Recent military tests by North Korea have raised tensions in North Asia. Pyongyang fired ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, at a lower altitude than is normally used in military exercises.
In response, the South Korea and the United States They also conducted tests in the area.
Inter-Korean escalation leads to the classic question: What are the chances of armed conflict between Pyongyang and Seoul? Two experts were interviewed R7 They do not believe that a war will break out in the near future.
Alexandre Uehara, a professor of international relations at ESPM and an expert on Asia, says that conflict between the South and the North will not benefit either country or its neighbors.
“I don’t see a chance of war happening now because there are still tensions in Northeast Asia, but I don’t see it benefiting any of the actors — not North Korea, South Korea, or Japan and Russia. There’s already a lot of stress internationally,” says Uehara.
The expert also highlights the many tensions currently taking place in Asia, such as the US, Taiwan and China, as well as Japan and Russia.
“Right now, the Northeast Asian environment, which includes North Korea, South Korea, Russia, the United States, Japan and Taiwan, is a region with a lot of volatility, geopolitically speaking. “
James Onnig, Professor of International Relations at Facamp (Faculties of Campinas), says that the region of Asia is currently experiencing the moment of greatest tension in the last seven years. The US trials are an example of a sensitive moment in the region.
“These responses remind the North Korean government that there are U.S. bases in South Korea, and once again there were, but that raised a lot of tensions,” Onnick explains.
For the Facamp internationalist, North Korean President Kim Jong-un’s actions are a way to position the country on the map of world debates.
“Usage [de Kim Jong-un] The ballistic system, the nuclear system he wants to build, is designed to guarantee the regime. That’s what he wants to do, use it as a bargaining chip.
What is North Korea’s military capability?
In September of this year, North Korea’s politicians signed a law making the country’s nuclear status irreversible. In other words, any negotiations over the end of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program are currently illegal. As a result, the decision prevents the West and even the East from talking to Kim, who is becoming more and more isolated from the world every day.
The lack of treaties with other countries also raises questions about what kind of weapons North Korea might have in its arsenal. Uehara says there is follow-up on the country’s war progress, but there is no way to tell exactly what Kim’s preferences are.
“There is tracking of North Korea’s development of both missiles and nuclear weapons, but there is no accurate information about what is being developed by the North Korean government.”
There are also doubts about the accuracy of North Korea’s missiles, but Uehara stressed: “South Korea and Japan are very urbanized countries where people are concentrated, and you don’t need much accuracy to do damage to these two.” . So even with inaccurate missiles, the damage can be quite significant.
As for Onnik, Pyongyang’s weapons are vast and potentially destructive, with the professor highlighting the long ties between the two nations as a link.
“North Korea has very destructive weapons. If she’s going to use that weapon against South Korea, I think it’s highly unlikely. Because despite this rivalry, there is the question of a unified Korean nation beyond the existence of these states”, he concludes.
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