Not even 72 hours after President Biden departed from the Quad conferences and Indo-Pacific meetings, North Korea is back to rattling its saber. With three more ballistic missiles being lobbed into the ocean on May 25th, the tiny hermit nation proved just how weakened they have become.
With their first bouts with COVID underway and the death of the many who got Kim Jong-Un ready to become the leader of North Korea, many would expect they have bigger fish to fry. To Kim, this is how he gets those fish ready. Since he has been unwilling to change his stance on developing nuclear weapons, they have been stuck under sanctions of varying degrees for years now.
As the U.S. and South Korea agreed to expand joint exercises to advance their posturing against North Korea during Biden’s visit, Kim found himself in a position where everyone was already to attack if anything seemed like a provocation. Taking things lightly and being diplomatic as Biden visited was the only solution for Kim, a far departure from the fearless leader he and his state-run media attempt to portray him as.
Marking the 17th round of missile testing in 2022, they have been on an extended rush with their weapons testing. As they believe they are getting closer to achieving more modern weapons, they believe that it will help bring countries opposed to their nuclearization to the table to remove the sanctions. Unfortunately for Kim, things don’t work that way, and he is, instead, only building up for how rough his departure could be.
For his part, while visiting South Korea, Biden sounded like he had some of the infamous Trump swagger. Telling reporters “We are prepared for anything North Korea does,” he painted the picture of a confident leader. Pressed for a message to the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un, Biden simply said “Hello. Period.” This kind of bravado and swagger is something he has lacked for the majority of the last 20 years.
While he did nothing groundbreaking with this newfound confidence, Biden provided Kim with enough gumption to keep him at bay. Trump was able to get him to sit down and talk a bit, thus making for a better relationship. However, it didn’t amount to much before he left office, and with Kim increasing his rhetoric since Biden took over as President, it seemed like Kim would have pushed his message harder with him closer.
No matter if this is a sign that Biden can scare Kim, or if Kim is proving to be weaker than previously estimated, it makes little difference. It’s still a good sign to see the hermit kingdom being quiet when the leader of the free world shows up. We are also proving that we can keep up with this kind of quick intelligence shift.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price spoke with reporters in DC shortly before the newest test. “Our concern for another potential provocation, be it an ICBM launch, be a potential seventh nuclear weapons test, our concern has not abated in any way.”
Biden has had a track record of walking away from a staredown and going right back to being a lame duck, this time his people are showing the resolve that has been missing. While he’s still a liberal moron at heart, and he can’t even read a teleprompter correctly, he can still scare the spoiled infant of leaders across the globe.