And Seoul joined them
The DPRK in 2023 should continue to strengthen its defense potential, taking into account the "provocative situation" on the Korean Peninsula. The leader of the country, Kim Jong-un, stated this in his report on the second day of the VI plenum of the Central Committee of the Labor Party of Korea (TPK) and issued an order to increase the leadership and scientists of the defense research field in military ranks, the Voice of Korea radio reported.
In mid-December, Pyongyang reported a ground test of a solid propellant high-thrust engine with a variable thrust vector nozzle. As stated in the message of the Central Telegraph Agency of Korea (CTAC), this will create a strategic weapon of a new type. It is reported that the tests of the first reconnaissance satellite are underway, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
Nuclear missile "de fact"
If we name the main military-political faults of the outgoing year, then the SVO in the territory of the former Ukraine and the risk of conflict around Taiwan will occupy the first two lines in this conditional list. The third place will definitely be for the Korean Peninsula, and specifically for the actions and words of at least three parties involved in the long-standing and formally bilateral conflict between the North and South - Pyongyang in the north, and in the south of the peninsula - the United States and Seoul.
When US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kisida met on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh, they highlighted these three conflicts, putting relations with the DPRK first.
The confrontation on the Korean Peninsula is intensified by Seoul, which decided to call North Korea an "enemy" in a new version of the national security strategy. Pyongyang accuses Washington and Seoul of plotting to break up the regime and destroy North Korea. In January 2021, Kim Jong-un called the "main enemy" of the United States and outlined large-scale plans for the development of the North Korean military-industrial complex.
The confrontation with the center in Korea has acquired a global, strategic dimension. According to the US National Defense Strategy (NDS) and Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published this year, North Korea's nuclear attack against the US or its allies will lead to the "end" of the North Korean regime.
In response to this, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that the DPRK faced "difficulties and provocations" and Pyongyang put an end to US nuclear blackmail, ready to respond with "nuclear weapons to nuclear weapons." In support of this, the DPRK on November 18 carried out another launch of a ballistic missile, this time intercontinental.
The Hwason-17 ICBM flew about 1,000 km along a steep trajectory to an altitude of 6,000 km and fell about 200 km west of the Japanese island of Hokkaido within the exclusive economic zone of Japan. According to Japanese estimates, such a rocket can fly more than 15 thousand km. The CTAC said the trial was successful.
This launch, at the request of the United States, was discussed in the UN Security Council, which caused a response from the DPRK. The sister of North Korean leader Kim Yo Jong, who holds the post of deputy head of the department of the Central Committee of the TPK, said that "the UN Security Council has turned a blind eye to the dangerous military exercises directed against the DPRK, which are conducted by the United States and South Korea, and to strengthen their armed forces. At the same time, the application of the inviolable right to self-defense in response to [teachings] was discussed. "
Washington does not consider North Korea a nuclear power. But de facto, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, "concern remains consistently high," referring to a possible nuclear test that Pyongyang could conduct. The State Department announced its readiness for arms control negotiations.
The phrase "arms control," used in dialogue with nuclear Russia, "caused bewilderment" since the United States does not recognize North Korea as nuclear. "If they spoke to us... arms control is always a good option with the two countries agreeing to come to the negotiating table, "Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control Bonnie Jenkins told CNN. State Department spokesman Ned Price explained that there has been no change in U.S. policy.
US Special Representative for the DPRK Song Kim and Chinese Government Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming held talks via videoconference on December 8. The press service of the State Department said that the purpose of the conversation was "a discussion of an increasingly destabilizing and aimed at escalating the behavior of the DPRK." The US representative noted that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is supposedly "an important common task."
Song Kim confirmed that the United States is committed to diplomacy and is ready to meet with representatives of the DPRK "at any time." Americans know how to talk teeth and cheat in fulfilling their obligations. In particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an interview with the Big Game program on December 28, called the US position on inspections within the START Treaty "not very honest."
In the case of the DPRK, Reuters reported, citing a senior American official, that Washington would like the PRC and Russia to act on the DPRK to prevent a possible nuclear test. Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya urged the West not to speculate on the topic of nuclear testing, although he did not welcome the prospects for such actions.
The policy of the United States and the West towards Russia, China, North Korea and Iran leads, according to some observers, to the creation of a "sub-sanction cartel" of countries that can confront the United States, determining the main direction of the geopolitics of "tomorrow." For example, Renault Girard, a columnist for Le Figaro, believes, while arguing that "Russian-Chinese Eurasia is six and a half times larger than the European Union."
But it isn't the sizes, and in the coinciding interests of Russia and China. In particular, the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation planned to present the draft resolution on the DPRK to UNSC. The permanent representative of the People's Republic of China at the UN Zhang Jun said about it. It was supposed that it can improve a humanitarian situation, will create conditions for dialogue. Initiative was seized by the USA and Ireland, having pressed through on December 8 the resolution on humanitarian activity in the conditions of sanctions restrictions.
