Recent Rise in Tensions with North Korea


North Korea’s newest short-range missiles, tested on May 4.

Yezzen Alrawi, Staff Writer

North Korea has had its place in news over the past few years outlining what seems like an endless rise in tensions between the Hermit Kingdom and the U.S. Recently there has yet another addition to the list of grievances.

On May 4 of this year, the North Korean military tested two more short-range missiles, a weapon reportedly capable of threatening South Korean defenses. On the outside, the missile system looks similar to other short-range missile systems from around the world, including Russia’s Iskander missile and Ukraine’s Grom-2.

This comes over a year after President Trump’s diplomatic meetings with Kim Jong Un. Trump has worked hard to develop a relationship with Kim and has been trying to discourage the country from testing new weapons and posing a threat to U.S allies. He has been working on a deal with the DPRK on their nuclear weapons systems, but obviously to no avail.

In a Tweet on the same day, President Trump said “He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” 

It seems that Kim acts independently of Trump and will continue to do work on any projects without pressure from the United States.

“A country has the right to defend itself and therefore design weapons systems that can do that but North Korea does seem like it is using their missiles to intimidate foreign adversaries,” said Emma Brown(‘19).

On the same day, United States authorities enforced the UN band on North Korea exportation of coal by seizing a North Korean 17,601-ton coal ship.

The DPRK has allegedly been evading these sanctions through a fleet of “ghost ships,” ships that have false names and identification numbers from other ships in order to avoid attention at ports. Ironically, they have also been conducting such deals through United States banks, including JP Morgan Chase.

In the report the Justice Department filed, heavy machinery was returned to North Korea using the same ships.

Though Kim is not the sole perpetrator of these recent rise in tensions. A few days later, the United States conducted a scheduled test of the Minuteman III missiles, off the coast of the Air Force base in Southern California. The Air Force is adamant on the fact that these missile tests are not in response to any world events and are simply following a schedule that has been planned for years. Despite this, any weapons test during such times has the connotation of a threat and could lead to much heavier responses.

These events have lead to heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea. President Trump is desperately trying to decelerate DPRK’s rapid militarization while avoiding being too aggressive.