An expert on North Korea says South Korea should be concerned about the short-range missile tests conducted by the North last week.
North Korea officials say that latest missile test was intended to be a "solemn warning" to South Korea over its plans to hold military exercises with the United States. The message from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was directed to "South Korean military warmongers" and came as U.S. and North Korean officials attempt to set up new talks after a recent meeting on the North-South border between Kim and President Donald Trump seemed to provide a breakthrough in stalled nuclear negotiations.
Asian policy analyst Gordon Chang weighed in on the situation during an interview on Fox News.
"The missiles that North Korea fired are considered to be first-strike weapons, so clearly South Korea has got to be concerned," Chang stated. "Also, these tests – although they're short-range – [are] violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, as were the missiles that were fired off in May by North Korea."
Chang says clearly the North thinks it can escalate without cost – "and until we start enforcing those resolutions, [they] will be right," he adds.
And Kim is definitely wanting relief from U.S. sanctions, the analyst adds. "Even though we are not going full bore on them, [the sanctions] still are hurting the North Korean regime," he continues.
"… Our theory is if we don't go full bore, at least the North Koreans will maybe talk to us. But unfortunately, the working-level talks that Kim Jong Un promised at that end-of-June summit … haven't started yet; and you know we're really much farther behind than we thought we would be."
Chang is author of Losing South Korea.