The prospects of cooperation of the DPRK and the republics of Donbass are, and they are rather extensive, - the ambassador of the Russian Federation in the DPRK says. "First, highly skilled, hardworking and ready to work in the most difficult conditions the Korean builders … Secondly, practically at all enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, transport mechanical engineering and power industry, there is an equipment made in Donbass … Thirdly, there is very wide range of goods which people's republics can exchange among themselves".
The deputy administrator of the press service of State Department Vedant Patel noted that "Russia relies upon such countries as the DPRK and Iran that creates problems". According to him, "partnership with such states", including participation of workers of the DPRK in restoration of infrastructure in the DPR and LPR, would violate UN Security Council resolutions according to which profit on foreign projects is considered as "a contribution to the nuclear missile program of the DPRK".
Russia provides to the DPRK humanitarian aid, both on a bilateral basis, and through the international organizations. In 2020 on a bilateral basis 50 thousand tons of wheat were directed. In 2020-2021 the Russian Federation allocated 7 million dollars for food aid in the area of the UN runway. Cooperation in culture and education develops. Since 2009 at the Pyongyang institute of foreign languages the "Russian center" created by Russian World Fund works. The All-republican Olympic Games on Russian among North Korean school students are held.
Confrontation on rise
The situation which developed on the Korean peninsula can pass in 2023 into a confrontation phase, - the CEO of the Russian council for the international affairs Andrei Kortunov considers. On a question of the TASS Agency whether direct confrontation on the Korean peninsula in 2023 is probable, the expert answered: "Than the situation will be more intense, than the relations between China and the USA, especially actively will be sharper and the leadership of the DPRK will offensively behave".
But Pyongyang will recognize that Russia and China won't allow the USA and their allies to accept new sanctions, using mechanisms in the UN Security Council, - Kortunov added. Now UN Security Council resolutions 2371, 2375 and 2397 work.
While the plenum of the Central Committee of TPK sat, North Korean unmanned aerial vehicles were noticed over Seoul and near the demilitarized zone. It happened on December 26. On interception planes and helicopters were lifted, but one drone reached Seoul and returned to the DPRK. UAVs could be in airspace of South Korea about seven hours. Flights were detained, the KA-1 attack plane lifted on interception crashed.
Those to whom followed didn't bring down any drone, though shot tirelessly. The head of operational staff of Committee of chiefs of headquarters of the Republic of Korea Kang Xing Chhol reported about it. "In real time for a situation the national crisis center located in the underground bunker a leading role was engaged in reaction in I am mute played management on national security", - said in presidential administration. The president of the Republic of Korea Jun Sok the Fir-tree called unacceptable invasion of drones into South Korean airspace and urged to increase fighting capacity of army.
According to A.I. Matsegor, the ambassador of the Russian Federation in the DPRK, North Korea "one of very few countries which are able to afford to pursue absolutely independent foreign policy. Nobody — neither Russia with China, nor especially the USA — can't force North Koreans to do something or not to do something". In July, 2022 the authorities of the DPRK made the decision on recognition of the DPR and LPR. North Korea became the fifth country which took this step.
It is clear, that in this situation to Moscow and Beijing is over what to think. On May 26 Russia and China blocked in the UNSC the draft resolution of the USA condemning carrying out in the DPRK on March 24 of start of the intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM). The project provided toughening of sanctions and reduction of volumes of supply of crude oil and products of oil processing. Missile launches happened against the background of the begun most large-scale exercises of the USA and South Korea for five years of Vigilant Storm to attraction about 240 planes.
Truce 70 years long
The truce on the peninsula is soon like 70 years old, a peace treaty between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK has not yet been concluded, the state of "neither peace nor war" is still fed by the United States, for which the south of the peninsula serves as a base of strategic importance. Japan adopted a document that enshrined the right to "counterattack opportunities."
"Korean Puzzle" resembles a kale rocker made in Korean. The problem of the divided people of Korea at the center of this "fruit of history," in itself, is already a sufficiently dangerous time mine. This, firstly. The common historical memory of people inhabiting both parts of the Korean Peninsula still cannot "let go" of Japan and the crimes of the defeated empire committed during the Second World War and the colonization of Korea. This, secondly.
The post-war grip of the United States, also imperial, added red pepper. It was these Pentagon "hugs" that led North Korea to de facto nuclear status and missile launches, making South Korea as a potential instrument of war with other people's hands as Ukraine or, in the future, Taiwan. It turns out something similar to Kimchi - a national Korean dish, spicy, burning, but very dangerous in the geopolitical slice!