It is an article of faith in the West that each missile test by North Korea is a “threat” or “provocation.” But is it true? Over the last several months, India tested its Agni-2 medium-range and Agni-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as well as an Agni-5 ICBM, producing only yawns of indifference. Pakistan fired an Ababeel medium-range ballistic missile, capable of delivering multiple warheads, while China and Russia both tested ICBMs. The United States, as it was roundly condemning North Korea for its tests, launched Minuteman 3 and Trident missiles. None of these tests by nuclear powers were deemed provocative. Nor was note taken of the hypocrisy of the Trump administration in expressing outrage over North Korea doing what it was doing.
Objectively speaking, there is no difference between North Korea’s missile tests and the others, although it should be pointed out that the U.S. arsenal of nearly 7,000 nuclear warheads dwarfs that of North Korea.