Why North Korea Is Testing Missiles Again

Is a Much Larger Escalation on the Horizon?


After 522 days without a ballistic missile test, North Korea is at it again. On May 4, two months after the failed Hanoi summit, Pyongyang fired a new type of solid-fuel short range ballistic missile and tested two separate multiple rocket launch systems. Any hope that the test was a one-off evaporated just five days later, when North Korea again launched several of the new short range ballistic missiles, one of which traveled as far as 420 kilometers. Both South Korea and the United States went to great lengths to downplay the tests’ significance. To be sure, Kim hasn’t broken any promises he …