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Expert's insights on N. Korea's ballistic missile launches Updated: 2022-05-25 10:22:04 KST

Now let's get an expert's take on North Korea's latest provocation, namely the firing Wednesday morning of three ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
We are joined by Professor Kim Young-jun from the National Security Collage at the Korea National Defense University.

Firstly, Professor Kim, considering there has been speculation about a possible nuclear test and President Biden was already halfway back to the U.S., were you surprised at the type and timing of this morning's provocation?

It's often said North Korea uses these provocations as a means to leverage its way into talks or to protest some perceived slight against the regime. We can't see into Kim Jong-un's mind, but why do you think the North launched these missiles? Purely to test to them? To pressure the new administration in the South or a mixture of those and other factors?

Do you think North Korea - as many people fear - will conduct a nuclear bomb test in the near future? And if so, do you assume it'll be significantly more powerful than the regime's previous one in 2017 and how would you expect the international community to react?

Finally, do you think these missile launches symbolize a bigger problem, namely that diplomatic efforts with the North are essentially dead in the water after years of little to no progress?

Thanks, Professor Kim. We appreciate you coming on and providing your insights. Goodbye.
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