North Korea's unusually active month of missile testing appears aimed in part at securing global acceptance of its sanctioned weapons programmes, analysts said, whether through concessions or simply winning tired acquiescence from a distracted world.
North Korea appears to be taking advantage of a period when the world is preoccupied with the pandemic and other crises to test an increasingly wide range of weapons, analysts and officials said.
Even if Washington was not preoccupied with crises such as Russia and had the bandwidth to pay more attention to the North Korean nuclear issue, Pyongyang would likely continue to refuse direct talks because of the pandemic, keep perfecting its weapons technology, and maintain its high price tag for talks, said Duyeon Kim, with the U.S.-based Center for a New American Security.
“An automatic benefit (of the tests) is simultaneously building leverage ahead of any future diplomatic talks,” she said. “But they’ve made it pretty clear that they’re squarely inward focused right now… I don’t think it’s a cry for attention at all.”
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