North Korean Missile Crisis?
by Matt Milward
On Monday, March 31, as a retaliation to what the North Koreans deemed intimidation techniques, North Korea fired more than 500 rounds of artillery shells forcing some residents of South Korean Islands to seek shelter or evacuate. Of the 500 shells fired, around 100 of those shells fell into South Korean territory.
As a response, the South Korean military fired back; however, their intention was not to fire at North Korea, but to merely shoot into the sea according to a spokesman for North Korea. As a close ally to South Korea, the United States condemned the missile testing from North Korea.
Currently, the United States, along with Japan, are in close coordination with South Korea to refrain from actions that would threaten the regional peace, security, and stability. It is not only the South Korean allies that are concerned though; China also expressed concern over the issue.
There is speculation that this missile testing was a message to the South Korean government. Just last week, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye talked of the inevitability of the unification of the Korean peninsula. The testing seemed to be a deliberate message, as the notorious non communicative country, North Korea, faxed the South Korean navy that it would conduct live fire drills of its western coast.
The message seems to be clear, for if they really wanted, North Korea could have hit the South; instead, they fired the majority of their missiles right up to the line. In addition, these test were timed in such a way as to coincide with the U.S.- South Korean military exercises.
If North Korea were to make a move, April would be the month to do it. The month of April is a month that President Obama is scheduled to make a stop in Seoul, as well as the month that the founding father of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, was born in.
Matt Milward is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition