The leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un has claimed that the country is close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. This follows on from extensive testing of missile technology in the country last year. Although many experts claim that North Korea is several years away from actually possessing the technology to launch such a missile, the secretive country has put huge efforts in to refining the technology, which it has openly threatened many countries, including the US with.
It is this constant testing that has caused the country to be placed under UN sanctions. The country has ignored repeated warnings over its tests of military weapons over the years. Their constant provocation has caused outrage around the world, not least of all from their neighbours South Korea, who have faced some of the more significant threats from their neighbours.
In his new years address the leader stated “Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage,”. This was responded to by the US state department, who in a release on Sunday called on North Korea to stop its provocative actions that threaten peace and stability. They also called on them to join in with international obligations and return to talks.
How the countries actions will change with a change in US leadership is unknown. North Korea will be a particularly sensitive subject, and the world will wait with baited breath to hear President elect Donald Trump’s views on the regime and their testing of nuclear weapons. It is understood that Pyongyang will watch on with great interest, as they will want to see what sort of relationship Trump proposes. Though if recent dealings with Vladimir Putin are anything to go by then they may not go so well.
Currently the US and South Korea have a very strong military partnership, which is said to anger the North. The exercises that are carried out close to the secretive country have been a cause of ire in the country for years, and are seen as a direct challenge to the North. This good relationship is unlikely to change under Trump and as such the US will continue to be viewed as an enemy to North Korea. It is hard to see any way in which the relations between the countries can be significantly improved if the North continues to flout international law and test weapons.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.