I always figured that the North Koreans would have to fire something to end their provocation cycle and that is what that is what they are currently doing:
North Korea fired a short-range missile from its east coast on Sunday, a day after launching three of these missiles, a South Korean news agency said, ignoring calls for restraint from Western powers. Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon but, after recent warnings from the communist state of impending nuclear war, such actions have raised concerns about the region’s security. [Reuters]
Despite the media hype I knew they were not going to fire a Musudan missile at Guam or a nuclear tipped ICBM at the US because that would cross a red line that would invite retaliation which is what they do not want. It is absurd to think that people actually thought this was a possibility at all. There was even people advocating for bombing North Korea over this staged provocation theater. All these scenarios were nothing but media scaremongering that the Kim regime was happy to take advantage of. I figured the most provocative thing they could have done and got away with is firing a missile over Japan. However, if reports are correct the Chinese put pressure on the North Koreans to end their provocation cycle by closing regime bank accounts in China. The threat of possibly targeting more regime accounts is probably what led to them removing the Musudans from the North Korean East Coast. However, for the Kim regime to save face they had to fire something and thus that is why they are currently firing these short range missiles into the Sea of Japan. Just think though if this test firing happened a month ago the media would have been describing this as a prelude to war and what is the US going to do in response. However this month it is hardly drawing any notice due to the news cycle having plenty of other stuff to report on.
After the North Koreans finish their test firing they will claim victory domestically by claiming that their advanced missile technology and might of the Korean People’s Army under the leadership of Kim Jong-un has once again stopped the Yankee Imperialists and their South Korean puppet allies. Things will deescalate, the soldiers will go back to working in the fields if they haven’t already, and the next phase in this drama will play out which is the North Koreans trying to get concessions from the US and ROK in some form or another.