Park Joon Young, professor of international relations at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, comments by phone on North Korea’s rocket launch today. The launch comes as South Korea prepares for a presidential election on Dec. 19.
“It’s not a surprise. It shows North Korea’s leader is developing nuclear weapons and missiles regardless of international pressure.
‘‘It was inevitable for him to assert North Korea’s sovereign security. Kim, as a new leader, is flagging that he will continue on the same course as his late father.
‘‘At this time, I don’t think the launch will have a huge impact on results of our election. I think the timing was just a coincidence.
‘‘The U.S. is joining forces with other neighboring countries to block the North’s development of nuclear weapons. But so far, these collaborated efforts don’t look as though they’re working properly.”