The Likely Reason North Korea Has Stopped Its Ballistic Missile Tests — For Now

November 17, 2017
Shea Cotton

The following is an excerpt from Forbes.

Tuesday, November 14 marked 60 days since North Korea’s most recent missile test. Earlier this year, between March and May, North Korea was launching an average of one missile every two weeks. Now after about two months, the silence seems deafening.

Can we credit the slow down to America’s policies working? Was there a diplomatic breakthrough with the regime? Or has Kim Jong Un seen the error of his ways and is abandoning or backtracking on his missile program? Probably not.

Instead, this is likely part of an annual slowdown in testing we’ve observed now in North Korea for several years.

A look back at missile testing in North Korea under Kim Jong Un demonstrates the trend. The table below depicts a quarterly breakdown of North Korea’s nuclear capable missile tests since 2012.

A few things are clear from this. First, Kim Jong Un stepped on the gas pedal in 2014. In fact, Kim Jong Un has carried out more tests than his father and grandfather combined. Second, and more important to this topic, North Korea slows things down in the fourth quarter of every year. On average, we see about an 80% drop in tests from Q3 to Q4. Every so often North Korea will conduct a test in Q4, but that number is only a small fraction compared to past quarters.

Read the full article at Forbes.

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