Should we be concerned by North Korea’s provocation?
(Reuters) North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, its latest bout of angry rhetoric directed at Seoul and Washington, but the South brushed off the statement as little more than tough talk.
The North also threatened to shut down an industrial zone it operates jointly with the South near the heavily armed border between the two sides if Seoul continued to say the complex was being kept running for money.
The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for six decades under a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war.
Bluster or cause for concern?
The South Korean government brushed off the North’s latest statement on entering a state of war, saying there was nothing fresh in it to cause greater alarm. South Koreans went about with daily lives as they have done through March under the North’s constant threat of attack.
South Korea doesn’t seem particularly concerned.
(Fox News) Analysts say a full-scale conflict is extremely unlikely and North Korea’s threats are instead aimed at drawing Washington into talks that could result in aid and boosting leader Kim Jong Un’s image at home. But the harsh rhetoric from North Korea and rising animosity from the rivals that have followed U.N. sanctions over Pyongyang’s Feb. 12 nuclear test have raised worries of a misjudgment leading to a clash.
And that is one of the best breakdowns of the situation: N. Korea wants stuff. This is their pattern year after year after year, no matter which leader who likes to look at things is in charge. Become provocative, use bluster and threats, and the US and the UN come running back to the table to give them things. Like that nuclear reactor President Clinton gave them. I will say that Obama has been treating them correctly: primarily ignoring North Korea and its hissy fits. In child psychology one learns that the best way to handle child hissy fits is to ignore them. Walk away. Of course, children do not have missiles, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear material.
Still, for whatever reason (could be that Obama understands the situation, or could be that this is part of his typical pattern of laziness), Obama seems to not take their typical bluster seriously, and that has made the NK hissy fit bigger and bigger. Here’s the problem
Officials are concerned that with the rising threats, Kim is backing his regime into a corner where it may be compelled to act in order to save face. And in the near-term, the regime has plenty of ways to do that.
There is concern for NK giving weapons to Iran, Syria, jihadis, and the possibility of “accidental war”, where one small incident quickly escalates. North Korea would be obliterated, but, Seoul, with a population of over 10 million, is in easy range of the border between the countries, and reachable by vast amounts of missiles.