The missile. News services have published no additional reports about the missile detected on the east coast. As a rule, when the North Koreans allow a missile to be detected, other than in a parade, they launch it. Readers should expect a launch.
Apparently South Korean National Defense Minister Kim expects a launch as a demonstration and for training. Another reason to launch is to test US missile defense capabilities, reaction times and crisis management discipline.
A missile that splashed into the ocean without starting a general war is a way for the North Koreans to back down.
Comment: Many mainstream media commentaries have disparaged the North Koreans. An excellent article in The Economist reinforces the judgment that North Korean leaders do not intend to start a general war.
NightWatch judges it is a mistake to judge Kim Jong Un by the behavior of his risk-averse father. Jong Un has taken action that not even his grandfather dared take in ending the Armistice.
He also has reversed his father’s work by ordering a resumption of construction on nuclear power plants. He surpassed his father in institutionalizing the nuclear industry, including nuclear weapons. One open-source imagery readout reported work started last month on construction of a new cooling tower at Yongbyon.
Flip comments that the leadership is irrational are belied by the care with which North Korea has managed its side of the confrontation, beyond the rhetoric.