North Korea's claim of success in its ballistic missile test on a train series has drawn international condemnation this week. Its closest neighbors, South Korea and Japan, which are within the missile's range feel threatened and said the test disturbed the peaceful situation of the surrounding region.
Through a photo officially released Wednesday (15/9), the North Korean Central News Agency shows a ballistic missile launch test carried out on a train series. The location of the firing of the missile with a range of 800 kilometers is kept secret, only showing it in hilly areas.
On the same day, South Korea also tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile. This makes it the seventh country develop such a system but the first without nuclear weapons. Both Koreas are now in an increasingly heated arms race. Both of them have launched new missiles that are claimed to be superior.
But the North Korean test, although not nuclear, has drawn international criticism and concern. The United States says the test violates United Nation Security Council resolutions, and poses a threat to Pyongyang's neighbors. A series of United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibits North Korea from developing or testing ballistic missiles, though it still allows cruise missiles. Ballistic missiles are considered threatening because they can carry a larger and more powerful payload, have a longer range, and can travel faster. Pyongyang is prohibited from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons under international law. Previously, several tests that had been carried out, especially those related to the development of nuclear weapons, had been criticized by the international community and resulted in sanctions from the UN Security Council.
Problems on the Korean peninsula that continue to drag on and on should be resolved through dialogue. Both Koreas must be able to exercise restraint, by re-making a joint commitment to defuse military tensions and end the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.