A new report from the South Korean military said that North Korea is preparing to launch a ballistic missile from a submarine off its eastern coastal city of Sinpo, possibly at the same time Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting South Korea next week.
South Korean news agencies said that Sinpo has facilities for production, development and testing of SLBMs, so it’s possible for the North Koreans to use that site for a launch.
It is also possible that the test will be a nuclear one, which would be the first since 2017. If it is just a ballistic missile test, it would be one of many that North Korea has conducted in recent months.
South Korea has been ordered to be ready to respond to any action or provocation against it by North Korea, according to defense minister Lee Jong Sup.
North Korea could be responding to the entrance of the Ronald Reagan to South Korea on Friday, and to the first joint exercises in almost five years between the U.S. and South Korea.
Joint naval exercises have been viewed as threatening by North Korea in the past, and the missile launch could be an attempt to show strength.
A senior U.S. official told the South Korean press that it is possible North Korea will conduct a nuclear test while Vice President Kamala Harris visits South Korea and Japan next week.
Canada has also been warned to be on high alert for North Korean actions in its vicinity.
Relations between the U.S. and North Korea have cooled somewhat since President Donald Trump left office, although North Korean President Kim Jung Un launched plenty of missile tests while Trump was in office as well.
After a time, however, the two met at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and formed an understanding that seemed to last until Biden took over.
Based on the way Biden handled his last major foreign policy situations, Afghanistan and Ukraine, we can’t be hopeful that he could handle North Korea well either.
Let’s just hope nothing else happens on Biden’s watch.