Anal­y­sis: North Korea’s 2nd ICBM test au­gurs a new nor­mal

West Hawaii Today - - Nation & World -

SEOUL, South Korea — For all its blus­ter and over-thetop pro­pa­ganda, North Korea of­ten does just what it says it will do when it comes to its weapons de­vel­op­ment.

So it goes with its light­ningquick push to per­fect an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile. The clear mes­sage af­ter Fri­day’s late-night test, the sec­ond in a month of a mis­sile that may be able to reach most of the U.S. main­land: Get used to this — it’s the new nor­mal.

So what ex­actly does that mean?

From the West’s point of view, it por­tends more and scarier mis­sile and nu­clear tests, each one more pow­er­ful than the last; a dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion by the North to ig­nore, as it has for decades, fi­nan­cial sanc­tions and other out­side pres­sure, in­clud­ing a slightly more force­ful clam­p­down from its big­gest en­abler, China; and an in­creas­ing like­li­hood that a de­ter­mined, unchecked North Korea will soon turn its rhetoric about be­ing ca­pa­ble of nuk­ing Amer­ica’s heart­land into a re­al­ity.

All this is meant to force the United States to ac­cept terms that Py­ongyang fa­vors: a for­mal end to the Korean War that would re­move U.S. forces from the Korean Penin­sula, weaken ties be­tween Seoul and Wash­ing­ton, and make it much more likely that the North’s ul­ti­mate dream of a Korea united un­der its rule comes true.

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