May 17, 2019 12:11
The South Korean government's silence in the face of North Korea's recent missile tests amounts to condoning them, a security expert warned Thursday.
Kim Bo-mi at the institute for National Intelligence Service said in a report, "A silent response to North Korea's continued military activities is very dangerous, since it could send the wrong signal to the North that the international community condones short-range missile launches."
When the North launched an Iskander-class missile on May 4, South Korean government and military officials claimed that the weapon was by some convoluted reckoning not a missile. The U.S. and Japan, which are seeking to engage the North in dialogue, also refrained from any strongly worded condemnation.
Then a North Korean official was quoted by the official [North] Korean News Agency as claiming the international community agreed that the latest missile launch was not a "violation" of UN resolutions.
"North Korea wrongly concluded that the U.S. and Japan condoned the short-range missile launch," Kim said.
The North's launch of another Iskander-class missile the following day supports the theory. "We need to come up with firmer responses so North Korea does not get the wrong message that its provocation has been condoned," Kim added.
She said North Korea is trying "to obtain appeasement from South Korea and the U.S. while stressing its military readiness by publicizing its leader Kim Jong-un's latest visits to military bases and shooting exercises."
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