Kim Jong-un Current Affairs - 2020

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Bulletin: US approves Missile Sales to South Korea, Japan

The United State recently approved Anti-Ballistic Missile sales to South Korea and Japan. The sale is worth more than $600 million and comes in backdrop of mounting tensions with North Korea.

Key Highlights

  • Objective: to support national security and foreign policy objectives of United States (US) by assisting its key allies. This will not alter basic military balance in region and will give them capability to defend itself against a growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.
  • Reason: Recently in May second week the North Korea reportedly tested two short-range missiles which is its second launch in less than a week. Earlier in April also North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised test-firing of a new type of “tactical guided weapon“. These tests come amid halted negotiations between the United States and North Korea, which US President Donald Trump promised would put an end to North’s missile tests.
  • The US’s State Department approved sale of-
  1. 92 ‘Standard Missile-2’ (SM-2), which is world’s premier fleet-area air defense weapon and used by ships against air threats along with 12 missile guidance systems for a total cost of $313.9 million.
  2. 160 anti-air AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles and related guidance equipment to Japan for $317 million.

US and North Korea

In February 2019 second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was held in Vietnam. It ended with a deadlock, when US side refused North Korea’s demands of easing sanctions until Pyongyang takes major steps to end its nuclear program.

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North Korea fires few Short-Range Projectiles into Sea of Japan

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) fired several short range projectiles into Sea of Japan under the command of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

About Missile Test

  • Objective: The purpose of drill was to test operating ability and accuracy of multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons and also to increase country’s combat ability.
  • This could be North Korea first short range missile launch after more than a year since it is in talk with US for nuclear disarmament.
  • Pressure tactics of test: The attempt seeks to put pressure on US in aftermath of deadlocked nuclear talks between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in their second meeting held at Vietnam.
  • Although country has gained few tangible economic benefits from two summit meetings, but Kim Jong-un is now returning to strategy followed by his father and grandfather who have long track record of promising changes and then snatching them away.
  • Importance for US: As US heads into 2020 presidential election, this move by North Korea may threaten signature diplomatic initiative by President Trump depriving him of opportunity to declare that he brought peace with Island Nation (which his predecessors failed). But, in reality peace never got very far as even suspension of all nuclear and missile testing hangs in balance.
  • As per USA’s intelligence agencies report to Congress, North Korea in 2018 produced more nuclear material and fabricating an unknown quantity of it into new weapons.

Geographic Facts: Sea of Japan

  • The usage of term “Sea of Japan” as dominant name is a disputed issue. South Korea wants its name to be “East Sea” and North Korea prefers “East Sea of Korea”.
  • It is a marginal sea located between Japan, Korean Peninsula and Russia.
  • It is connected to other seas by five straits namely Strait of Tartary, La Perouse Strait, Tsugaru Strait, Kanmon Strait and Korea Strait.
  • Japanese archipelago separates Sea of Japan from Pacific Ocean. It has almost no tides and less salinity due to its nearly complete enclosure from Pacific Ocean.

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