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The Editors

North Korea’s Missile Frenzy Must Have Consequences

The US and its allies in Asia should turn up the heat on Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship.



Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

For months now, with the US distracted by war in Europe, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has largely been free to accelerate his weapons programs. President Joe Biden — along with US allies Japan and South Korea — needs to start making life harder for him.

Kim’s scientists have conducted 16 missile tests since the beginning of the year, possibly including a failed launch of a gargantuan Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. A new nuclear test may be imminent. Left unchecked, North Korea could ultimately deploy a suite of delivery systems from multiple-warhead ICBMs to nuclear-armed hypersonic glide vehicles and sea-launched ballistic missiles. A bolstered arsenal could outmatch US missile defenses, allow Kim to threaten American cities with nuclear attack, and raise doubts about whether the US would come to the aid of South Korea or Japan in a conflict.