Weekly briefing: North Korea revives weapons tests

A weekly round-up of relevant IEP data providing insight into the world around us.

Friday 10 May, 2019: After a buoyant period of denuclearisation talks with North Korea, the world was reminded this week of the country’s weapons stash. On Thursday, North Korea launched two suspected short-range missiles, coming less than a week after the country also tested several new weapons systems for the first time since 2017. Reports say Thursday’s launch came within hours of the arrival of a top US envoy in South Korea seeking to revive diplomatic discussions after the abrupt end to the last summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump earlier this year. South Korea is now on edge again and claims the weapons test is an attempt by North Korea to increase pressure on the US. The US says it is watching very closely, while North Korea in a statement says it has planned further tasks to increase strike ability of its defence forces, which hints at more to come.

North Korea-USA by the numbers

Fast Facts

• North Korea’s military expenditure as a percentage of GDP is the highest in the world at 24 per cent.
• Both North Korea and US score above three for the Militarisation domain on the Global Peace Index, among other highly militarised countries including Russia and Israel.
• On a regional level, North Korea comes last, ranking 19 for peacefulness in the Asia-Pacific.
• Both North Korea and the United States have high incarceration rates above 500 per 100,000 people, alongside Cuba, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, El Salvador.

Global Peace Index Regional Rankings

Militarisation rankings