On Saturday March 21, the South Korean and Japanese surveillance systems both detected two consecutive shots of ballistic missiles from North Korea. The weapons flew over 450 km and reached a peak at 50 km before crashing in the Sea of Japan. This is the third such trial since the start of March, even as South Korea tries to emerge, successfully it seems, from the coronavirus epidemic that had hit it hard from mid-February.
If these shots triggered the official protests of the regional capitals, as well as Washington, it seems that they had more aims of internal policies than foreign policy, Pyongyang having accompanied these tests of no clear claim, as at its habit. In addition, this Saturday, it seems that the North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un, participated in a large military artillery exercise, probably explaining the shots. North Korea does not publish domestic information on the international scene, it is unknown whether the Coronavirus epidemic hit the country or not, but the links between Pyongyang and Beijing tend to think that it would be possible. Therefore, it is likely that the regime asserts above all its authority over its own population through these tests, so as to dissuade any hint of protest.
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