A Japanese TV broadcast on North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un on Nov. 3. Photo: Richard A. Brooks/AFP via Getty Images
North Korea’s military fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea on Thursday and warned of a “fiercer” response to U.S. efforts to bolster defense ties with South Korea and Japan.
Driving the news: The warning was in response to President Biden’s trilateral meeting last week in Cambodia with leaders of South Korea and Japan, whereafter a joint statement pledging deeper ties and condemning Pyongyang for its recent missile tests was issued.
Details: North Korea’s latest missile was fired from the Wonsan area on the country’s east coast and landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to officials from those countries.
What they’re saying: The North Korean “military counteraction will be more violent in direct proportion” to threats posted in the region by the U.S. and its allies, said Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.
“The United States will realize that it is taking a gamble it will regret for sure.”The big picture: North Korean officials have ramped up their rhetoric in recent weeks as the U.S. doubled down on its support for its allies in the region, saying their launches were “simulating” attacks on South Korean and U.S. targets in response to the two countries’ joint drills last month.
What we’re watching: As tensions escalate on the Korean peninsula, Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul, told Al Jazeera that at some point, Pyongyang’s ally Beijing would probably intervene.
“Beijing may not immediately become more cooperative in dealing with North Korea, even after the Kim regime conducts another nuclear test,” he said.“But at some point, Chinese interests will prefer exerting pressure on Pyongyang rather than face a more strategically united U.S., South Korea and Japan.” » …