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Kim Jong Un’s Silence as Missiles Fly Shows Strategy Shift

  • North Korea keeps an uncharacteristic silence on recent tests
  • Kim looks at long-term goal of credible nuclear strike
A news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul.

A news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul.

Photographer: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
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North Korea’s latest barrage of missiles may look like another attempt to ratchet up hostilities in return for some sort of leverage at the bargaining table. But the launches over the past two weeks seem different. 

Unlike previous provocations, his regime has mostly refrained from trumpeting the missiles along with the usual creative vitriol directed at the US and its allies. Kim Jong Un himself has been out of the public eye for more than three weeks, his longest absence in a year. State media on Thursday released a photo of a floral arrangement given to Kim, but no pictures of him.