It’s democracies versus the totalitarian states

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It’s democracies versus the totalitarian states

North Korea has renewed missile launches in the middle of a Covid-19 outbreak. The launches are the 17th this year and the second since President Yoon Suk-yeol started office on May 10. They come in the wake of South Korea-U.S. summit talks in Seoul over the weekend. Of three missiles launched Wednesday, one is suspected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), possibly the Hwasong 17, and the two smaller ones can still reach U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan. All three can carry nuclear warheads.
Pyongyang timed the provocations before President Joe Biden arrived home from his visit to South Korea and Japan. On Wednesday, six jet fighters and bombers of China and Russia invaded and roamed around the South Korean and Japanese air defense identification zones for about two hours without prior notice. The two could have been demonstrating joint military muscle after the founding of the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Forum and summit of U.S. Japan, Australia, and India for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. North Korea may have been showing its own attitude toward the alliance of democratic nations.
President Yoon Suk-yeol convened his first emergency National Security Council meeting and commanded “real actions” of expanded deterrence capabilities and joint defense posture as agreed in the two summits. He condemned North Korea for violating the United Nations resolutions and threatening the peace of the Korean Peninsula.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that South Korean and U.S. combined forces were ready to strike against any missiles after firing Hyunmoo-11 ballistic missiles and one Army Tactical Missile System into the East Sea.
The last time the combined forces responded to a North Korean missile test was in July 2017. Under the last government and its so-called peace process in the Korean Peninsula, South Korea was generally mute to provocations. The two summits confirmed their alliance.
It is pity Pyongyang is wasting its resources on military provocations when its unvaccinated residents suffer fear and pain from lack of treatment against Covid-19. It is estimated to cost 1.2 billion to 1.3 billion won ($1 million) to fire a short-range missile. An ICBM costs 10 to 20 times more. Pyongyang is said to have completed preparations for its seventh nuclear test
The Korean government issued a statement, warning that continued provocations would encourage a stronger and faster South Korea-U.S. deterrence, and North Korea would fall deeper into isolation.  
We stand in the middle of a deepening conflict between totalitarian states and free democracies. We must take our position very seriously indeed. 
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