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Several purposes cited for North Korean missile tests

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

North Korea has tested two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast. Pyongyang’s sixth round of missile tests in January have many purposes, with analysts suggesting leader Kim Jong-un is trying to influence South Korea’s upcoming presidential election and may move on to longer missiles or even nuclear testing.

Analysts suggest North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants to show his people he’s their defender, although the tests have several purposes.

Since late 2017 North Korea has not conducted a long-range missile test or a nuclear test, in the hopes of making a deal with former US President Donald Trump on sanctions relief. No deal has materialized, and leader Kim has recently indicated the moratorium on long-range missile testing and nuclear testing has expired.

The US has criticized the recent testing, while China places the blame for tensions on the US reliance on sanctions on North Korea.

South Koreans will head to the polls to elect a new president on March 9th. With North Korea conducting six rounds of missile tests in just the past month, security, military affairs, and relations between Seoul and Pyongyang are likely to figure heavily in that election.

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