Gov’t, ruling party’s concerted warnings against NK election interference spark questions

North Korea test-fires a new intermediate-range ballistic missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead, Tuesday, in this photo carried by the North's state-run media Korean Central News Agency the day after. Yonhap

United warnings by the government and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) about North Korea’s alleged interference in the upcoming general elections through military provocations are being met with skepticism, with some analysts suggesting it to be an outdated tactic by the conservative bloc to rally supporters.According to North Korea experts, Tuesday’s missile launch by Pyongyang was unlikely to be related to South Korea’s elections slated for next Wednesday. Instead, it was considered to be part of a planned series of missile tests related to its development of a new solid-fuel hypersonic weapon.”I think Tuesday’s test launch was part of their planned schedule that they have previously mentioned. During a ground test of a new type of solid-fuel engine on March 19, North Korea said that the timeline for the completion of the development of a new type of intermediate-range hypersonic missile system has been set,” said Cho Han-bum, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification.North Korea fired what is claimed to be a new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) equipped with a hypersonic warhead on Tuesday morning. The South Korean government linked the missile threat with the upcoming elections, with the military stating that it will closely monitor for any further provocations ahead of election day.

“The North Korean regime is continuously engaging in military provocations and missile launches to unsettle our society ahead of the general election. However, such provocations will only unite our people more closely,” President Yoon Suk Yeol said during a Cabinet meeting held hours after the missile launch.The PPP issued a statement taking a similar tone. “The missile launch is an effort to redirect attention away from internal difficulties toward external issues,” it said, “serving as a tactic to stoke tensions within our nation by escalating inter-Korean military tensions just before our general elections.”Historically, North Korea has often initiated various provocative actions prior to significant political events in the South. As well, the conservative bloc has often played up North Korea’s pre-election hostile acts to influence security fears among the public and sway them to choose a conservative candidate who advocates for increased security capacity.But political commentator Rhee Jong-hoon views this as an outdated election strategy.”The significance of the so-called North Korea factor or the ‘North Wind’ in elections has diminished compared to the past. People are less concerned about the possibility of North Korean missile launches leading to an actual war, 스포츠토토존 so I would say that emphasizing the North’s hostile actions ahead of elections is somewhat outdated,” Rhee said.

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