[imText1]As North Korea moved some components to the launch pad on the 16th, the movement to test the Taepodong 2 Missile is becoming more visible.
Although steps such as ‘fixing the retracted area for navigation’, ‘uniting propellant’, ‘moving it to the launch pad’, and ‘fuel’ are still left undone, the missile launch has started.
The Taepodong 2 missile launch has been on hold since 1999. If the missile is launched this time, the declaration of deferrement will be broken.
Why is The Kim Jong Il Regime Showing Indications Of Missile Launch At This Time?
First, it is to change the unfavorable atmosphere surrounding North Korea.
US and Japanese policy toward North Korea is the biggest barrier that Kim Jong Il faces. The Kim Jong Il regime is cornered because of economic sanctions implemented in response to counterfeit dollars and drug trafficking. More emphasis has been put on North Korean human rights in the international community. The political atmosphere in South Korea is going in a direction that isn’t very favorable to North Korea either, and therefore Kim Jong Il is searching for a way to change the situation.
On June 1st, a spokesman of the North Korean Ministry Of Foreign Affairs invited Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State of the US, but the invitation was turned down. The spokesman has urged the US to remove the economic sanctions on 24 million dollars in BDA, claiming “We are counting the money that the US has taken away”. The US stated, when turning down the North Korean invitation, that when North Korean returns to the six party talks, bilateral talks will also be possible.
Therefore, North Korea is pressuring the US by threatening to launch the missiles. They are sending the message, “Let’s have bilateral talks when you remove the economic sanctions”.
Moreover, the weight that North Korean nuclear weapons carry is outweighed by Iranian nuclear weapons, which makes North Korea less of a concern for the US. Kim Jong Il is using the missiles to gain the attention of the US, in order to subsequently open up a conversation.
Japan has passed a bill on North Korean Human Rights, has imposed economic sanctions, as well as demanding that North Korea resolve the abductee issue. Sanctions on North Korea are becoming more visible. At the 5.31 local elections, the party pursuing soft policy toward North Korea failed miserably. At present, nothing in Japan can be seen as favorable toward Kim Jong Il.
Kim Jong Il Needs To Change The Circumstances
Second, is the necessity to fulfill the need for more internal unity. Kim Jong Il is losing the trust of his people and the idea that “money is the best” has prevailed, further weakening such unity.
Anti-socialist phenomena are noticeably increasing. People of North Korea have been showing interest in the development of capitalistic societies in the world for the last decade, and the penetration of capitalistic culture is strenthening the wind of liberation. This progession within North Korea opposes Kim Jong Il’s goals, as he has only made empty gestures of reform and openness.
Therefore, Kim Jong Il needs to change the situation. He is trying to rein in the military tension on the Korean peninsula, creating a favorable atmosphere and dominance in negotiations with the US, Japan and South Korea.
The indication of a missile launch seems to lead to the actual launch of the missile rather than cancellation. Kim Jong Il is likely to decide that the economic sanctions cause North Korea unbearable harm, and that he might be trapped in a very unfavorable situation if it does not change.