North Korea is determined to keep the tension alive in the Korean peninsula. After the latest launch of one of its missiles that flew over Japan, its leader Kim Jong Un has warned that he would continue to repeat similar exercises targeting Guam because it is a military base of the United States. The missile that the country had fired over Japan is believed to be a mid-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying a nuclear payload and it came down near Hokkaido in the Pacific Ocean.

Such an action by North Korea is interpreted as a provocation and an apparent threat to Guam.

The missile that flew over Japan was launched after the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) had imposed another round of sanctions on Pyongyang. It stands to reason that sanctions have no effect on Kim Jong Un and he wants to pursue his agenda because he has, at his disposal, an adequate number of missiles.

Reaction of the United States

According to Fox News of 29 August 2017, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff have informed that the ballistic missile had covered nearly 1700 miles and had attained a maximum altitude of approximately 340 miles as it crossed over Hokkaido. It was a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile as indicated by the official Korean Central News Agency of North Korea.

The launch of a missile over Japan must have taken the United States by surprise because, after the fresh round of sanctions, there were indications that regime of Kim Jong Un was backing down from threats against America and its allies.

Its subsequent actions prove otherwise.

Reacting to the launch, President Donald Trump has remarked that “all options are on the table”.

The UNSC has strongly condemned the actions of North Korea and it wants Pyongyang to immediately end its programs connected to nuclear weapons. It has not imposed any new sanctions but wants a strict implementation of existing ones.

The bottom line is to evolve a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation.

Who has the solution?

Kim Jong Un is aware of the fact that it is an isolated entity in the world. China is one of its main allies but a direct conflict with the United States could queer that equation. No country would like to get involved in a confrontation where there are possibilities of nuclear weapons being used.

One way out could be to locate the storage facilities and nullify the stock of ballistic missiles.

Trump had suggested to Xi Jinping, President of China, to implement the latest sanctions in totality and cut off trade with North Korea, which could hurt its economy. Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, could also play a major role because he had, at one time, wanted to normalize relations with his neighbor. They are the main players and must work out a joint strategy to bring peace to the region before it goes out of control.