Oct 14, 2022 - World

North Korea is testing more missiles than ever before

Data: CSIS Missile Threat, Axios; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

North Korea tested yet another ballistic missile on Friday, launched a barrage of rockets near the border with South Korea, and flew warplanes so close to South Korean territory that Seoul scrambled jets of its own in response, South Korea's military says.

Why it matters: North Korea is testing missiles at an unprecedented rate this year. U.S. and South Korean officials are still awaiting a seventh nuclear test, which they believe could take place at any time.

  • Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the launch of two long-range cruise missiles that could carry tactical nuclear weapons, according to North Korean state media.

State of play: Experts believe Kim wants to force North Korea onto the U.S. agenda at a time when President Biden would prefer to focus on China and the war in Ukraine.

  • But the North Korean leader has thus far rejected the Biden administration's offer of talks without any preconditions, and Biden has been unwilling to offer concessions to get Pyongyang to the table.
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