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Friday, 19 January 2024 17:59

Korean Peninsula is Heating Up Again

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A North korean missile test dated on Sunday (14/01/2024). (Photo: KCNA)

 

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula seem to never end. This week, relations between North and South Korea heated up again. The cause is the military activities carried out by both countries.

North Korea tested a ballistic missile equipped with a maneuverable hypersonic warhead last Sunday (14/1). According to the North Korean news agency (KCNA), Wednesday (17/1), the test aimed to verify the glide and maneuvering characteristics of a medium-range hypersonic warhead. In addition to seeing the capabilities of the newly developed high-thrust multi-stage solid fuel engine, Pyongyang claims that the tests do not affect the security of any neighboring country and have nothing to do with the regional situation.

 

Pyongyang's claims received different responses from South Korea, the United States, and Japan. The three countries agreed that North Korea's provocations were the root of instability in the region.

 

South Korea, the United States, and Japan also carried out joint naval exercises in the waters of the Korean Peninsula, following North Korea's launch of a hypersonic missile. According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Kim Myung-soo, the joint exercise was carried out from Monday (15/1) to Wednesday (17/1) and involved nine warships belonging to the three countries. These include the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the South Korean Navy destroyer equipped with the Aegis combat system, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force's Congo-class destroyer.

 

Admiral Kim Myung emphasized that the naval exercises were aimed at strengthening the three countries' deterrence and response capabilities against North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

 

The situation on the Korean Peninsula, which has always been overshadowed by conflict, has become even hotter, especially with the emergence of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's statement to close the door on reunification with South Korea and proposing to take steps to change the constitution, to redefine relations with Seoul.

 

Kim Jong-un said that if there was a war on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea could change its constitution to declare that South Korea had been conquered and was part of its territory. Meanwhile, South Korea should be considered the country's number one enemy.

 

Responding to Pyongyang's statement, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said his government was different from previous governments. He remarked that the Seoul military has extraordinary response capabilities. Yoon also emphasized that if North Korea provokes it, Seoul will punish Pyongyang many times. The verbal war has started, Kim Jong-un and Yoon Suk-yeol are threatening each other.

 

Recently, the world situation has become quite worrying due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Hamas, Iran's attacks on the ISIS group, and the Israeli Mossad spy agency in Syria and Iraq. Not to mention the mutual attacks between Iran and Pakistan regarding the Jaish al-Adl organization and militant groups, as well as attacks by the United States and Britain against the Houthis in Yemen.

 

Hopefully, this situation will not be further exacerbated by conditions on the Korean Peninsula. It is hoped that all parties can exercise restraint so that verbal warfare does not develop into armed conflict, let alone open war.

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