North Korea Unfazed By US Sanctions, Continues Launching Ballistic Missiles From Submarines

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un appeared unfazed by U.S. sanctions as he was videoed laughing as ballistic missiles were fired from a nearby submarine. Increased sanctions were placed on North Korea after they continued to violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that demanded North Korea stop its ballistic missile testing. However, Kim Jong-un responded by declaring the sanctions against the nation an “act of war.”

The Daily Mail reports that North Korea has continued its ballistic missile testing despite the U.N.’s increased economic sanctions. Dictator Kim Jong-un has been condemned for his missile testing, but he has shown no signs of giving up on military advancements. Just this week, the South Korean Defence Ministry confirmed new submarine-launched ballistic missile tests in North Korea.

The missiles were reportedly launched from a submarine before they exploded over the sea after flying a few miles. Following the reports of continued testing, a Pentagon spokesperson, Commander Gary Ross, has once again condemned the dictator’s actions.

“We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate U.N. Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology.”

The State Department also urged North Korea to fulfill their “international commitments” to bring peace to the troubled region.

“We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments.”

Though many in the international community have decried Kim Jong-un’s actions, the dictator has shown no signs of cutting back on his missile tests. In fact, video purportedly showing a recent missile launch features the dictator laughing alongside members of his military as the missile explodes over the sea.

The recent launch was verified by NORAD, which says they tracked the missile over the Sea of Japan. Though North Korea is only making slow advances regarding their submarine-launched missiles, it was noted that any advancements are dangerous, as missiles launched from submarines are harder to detect.

North Korea has been sanctioned by the United States for some time due to their refusal to give up a nuclear testing program but the Obama Administration personally targeted dictator Kim Jong-un on Wednesday. The administration called out Jong-un for human rights violations and he was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury. The dictator has called the sanctions an “act of war” and has justified his missile tests by claiming that the small nation must be prepared to act.

Reuters notes that North Korea was also angered by the United States and South Korea’s statements that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system will be used as defense against North Korea’s growing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Kim Jong-un says that the use of THAAD would require “physical response” from North Korea, and the dictator promised to retaliate as soon as a time and location was settled on for the THAAD program. Jong-un said in response to the anti-missile system that he will turn South Korea “into a sea of fire and pile of ashes.”

“There will be physical response measures from us as soon as the location and time that the invasionary tool for U.S. world supremacy, THAAD, will be brought into South Korea. It is the unwavering will of our army to deal a ruthless retaliatory strike and turn (the South) into a sea of fire and a pile of ashes the moment we have an order to carry it out.”

What additional steps do you think the United States and South Korea should take to ensure North Korea does not have access to weapons of mass destruction? Are economic sanctions enough?

[Image by Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo]