Silence will not bring peaceNorth Korea continues to break inter-Korea agreements and international rules by shooting off short-range projectiles. On Sunday, it fired two projectiles into the East Sea in violation of the Sept. 19, 2018 inter-Korea ceasefire agreement and UN Security Council resolutions. It took place only two days after President Moon Jae-in mentioned that there have been “no military clashes since the inter-Korea military agreement” at a memorial for soldiers killed in the West Sea by North Korean attacks a decade ago. The projectiles flew a distance of around 230 kilometers (143 miles). They are believed to be a North Korean version of surface-to-surface army tactical missiles. North Korea has tested similar projectiles four times this month.
The provocations came as the entire world is battling the coronavirus outbreak. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended last week’s launch. The projectiles have become perfected both in launch intervals and travel. If they are used for an actual attack, Korean defense protections through Patriot missiles and Thaad antimissile batteries may not be sufficient. North Korea’s provocations with short-range missiles pose a serious threat to our security.
However, the Moon Jae-in administration remains understanding and relaxed. The Blue House commented that it was “closely watching the situation.” If Seoul does not speak up in fear of ruining the chance of another inter-Korean summit or a visit to Seoul by Kim, Pyongyang will only ratchet up its threats.
Many believe that North Korea’s military saber-rattling is aimed at Washington. It hopes to show off its advanced missile technology to pressure U.S. President Donald Trump to agree to a deal before the presidential election later in the year. If Seoul stays mum over the North’s short-range missile provocations, it could be overlooked in future Washington-Pyongyang negotiations.
Moon must issue a stern warning every time North Korea makes a provocation and come up with measures through the National Security Council. Silence will not bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.