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Ballistic Missiles And Rising Tensions On The Korean Peninsula

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The Korean peninsula has been termed as one of the most volatile areas on the surface of the earth right now. The rivalry between North and South Korea and the growing tensions among their Allies who have vested interests in the region are all deeply warned about the dire consequences of the nuclear arms race in the region. The recent ballistic missiles fired by North and South Korea have raised alarms all over the world. 

With the ongoing tensions between North Korea and the US, the US has termed the former state as a “rogue state” alongside Iran. This is under the pretext of accusations regarding covert nuclear programs in these two countries which the US finds as a “threat to regional and global security”. Although much has been said and done to resolve this conflict a lot of countries are playing their role to either remain an ally or a rival to one another. This makes the conflict, dangerous and lasting. 

The recent rounds of testing ballistic missiles on the Korean peninsula by both North and South parts are something to ponder over for the worked community. These are long-range ballistic missiles along with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). These are nuclear-armed weapons that have a high trajectory and can potentially harm the other side of the peninsula i.e. Either North or South, as both the counterparts has tested similar weapons.

North Korea initiated the test and the South part followed right after the first test. North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), supported the tests by saying that they “are ready to counter the US on the principle of strength for strength”.

North Korea has also fired two unidentified ballistic missiles into the waters on the far east coast of the Korean peninsula. This has raised alarms on the Southern side, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. Although North Korea claims to test the missile as the test-firing drill of a “railway-borne missile regiment”, however, they covered the distance of 800 kilometers (500 miles) with a height of 60 kilometers (37 miles). 

Such ballistic missiles being fired in the region have also compelled the old US ally Japan to be worried and raise concerns over the situation. Japan’s former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the missile testing an “outrageous and deliberate act of aggression” which is dangerous to the peace of the entire region and the continent.

The Korean region is already dealing with divided political opinions and governments that are strikingly opposite to one another. Both North and South Korea have been remained ideologically divided and have different groups of allies. South Korea is leaning towards Western democracies like the UK and the US along with Japan, while North Korea has a dictatorship that seems like a stale relic of the communist era. Thus, both countries are more or less engaged in enhancing their powers in terms of arms and armament to counter each other along with the far-off allies.

The United Nations and the world community must consider the increasing nuclear arms race despite many arms reductions and nuclear non-proliferation treaties (NPT). The human race needs to live in peace without arms rather than with the fear of nuclear war. Climate change is already a bigger threat to human survival.

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