On Thursday, as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for security summits, North Korea launched what it said was a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) — its first long-range test in more than four years.
According to analysts, the recent spate of North Korean missile tests suggest the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is attempting to show an increasingly turbulent world that Pyongyang remains a player in the struggle for power and influence.
“North Korea refuses to be ignored and may be trying to take advantage of global preoccupation with the war in Ukraine to force a fait accompli on its status as a nuclear weapons state,” Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, told CNN.
“North Korea is nowhere near initiating aggression on the scale of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But Pyongyang’s ambitions likewise exceed self-defense as it wants to overturn the postwar security order in Asia.”