Kim Jong Un Continues to Display Increased Military Aggression

( – North Korean posturing and rhetoric is beginning to worry some that the totalitarian state may initiate an armed conflict in the not too distant future. In a piece for the Guardian, journalist Justin McCurry argues that the tiny bellicose state is beefing up its armaments and propaganda suggesting another war could be on the horizon.

McCurry highlighted how North Korea shot off hundreds of rounds of artillery in the West Sea. The target zone was uncomfortably close to South Korean islands near the officially recognized maritime border between the two states. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un recently said the border wasn’t something he recognized.

Shortly thereafter North Korea claimed it was testing an underwater delivery system for nuclear weapons, which would increase the complexity and stealth with which North Korea could hit U.S. or South Korea assets in the region. North Korea also recently claimed it was testing hypersonic warheads mounted on solid-fuel ballistic missiles.

On Sunday, January 28th, North Korean media reported that Kim was observing the test of a new cruise missile being launched from a submarine. Late last November North Korea claimed it had successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit and was able to use it to observe American and South Korean positions, including the White House. No pictures from the device have been released, so the claims are certainly suspect.

Kim’s rhetoric has also taken an inflammatory turn. During an annual speech to government representatives, Kim said reunification with South Korea was no longer an option or guiding principle and removed agencies associated with the task. Monuments to the idea were also taken down in North Korea, and Kim suggested the only way it would work is if they were conquered.

Former officials with the U.S. State Department also warned that Kim may be willing to incite a war. Siegfried Hecker and Robert Carlin shared their analysis earlier in January wherein they expressed their belief that an armed conflict was coming and that the Biden administration shouldn’t dismiss this behavior as standard North Korean posturing.

Hecker and Carlin believe we’re closer to a possible war with North Korea now more than any time since the last Korean War in the mid-20th century.

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