Thursday brought yet another show of force from North Korea — highly specific threats towards both America and Japan and a semi-successful missile test.
North Korea’s KCNA news agency delivered the message via mass media in a chillingly to-the-point explaination:
“Let’s reduce the U.S. mainland into ashes and darkness. Let’s vent our spite with mobilization of all retaliation means which have been prepared till now.”
“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”
They followed the threats with yet another ballistic missile test. Unlike past failures, this test achieved an altitude of nearly 770 km and distance of nearly 3,700 km before crashing into the sea just off the coast of Hokkaido.
Juche and Nationalism in North Korea
In North Korea, the term, “Juche” encompasses nationalism, Marxism, and extremism. Late leader Kim Il-sung created and preached the ideology. He then passed down the tenets to Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-Il, who passed it down to his son, the current leader.
With each and every new generation, the nation’s level of extremism and nationalism appears to become more and more absurd and brazen. They claim that outside forces (like the United States) wish only to take over the country and steal their resources, suggesting that America is a threat to their safety. This occurs despite the fact that the U.S. Government regularly provides food and medical aid to the country.
As many Americans already know, neither of the recent threats are a first for North Korea. The country has a lengthy history of threats to use nuclear and non-nuclear missiles against other world entities that stretches back as far as 1970.
Prior to Thursday, North Korea made a series of increasingly provocative threats against the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, and a long list of other countries as a show of force. It wasn’t clear whether the country had nuclear weapons until September 3, when American intelligence officials confirmed the successful completion of a test.
A Warning from the Peace Committee
Thursday’s warning also came with a very specific warning from the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee: break up the Security Council. The organization claims the Security Council is little more than a “tool of evil,” monetarily funded by the American government and lacking an interest in anything but self-serving needs.
Tension across the region is rising, especially after the most troubling test carried out on September 3. Although most of North Korea’s missile technology seems prone to failure and questionable, recent successes show they are at least a minor threat. Adding nuclear capabilities into that mix makes the situation extremely volatile.
Regional tension has risen markedly since the reclusive North conducted its sixth, and by far its most powerful, nuclear test on Sept. 3, following a series of missile tests, including one that flew over Japan.
Though the U.S. Government has a tendency to discount North Korea’s abilities due to the country’s many weapon testing failures, Japanese leaders don’t share the same outlook. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke at length to media about the threats, calling them ridiculous and provocative.
“This announcement is extremely provocative and egregious. It is something that markedly heightens regional tension and is absolutely unacceptable.”
Several other Japanese leaders expressed extreme concern, especially after Thursday’s successful missile test. Although the missile in question missed the island country and hit the water off-shore, it does show that Kim Jong-un’s army has the capability and power to hit either Japan or the United States with nuclear weapons if given enough time.