North Korea’s improving missile capability cast a shadow on political campaigns in two of its neighbors, heightening focus on a potential threat that may prompt Japan to stiffen its defense posture and provide a bump to South Korea’s conservative candidate.
North Korea yesterday deployed a communications satellite from a rocket eight months after a previous attempt failed, spurning global calls for the Marxist nation to desist. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin warned the North also is making “considerable” progress toward another nuclear test.
The move from Kim Jong Un’s regime poses one of the first security tests for prospective leaders in Japan and South Korea, which hold elections next week, and for China’s new rulers. While South Korean opposition candidate Moon Jae In has championed closer ties with the North, ruling-party nominee Park Geun Hye has made more muted calls. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s likely next prime minister, has pledged to boost military spending.
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