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