North Korea steps up missile production

(To Giuseppe Gagliano)

On April 5, 2024, North Korea, under the direction of Kim Jong Un, stepped up missile production with the aim of improving national defense1.

The new directives aim to increase the production of coatings for missile engine warheads and nozzles, essential components for re-entering missiles into the atmosphere and guiding the gases emitted by the engines.

These instructions were communicated to the relevant military and production divisions, with an emphasis on quality and rapid deployment of the weapons. The news boosted the morale of munitions factory workers, who were motivated by incentives such as bonuses and cars.

The move follows the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on April 2, which raised international concerns about regional peace and stability. Tensions are further heightened by allegations of military ties between North Korea and Russia, with implications for global security.

North Korea's intensification of missile production signals a clear strategy to enhance its defensive and offensive capabilities in a period of growing geopolitical tensions.

This move, along with recent missile tests, highlights Pyongyang's commitment to strengthening its arsenal in response to perceived regional and international threats. Furthermore, the accusation of military ties with Russia and involvement in the Ukrainian conflict highlight a potential axis of cooperation that could alter existing security balances, pushing the United States and its allies, South Korea and Japan, to strengthen their own security cooperation.

Pyongyang's attitude, refusing dialogue with Japan and intensifying its military activities, accentuates regional tensions, especially in a context where peace and stability are already put to the test.

The international response, which includes sanctions and condemnations of missile tests, appears not to have curbed North Korea's missile ambition, pointing to potential future escalation if effective channels for dialogue are not found. This situation requires a calibrated diplomatic strategy that balances military deterrence with offers of dialogue, to avoid further escalation of tensions.


Photo: KCNA