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‘No turning back’ for North Korea’s Kim after ICBM test

SpaceWar.com reports: “Emboldened by the launch of his biggest missile, Kim Jong Un is increasingly confident he’s winning North Korea’s nuclear deterrent race and will likely undertake more powerful weapons tests, analysts say.

Sanctions, military drills, and global condemnation greeted the launch of Pyongyang’s largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Thursday, but for Kim the censure is worth it.

He’s playing a defensive game, analysts say, and his weapons programmes, far from being a bargaining chip, are an end in themselves: they help guarantee the Kim regime will stay in power.

‘They cannot make it any more obvious that they consider it important for the survival of the regime,’ said Mason Richey, an associate professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, referring to the state media messaging around the launch.

From personally overseeing the test-firing to trumpeting his country’s new ‘formidable military and technical capabilities’, Kim was front and centre, making a simple point.

‘It’s a not very subtle way of saying this deterrent value is important for the country, the regime, and for Kim Jong Un personally,’ Richey said…”

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