When the world has better things to worry about, North Korea gets annoyed.
In fact, it could be said that the dainty despot of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, is like a high-maintenance significant other in that way; always attempting to make himself the main character of everyone else’s story.
Such is the case again this week, as the world’s attention has been turned toward eastern Europe and Kim begins to seek more global attention.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile Thursday that landed in waters just east of the Korean Peninsula, according to the South Korean government.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launch of the short-range ballistic missile from the North’s eastern coastal Wonsan area at 10:48 a.m., just hours after North Korean officials threatened “fiercer” military actions amid alleged provocations by the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.
South Korea has boosted its surveillance of North Korea amid the growing missile threat and continues to maintain a military readiness for a potential conflict, officials said.
Their rhetoric was also ramping up:
Hours before Thursday’s launch, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hue warned the recent U.S.-South Korea-Japan summit would disrupt tensions on the Korean Peninsula and leave them “more unpredictable.”
“The keener the U.S. is on the ‘bolstered offer of extended deterrence’ to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, the fiercer (North Korea’s) military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it,” Choe said. “It will pose a more serious, realistic and inevitable threat to the U.S. and its vassal forces.”
Choe added: “The U.S. will be well aware that it is gambling for which it will certainly regret.”
North Korea recently launched a volley of ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean, firing them through northern Japanese airspace and forcing citizens there to seek shelter.