After North Korea’s rocket launch ended in failure, its next move could be even more provocative: a nuclear test.
That’s what North Korea did following launches in 2006 and 2009. Experts suspect the government is under even more pressure to do so now after its latest rocket burst apart after liftoff Friday.
“This failure makes it even more likely that the North will now attempt a nuclear test in the not-too-distant future,” American analyst Ralph Cossa, the president of Pacific Forum CSIS, said. “The rocket launch was supposed to demonstrate the regime’s power and technical prowess. A nuclear test may now be seen as even more necessary, not just to further perfect their weapons capability, but also to save face.”
The rocket launch had been hailed as a moment of national pride, but it disintegrated over the Yellow Sea, earning it embarrassment as well as condemnation from a host of nations that deemed it a covert test of missile technology.