EXPLAINER: What North Korea wants from recent weapons tests

Koreas Tensions Explainer
Posted at 5:54 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 05:54:35-04

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A day after a North Korean missile exploded after takeoff, there's speculation that the failed launch is related to the North’s push for its first intercontinental ballistic missile test in years.

Some experts say North Korea is intent on firing a new ICBM in a disguised space launch to put its first functioning spy satellite into orbit.

By doing so, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would add new capabilities to his weapons arsenal, boost public support at home and increase his leverage in future negotiations with the Biden administration.

Washington’s preoccupation with the Russia-Ukraine war and its intensifying competition with Beijing could allow the North to think it could get away with more provocative weapons demonstrations.