– this post authored by Rodger Baker
“Irrational” North Korea has done it again. Even with U.S. and South Korean forces gathered on the peninsula for their largest annual joint military exercises, Pyongyang launched four ballistic missiles early on March 6. Three landed in the sea west of Japan, within Tokyo’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. As expected, the “irrational” Pyongyang’s actions elicited the usual cries of condemnation, triggered a brief dip in the South Korean stock market and led South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo Ahn, to reiterate the need for South Korea to rapidly deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system – something that will undoubtedly further perturb North Korea’s closest friend, China.