Is Kim Jong-Un Starting to Back Down or Getting Ready for Something Big

Is Kim Jong-Un Starting to Back Down or Getting Ready for Something Big

Many observers expected North Korea to test-fire long-range missiles on August 15th as the Hermit Kingdom celebrated the country’s liberation from Japan at the end of the Second World War (1939-1945), but so far North Korea has abstained from such a provocation.

North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong-un has reportedly decided to ‘wait a little longer’ and postpone a threatened missile launch of four Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) into waters near Guam. The North Korean leader’s decision to postpone the missile launches appears to coincide with China’s imposition of tough new UN economic sanctions. But North Korea is still expected to conduct Pukguksong-1 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) test soon from its Sinpo-class experimental submarine. Additionally, US satellites have reportedly detected the movement of transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles capable of firing Hwasong-14 (KN20) Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and Hwasong-12 (KN17) IRBMs. There are reports that Kim Jong-un has stopped from making public appearances as he did twice before the two test launches of Hwasong-14 ICBM. All of which makes some observers wonder if this is the ‘calm before the storm.’

In a related development, it was just last week that it was reported that North Korea had loaded two Stormpetrel anti-ship cruise missiles onto a Wonsan guided-missile patrol boat at Toejo Dong, on the country’s east coast. It is the first time since 2014 the Stormpetrel anti-ship cruise missiles have been deployed to ships. The US and South Korea are preparing to conduct joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula and surrounding waters starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, in a move to calm the tense strategic situation, South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, on Tuesday said no country should take military action on the Korean Peninsula without his government’s approval. The US is expected to reiterate its nuclear security guarantee of Japan.

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