North Korea: Still Launching Missiles

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before — North Korea has test-launched two missiles yesterday(Tuesday).

It’s the fourth test the country has carried out in the past two weeks. A North Korean spokesperson says the launches are in response to military exercises the U.S. and South Korea have been carrying out — which Pyongyang sees as an invasion rehearsal. Those exercises are largely computer simulations.

These were more short-range projectiles capable of striking South Korea or possibly Japan. North Korea says it’s still committed to dialogue with the U.S., but that its stance could change if the Pentagon continues what it sees as an aggressive military stance. (CBS News)

Meanwhile, the U.N. says the North Korea is paying for these missile launches through cyberattacks on banks and other financial institutions. Sources estimate that Pyongyang may have generated as much as $2 billion for its weapons program. (NBC News)

Hot Takes:

  • Some diplomacy experts think that Trump‘s lack of condemnation or action has given North Korea breathing room to conduct these tests.
  • Kim Jong-un figured out that all you have to do is say a few flattering things about Trump and you’ll get whatever you want.
  • North Korea has tested any longer-range missiles since Trump thawed the relationship with North Korea. That’s a big step in the right direction.
  • Apparently economic sanctions aren’t going to be the answer. We have to get tough on these cyberattacks.