On March 6, North Korea shocked the world by conducting a missile launch test. This test was especially concerning for the United States, whose relationship with North Korea can be described as stormy at best.
In light of this rocky relationship, it might seem like the United States should take immediate, direct action against North Korea. However, such a reaction would not be wise.
Rather, in order to keep tensions from heightening, the United States should ignore the launch for the time being.
While the idea of a North Korean test launch is concerning for many, there is no cause for immediate alarm; at least, not for the United States.
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During the test, North Korea launched four missiles which landed in the ocean 190 miles off of the coast of Japan, reports Reuters. These missiles, according to South Korean military officials, were not intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which would be the type of missile necessary to travel all the way to the United States. Therefore, it is clear that the United States has nothing to fear from the implications this particular test, making an immediate retaliation unnecessary.
While this test is not a cause for alarm for the United States, some might wonder about the safety of South Korea, which has strained relations with North Korea and is at much greater risk than the United States for a military attack. But, again, there is no need for any immediate panic.
Back in February, South Korea entered into negotiations with the United States for the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD), an anti-missile defense system, reports The Washington Post. Therefore, it is apparent that measures to protect South Korea from any North Korean threats are already underway. Any new action would be superfluous and possibly inflammatory.
Another reason why the United States should ignore the North Korean launch is that action has indeed already been taken. According to Reuters, both the United States and Japan have requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the implications of these launches and what the international community's reaction should be. The meeting is set to take place on March 8. Doing anything before this time would seemingly disregard the potential input of the Council's members, which could damage diplomatic relations.
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It is clear that although North Korea's missile test is concerning, nothing should be done about it in this moment. For the time being, both the United States and South Korea are safe from any future threats. As soon as March 8, the U.N. Security council will debate this issue, ensuring that well-thought-out decisions will be made by the international community as a whole. Therefore it is clear that -- at least for now -- the United States should do nothing but ignore this launch.