North Korea views the pending military exercises as “outright provocations aimed to stifle the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by force of arms”.
If we are to believe that these military training operations amount to provocation, what pray tell do you call the killing of 46 South Koreans by firing a missile at their ship?
The threat posed by North Korea, is just another in a long stream of threats that are usually made for the purpose of securing foreign aide. And it often works. As is the case with most threats, this one must be taken seriously and probably more than most. It’s vagueness must put almost any nation from South Korea, to Japan and the United States, on alert. With apparent long range missile capabilities on top of their possible nuclear ability, no one is safe from the erratic and aggressive communist regime. The lack of specifics make it possible for this threat to be carried at any pointing time. It could occur within in weeks, days or possibly even hours of the commencement of the U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises.
From my perspective, given our own capacity for foreign intelligence and satellite imagery, I am optimistic of our federal government’s ability to discern if and when North Korea is about to carry out their threat. Anyone who is familiar with the Cuban missile crisis, can understand this. This probable intelligence capability will be critical to our success in preparing to dismantle North Korea’s ability to carry out their threat and launch their promised attack.
It is in that vein that I believe the United States must make it clear to North Korea that unlike their intentions, our joint military exercise with our longtime South Korean ally, posses no threat to North Korea. It is merely a necessary part of preparedness for the defense of South Korea from any further North Korean aggression. Unlike North Korea’s unwarranted, war-like, offensive attack on a South Korean vessel, our exercise is a warranted response to that violent act and is a non-offensive exercise meant strictly for the purpose of defensive measures, not offensive measures. In other words, if North Korea has no sinister intentions, they have nothing to fear and no need to see our operations as provocative
Most of all, North Korea should know that in the event of any attack, nuclear or otherwise, the United States will insure that North Korea’s ability for any such future attack is eliminated any way and “any time necessary”.
This type of language and willingness to act on such language, is a posture that I am finding increasingly necessarily in light of Pyongyang’s history, long term bully tactics and incendiary foreign policy stance.
Since 1968, North Korea has been a sponsor of terrorism. In 1979 they blew up a landmark in what is now Myanmar and killed 4 South Korean cabinet ministers. In 1987 North Korea was responsible for blowing up a South Korean airliner. In 1996 they carried out a commando suicide mission in South Korea. And since then, Pyongyang has exported missile and nuclear technology to Myanmar, Syria, and Iran. And let us not forget that in 1998, 2006, and 2009, North Korea fired long range missiles over Japan and then also in 2009, claimed that the test firing of a long range ballistic missile that traveled 2,200 miles, was an attempt to launch a satellite.
Add this history to the recent declaration that North Korea “will not be bound” by the truce that ended the fighting of the Korean War, and what you have is a North Korean regime that can not be coddled, rewarded for their behavior or ignored.
In the mean time, let us hope that President Obama does not allow North Korea to do any more than just flex whatever muscle they may have.