The annual joint maneuvers between the United States and South Korea are set to happen in a few weeks.
Once again, just as he seems to do every year around this time, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is firing ballistic missiles in an obvious protest to the military exercises.
The Yearly Protest
Kim Jong Un believes the maneuvers taking place so close to North Korea is extremely aggressive on the part of both South Korea and the United States.
That is far from the case, though. These maneuvers have been conducted for years.
They are used as a readiness tool in case anything happens with North Korea, but they are in no way meant to taunt North Korea into a conflict.
As a matter of fact, Trump has even scaled down the operation in recent years to pacify Kim, to no avail.
The Missile Launch
The first set of missiles were fired about a week ago. North Korea launched two ballistic missiles, the furthest one traveling a little more than 425 miles.
This week, on Wednesday, Kim launched two more missiles. Again, these were short-range missiles, traveling only about 155 miles before they harmlessly splashed down in the Sea of Japan.
Japan also confirmed there were no security alerts regarding the launching of the missiles.
North Korea has now stated the launchings were a “solemn warning” to South Korea for the upcoming maneuvers.
These launches were the first such launches since President Trump’s now-infamous meeting with Kim at the DMZ. This appears to be nothing more than foot-stomping by Kim at this point, but it is something to keep an eye on.
It is a fairly reasonable assumption that while the exercises are being conducted, North Korea will continue to conduct missile “testing” to show its displeasure over what it deems to be war-readiness exercises.