Kim Jong-un could detonate nuke for first time in five years

Experts have warned that the lack of attention on Kim Jong-un means that the itchy-fingered despot could reach for the detonator of a nuclear bomb to grab attention once again.

The North Korean leader famously met with then-president Donald Trump but has so far been given the cold shoulder by Joe Biden, meaning he is eager to re-ignite dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un has been flexing his nuclear capabilities of late, having just undergone the second missile test in a week. The latest North Korean missile test has reportedly forced the grounding of US planes.

Ashok Swain, professor of peace and conflict research at Sweden's Uppsala University, said all the signs do not bode well for peace.

Professor Swain told The Sun Online: "President Joe Biden has not followed up Trump’s summit diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, instead he has followed a policy of strategic patience.

"The lack of attention has bothered Kim, and he is desperate to get the centre stage.

"North Korea has conducted at least six nuclear tests since 2006, and the military nuclear program continues to be the main thrust of North Korea’s security and foreign policy strategy.

"So, if Biden doesn’t restart the talk, Kim might go for another nuclear test, but it is improbable that he will opt for an all-out war."

And in another warning, William Davies, associate analyst at GlobalData, said North Korea's missile tests are only likely to increase this year.

He told The Sun Online: "North Korea has never been shy about its military ambitions.

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"The nation feels its need to defend itself from perceived threats from America and its allies. North Korea intends to have a military that can compete against South Korea and the US.

"Alongside missile tests increasing, North Korea’s ongoing refusal to commit to de-nuclearisation is the greatest concern for Western countries and peace in the region."

Earlier this week, North Korea appeared to have engaged in their second ballistic missile test in less than a week – enraging their neighbours, South Korea and Japan.

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Both Sacramento International Airport and San Francisco International Airport in the US state of California, confirmed that they had briefly grounded flights on Monday for about five minutes.

The hermit state also claimed to have tested a hypersonic missile on Wednesday last week, following up on Kim Jong-un’s vow to strengthen the military after talks with South Korea and the US had stalled.

According to Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul, North Korea is attempting to use repeated tests to normalise its missile capabilities.

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