US and South Korea respond to North Korea’s provocations

June 7, 2022

US and South Korea respond to North Korea's provocations

US and South Korea are signaling to North Korea that they are no longer taking the high road.

On Monday, the two allies launched eight missiles in response to some provocations from Kim Jong-un and Pyongyang.

The situation in the Korean peninsula illustrates a global order that is in chaos. The world is facing soaring inflation, and gas prices are at heights not seen in a very long time.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated some of these problems. Moreover, China is waiting on the sidelines to make some moves when it comes to Taiwan.

With all these things on the agenda, the US is determined to use deterrence to slow down North Korea more than ever.

US and South Korea respond to North Korea

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has conservative inclinations and came to power last month, says his country will respond firmly to acts of aggression from the controversial neighboring country.

He adds that nothing will stop him from protecting the lives of his fellow citizens. President Yoon says the activities in North Korea threaten the stability of the peninsula and the world.

The US is discussing with other allies to find ways to stop the provocations. However, experts predict that North Korea is not ready to stop those maneuvers.

Some even say that more provocations could come from the rogue nation in the upcoming days. The regime change in South Korea is the beginning of a new era.

Mr. Yoon seems ready to take a tougher stance than his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who sought better relations with the North.

The former president was dealing with a different reality. Then-US President Donald Trump had developed a different agenda regarding North Korea, and it was not always clear that he would defend the South if attacked.

North Korea launches ballistic missiles off the east coast of the peninsula

Before the US and South Korea’s direct response to the aggression from the North, Pyongyang showed its displeasure with its neighbor. The tough approach endorsed by the new South Korean president and a visit from US President Joe Biden pushed North Korea to react.

On May 25, after Biden left South Korea, Pyongyang launched three missile tests as a show of force.

Biden and his South Korean counterpart discussed the possibility of restarting joint military drills that had stopped under Trump.

Since Yoon took power on May 10, North Korea has conducted missile testing operations on three separate occasions.

Can diplomacy prevail between North and South?

American officials say that the door is still open for an agreement on the North Korean nuclear program. However, Pyongyang is not showing much interest in negotiations at the moment.

For four years, reconciliation had seemed possible between North and South. The Supreme Leader has changed his posture regarding the neighbor, and an agreement does not appear to be in the cards right now.

Some observers say if Biden’s political fortunes change at home and he can regain momentum in the polls, he might be in a better position to negotiate.

One thing is clear, the last few weeks have shown that things could escalate quickly.

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