able to gain visibility and importance in a hypothetical Moscow–Beijing–Pyongyang axis?
Everything we know is that Seoul warned Tokyo and Washington DC, detecting with their radars the launches from the Korean coast. Of course, Japan was really concerned about this situation, and Nobuo Kishi, Japanese minister of defense, officially declared to the press that Tokyo saw these tests as a clear provocation, not specifying if the “provocation” was in their eyes against Japan, the President of the United States or both of the subjects.
As everyone knows, Joe Biden is one of Putin most powerful archenemies and choosing the day of
The visit of Biden to Tokyo for these tests cannot be seen as a non-calculated scenario by the experts.
It is not likely that president Kim Jong Un believe that the North Korean army is ready to sustain a war.
Even if the if the government regularly organises nuclear tests in order to show the potential of North Korea’s military power, it’s not news that the country is very poor and the great majority of the population is struggling to make it to the end of the month.
Many people cannot afford to eat two meals per day, and a lavish lunch for the vast majority of the population consists of a plate of rice.
It is impossible to believe that Kim Jong Un is not informed about these situations and, consequently, it is very unlikely to believe that he considers the country ready to sustain a potential world war against the West.
Moreover, even if tensions between many countries and North Korea were not uncommon in recent years, North Korea never declared war against any other country, neither South Korea nor other countries like Myanmar or Vietnam, which are poor countries too in terms of quality of life and could be easy targets for a state with an army like the one shown by North Korea in their tests and public parades.
So what is President Kim’s game?
It is much more likely that this behavior shown by President Kim is just a game of parts in order to show Putin that he is ready to help him in his plans to conquer in order to be accepted to a potential negotiating table for a partition of power areas. President Kim Jong Un, President Xi Jinping, and President Putin himself share a multicentric vision of the future of power.
So are these tests just a flash in the pan?
Only time will tell the truth, but it is factual that North Korea, despite the military parades and nuclear tests, has never started a war in the past. We are still talking about missiles launched into the Japanese sea, but we can be quite optimistic about the hope that President Kim Jong Un won’t lead his country into a war it cannot sustain.
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