May 22, 2015
Among the most dangerous hotspots of the today world is the Korean Peninsula. It was as such since the Korean War, when in 1950 Communist North Korea has launched an attack on the southern part of the peninsula, Republic of Korea. The aggression was a kind of test undertaken by the Communist camp of the containment doctrine recently adopted by USA. The response of the international community at the time has been strong and in spite of the Chinese military intervention alongside North Korea’s forces in retreat the aggression was stopped. The armistice was concluded in 1953 on a line (45th parallel) which is separating both Korean countries which gradually has been transformed since then in the world most militarized frontline. The crisis in the peninsula had appeared periodically, and after the end of the Cold War North Korea built its own nuclear arsenal in spite of the fact that have signed NPT. Since the first nuclear test of North Korea ( October 2006 ) , the crisis in the peninsula had acquired a new amplitude of peril for the regional security taking into account the arsenal of rockets already possessed by that country . As we know, after gradually improving since the 70s of last century the Soviet –made ‘Scud’ rockets, North Korea test-fired in 2006 a Taepodong missile, potentially configured as satellite launcher , followed by another tests in 2009 and 2012. All three tests ended in failure, but in December 2012 North Korea has launched apparently successful a three-stage rocket and an object had been put into space. In June 2014, it seems that North Korean Communist regime has launched what is considered to be a cruise missile (weapon guided by computers on board).
The nuclear program of North Korea and the development of the rocket capabilities increased, since almost two decades, legitimate worries within the international community, especially due the secretive nature of the Communist leadership in Pyongyang. The negotiations has begun in 2003 after North Korea left Non Proliferation Treaty ( NPT ) and till 2009 there were several rounds up to 2009 when Pyongyang retreated from the “six party talks” ( USA, Japan, China , Russia, South Korea , North Korea ). The retreat was the North Korea’s answer to a UN Security Council’s resolution condemning the failed launch of the rockets in April 2009 (covered under the satellite launch, in reality being a test for ICBM Taepodong-2) in spite of the strong international pressure not to do it. .Pyongyang stated that it "will never again take part in such [six party] talks and will not be bound by any agreement reached at the talks”, expelled nuclear inspectors and informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that would resume the nuclear military program.
On May 9, 2015, North Korea announced that it had test-fired successfully a ballistic missile from a submarine. According to “The New York Times”, The North’s official News agency said that: “There took place an underwater test-fire of Korean-style powerful strategic submarine ballistic missile,” /…/the test-fire proved and confirmed that the ballistic missile fired from the submarine fully met the requirements of the latest military science and technology.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/world/asia/north-korea-says-it-test-fired-missile-from-submarine.html). Also NYT quoted an expert which stated that “North Korea’s development of a submarine-launched missile capability would eventually expand Pyongyang’s threat to South Korea, Japan and U.S. bases in East Asia, also complicating regional missile defense planning, deployment and operations, /…/ Submarines carrying land-attack missiles would be challenging to locate and track, would be mobile assets able to attack from any direction, and could operate at significant distances from the Korean peninsula.”
Experts’ analysis undertaken by the web of strategic studies ‘Stratfor’ states that: „Pyongyang is naturally secretive about its submarine-launched ballistic missile program and has carefully guarded the details of it. Because of this, post-test estimates of the program’s progress have varied. An anonymous South Korean defense official told the media that North Korea could develop a fully operational system within two to three years. U.S. officials, however, believe a fully functional system is far from completion and allege the test was not actually carried out from a submarine. Instead, they suggest it was a simulated firing to test an underwater ejection system, perhaps from a towed launch pad.” At the same time , the Stratfor’s analysis takes into account that North Korea does not have submarine able to support the launching of the ballistic missile , and conclude: „Without an adequate submarine, the resources Pyongyang is investing in new missile technology will not improve the capability of its existing land-based missile program./.../ Eventually, North Korea could develop a suitable ballistic missile submarine, but it would take several years to complete. Such a development would truly change the nuclear equation. For now, however, the successful test conducted May 9 is not going to alter North Korea’s nuclear capability.”
Nevertheless, what North Korea is doing is a clear blow to the stability and security of the North-East Asia region and creates apprehensions within the entire international community.