Kim Jong Un’s Long Game Starts With Short-Range Missiles

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Kim Jong Un’s Long Game Starts With Short-Range Missiles

SEOUL—It was always more a question of when, not if, North Korea would return to weapons provocations. Now that it has, the Kim Jong Un regime is poised to unsheathe new weaponry that it has quietly developed in recent years.

First came a cruise-missile test in March that President Biden played down. Days later, Pyongyang unleashed a pair of ballistic missiles that Mr. Biden and other leaders decried as a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

North Korea in recent weeks also engaged in increased activity at facilities suspected of making plutonium and uranium, key materials for nuclear weapons, according to satellite imagery analyzed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

Moreover, satellite pictures of a port on North Korea’s east coast showed movement near the port’s submarine-launch quay, indicating the regime could soon roll out a new missile-launching submarine, according to an analysis by 38 North, a website focusing on North Korea.

The activities suggest the regime is returning to a delicate but familiar dance.

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