Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to downplay this at all. But before we get ahead of the game here, we must think this thing out, just a little.
The Taepodong-2 missile, which is believed to be capable of striking the U.S., failed and failed miserably. The other missiles were not long range and they already had them in their arsenal. So, there's really nothing new here, except that they fired them (instead of talking about firing them). They hit nothing. They hurt no one (except for one hell of a contusion on Kim's ego).
The main point in all of this is, the failure takes a lot steam out of things, at least for the time being. A little leverage is lost, when those kinds of things happen. The bargaining power slips away.
Now, it appears that NK may be preparing for another attempted launch of a T-2, as NBC is currently reporting. And so, the real pressure is now on. If this one fails, then it's bound to be a case of "back to the drawing board" for the North Korean engineering staff. That is, it will be after the current project director is executed or sent to a harsh North Korean prison for the rest of his life. If there is another failure, it is likely that there will be new people working on the program for awhile. If that turns out to be the case, more time can be bought.
But what does this matter? Kim is showing the hand he is playing. One can argue that he has even overplayed it. We can see it, as it unfolds. We can study it and learn how to best outplay him.
China and Russia don't seem to be too worried at this time. And I do not believe that they have a lot of influence with him, anyway. So even if they were upset, nothing could be done about it, certainly not much more than already has been done. Jon Henke of Q and O, also believes that China isn't worried and tells us all why:
At first glance, it's very difficult to tell what North Korea was hoping to accomplish with their recent missile tests. The threat of indeterminate missile capability was one of the few tools in the North Korean foreign policy toolbox. One would think this means North Korea is getting (much more) desparate.
Perhaps for that reason, China does not "appear too upset by the launches", and is generally asking everybody involved to settle down and resume negotiations. It's difficult to discern the motivations and interests of each actor involved, but Chinese ennui may arise from the fact that, without it's missile leverage, North Korea now finds itself with fewer diplomatic and military options. This means North Korea is now much more dependent on China, both for protection and aid.
It could be selfishness on the part of China, but they may be right on this one.
As long as he doesn't send one packed towards civilization, I say let him "expend all ammo". Each missile dropped into the sea, is one that he can't use against us or his neighbors. That's one less that he has. I know he can make more, but as desperate as he is for funds (which is what this is really all about), it will not be easy to raise the financing for this kind of rearmament, and the price tag that comes with it. Then we can all have him over a barrel.
But make no mistake. This bears watching and deserves full attention. With a madman like this, he may just throw a tantrum right in the middle of the store, if ignored too long. He may decide to push the boundaries out a bit further, if he doesn't get the response he wants. And if he does, he should then be taken out into the parking lot, for a spanking that he will never forget.
If this next T-2 so much as looks like it will head into the airspace of the western hemisphere, it needs to be shot down by our missile defense system. What a blow that would be. I would hate to be the cook in the Kim house that night, as well as, all of the department heads.