Biden's hands tied on North Korea missile response as Kim 'doesn't care' about sanctions

Speaking on Sky News, Korean peninsula expert Professor Robert Kelly warned there is little Joe Biden and the west can do in response to the latest missile tests from North Korea. He stressed how sanctions mean little to Kim Jong Un’s tiny economy adding how even if they are applied to the hermit kingdom, it is only the citizens that suffer and not the government. It comes as the west scratches its head for a response as concerns heighten over North Korea’s possession of a new cruise missile that could have a nuclear warhead attached to it.

Professor Kelly explained: “We can always sanction North Korea harder, contrary to popular opinion there are ways to sanction North Korea more and more.

“But to the extent that the North Korean’s don’t care about their own population and they are willing to push the burdens of sanctions upon their own people and continue to test these weapons regardless…

“There really is not much we can do to stop that.”

Professor Kelly also added how economic sanctions are not strong ideas because most of North Korea’s trade goes through China.

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He said this means the USA would need to get the Chinese on board with sanctions on North Korea but Beijing have always been very hesitant on the idea.

He added as a result America and the West “are kind of stick with North Korea” and worryingly “just have to grin and bear it.”

But in a more worrying assertion, the Professor revealed how Korean observers are growing increasingly concerned that North Korea’s latest test showed they had developed a cruise missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.

The Korean expert said how such a missile can fly in a straight line and “evade radar defence more easily” before suggesting a cruise missile could be used not only in the South Asia region against Japan but also further afield as well.

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Professor Kelly also mulled over possible military responses to the missile tests stressing how North Korea’s army is simply no match to the USA’s military might. 

He added how during his time as President Donald Trump suggested a “bloody nose” tactic to constrain North Korean nuclear capabilities but the issue with that he said was that the World does not know what North Korea’s “red line” is and retaliation could be catastrophic.

He stressed: “Nuclear weapons, particularly small and tactical nuclear weapons, are possibly a valuable battlefield weapon and that is one of the reasons why the cruise missile is a more significant improvement.

“Would they actually consider using that against mass US/South Korean forces in a war? I don’t know, that would be a really big risk.”

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The missiles were fired just after 12:30 p.m. (0330 GMT), flying 800 km (497 miles) to a maximum altitude of 60 km (37 miles), the JCS reported.

The US military’s Indo-Pacific Command said North Korea’s missile launches did not pose an immediate threat to US personnel, territory, or allies, but highlight the destabilising impact of its illicit weapons programme.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the missile launch “outrageous” and strongly condemned it as a threat to peace and security in the region.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing that China hoped “relevant parties” would “exercise restraint”.

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