By: L. Scala
With the tense situation in the Korean Peninsula, where North and South are divided, an age-old rivalry becomes even tenser as North Korea is everything but friendly. The country has been conducting ballistic missile tests, even though the missiles used are banned by the United Nations.
North Korea declared on the 19th of October that it successfully tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile. According to state news agency KCNA, the missile possessed, "advanced control guiding systems," which might make it more difficult to monitor. North Korea has conducted a series of weapon tests in recent weeks, claiming to have launched hypersonic and long-range missiles. The UN has prohibited the testing of these missiles and of nuclear weapons, since they can carry more potent payloads, have a greater range, and can fly quicker. Therefore, ballistic missiles are regarded as more dangerous than cruise missiles.
On the 20th of October, North Korean State media claimed that its newest missile featured unique "controlling and homing," technology that allowed it to traverse laterally. It could also do "gliding and leaping movements." The State also provided images of the missile. It was launched from the same submarine that launched an earlier missile in a 2016 test, according to the company. This missile was one of several new weapons on show last week during a defence exhibition in Pyongyang. According to reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un did not attend the test. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff announced on the 19th that one missile had been fired from the port of Sinpo, which is located in the east of North Korea and is where Pyongyang often bases its submarines.
The latest launch comes as South Korea develops its own weapons in what observers say has become a Korean peninsula arms race. Last week, Seoul hosted what is claimed to be the greatest defence display in South Korea's history. A new fighter plane, as well as guided weaponry, such as rockets, were announced. North and South Korea are officially still at war because the Korean War, which divided the peninsula and saw the US support the South, concluded with an armistice in 1953. Kim Jong-un stated last week that he does not want the conflict to erupt again. He stated that his nation must continue to build weapons for self-defence against foes, including the United States, which he accuses of hostility.