Can sanctions reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula?

(VOVWORLD) - With tensions already high on the Korean peninsula, North Korea launched yet another ballistic missile, the 7thso far this year despite sanctions.
Can sanctions reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula? - ảnh 1Source: internet

The latest missile was launched from a site 100 km from Pyongyang. The missile flew 700 kilometers and dropped into the sea between eastern North Korea and Japan. This is North Korea’s 20th missile test since 2012 when Kim Jong Un became the North Korean leader.

Decoding North Korea’s missile tests

South Korea described North Korea’s latest test as a dangerous act threatening peace on the Korean peninsula and in the world. The US convened a meeting with its allies in the region to discuss ways to deal with North Korea. The US and South Korea called on the UN and the international community to press North Korea to give up its nuclear program. South Korea’s army was put on high alert. US warships moved to the region, ratcheting up the tension.

Despite increasing pressure and threats from the US, North Korea has shown no inclination to halt the missile tests. Some observers are asking whether Pyongyang simply wants to demonstrate its nuclear capability through these tests or if it has some other motivation. The missile tests have often coincided with important events in the region. The test on Tuesday coincided with the “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in Beijing which gathered senior officials of many countries. The missile test is also seen as a test for newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has promised to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. The test took place prior to a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss increasing the pressure on North Korea.

Earlier this month China approved a UN Security Council draft resolution on North Korean sanctions. China, for the first time in many years, appears to be in agreement with the US on the North Korean issue. The US is hoping that China will use its influence to press North Korea, but North Korea’s recent missile test could be a signal that North Korea doesn’t consider itself dependent on China and will not give up its nuclear weapons program whatever international pressure is brought to bear.

Can sanctions reduce tension?

Obviously, North Korea’s missile tests have increased tension in the region and undermined efforts to denuclearize the Korea peninsula. In the last five years, the Korean peninsula has seen repeating rounds of missile tests, provocations and sanctions. So far sanctions and isolation of North Korea have been ineffectual.