ABU DHABI, 30th August, 2017 (WAM) -- A UAE daily has said that North Korea has been testing missiles regularly for the past few years, and every time it does so there is immediate international reaction, threat of sanctions and a cautious approach to the country.
In an editorial today, a local English language daily, Gulf News, said, "But the launch of the latest Hwasong-12 intermediate ballistic missile was probably designed to cause mayhem and drive a wedge between North Korea’s neighbours. This time, the missile was not aimed at US territory, but over Japan and the Pacific Ocean.
The paper continued, "Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it 'an unprecedented, grave and serious threat'. Abe wants to beef up Japan’s military capabilities, and missile launches like this provide ammunition for his controversial cause. South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in, who has promoted engagement with Pyongyang, denounced the launch and sent his fighter jets to drop bombs on a shooting range near the border with North Korea. The reactions forced Beijing to call on all sides to take a step back and push for talks between North Korea and the United States.
"North Korea had fired missiles over Japan in 1998 and 2009, although it described them as satellite launch vehicles. It also shot missiles close to the southern island chain of Okinawa last year. But the latest launch was designed for military purposes and raises the stakes in the Far East.
"North Korea first displayed the Hwasong-12 missile at a military parade in the capital, Pyongyang, in April. It is an intermediate range missile that can theoretically travel 3,000 miles (4,828km). But it was only in mid-May that it was successfully fired. When it was launched, it went almost straight up so it would splash down in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
"Kim had then declared that it made the country 'an invincible socialist fortress, which any formidable enemy cannot dare to provoke'. The Hwasong-12 was considered a precursor to an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching the United States mainland, and North Korea launched that longer-range missile, which it called the Hwasong-14, twice last month.
"Korea may be testing missiles at will, but what it does not realise is that patience among its neighbours and other countries like the US may be wearing thin. In international politics, testing missiles and testing patience do not go hand in hand. And the sooner Kim realises this, the better it will be for him and North Korea," concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily.