Bruce E. Bechtol, Jr., is associate professor of political science at Angelo State University and president of the International Council on Korean Studies. His is the author of North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era.
During the latter part of February, North Korea conducted test launches of a new long-range 300 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) system. These launches from North Korea’s east coast were followed up by still more launches in following weeks. Since then, North Korea has launched Scud missiles from its east coast, 300 mm MRLs, 240 mm MRLs, and Free Rocket Over Ground (FROG) systems. This week, North Korea launched Rodong ballistic missiles. All systems were launched from the east coast, and all tests were conducted even as North Korea appeared to be moving toward a more reasonable attitude toward the United States and its neighbor to the South. Read more »