third nuclear missile test this Tuesday, coming just three weeks after the totalitarian regime threatened to do so in response to a new round of United Nations condemnation and sanctions for a December missile test. Any additional sanctions will likely take weeks as well, but international pressure is building for the U.N. to investigate human rights conditions in the country, which the State Department calls “deplorable.” With a new generation of leadership both in North Korea (where Kim Jong Un’s father, Il, died in 2011) and China (where the latest party congress was held last year), the missile tests are testing the complex relationship. China is North Korea’s only significant ally in the world, and China’s foreign minister summoned the North Korean ambassador for a dressing down the same day North Korea confirmed a nuclear missile test. The United States told North Korea today to avoid “additional provocative acts,” of which North Korea promises more.North Korea conducted its
The nuclear tests have had other repercussions in the region, namely a renewed push among some politicians and policymakers in South Korea and Japan for nuclear weapons. A member of South Korea’s ruling party likened the situation to a “gangster in the neighborhood buying a brand-new machine gun” and having only a pebble for self-defense.