The Korean War ended in a cease fire rather than a peace treaty, and North Korea’s current dictator apparently intends to insure that tensions remain on edge permanently. Or at least until he steps so far over the line that Japan, South Korea, the United States, or a combination of these bring his rule to an abrupt and unpleasant end.
What is released by our government from satellite images and interviews with defectors is limited. Of course, there is the propaganda released by the North, but we know what that’s worth. Hence, we have the situation where the typical American can know very little about what could be the place the next war breaks out. And with President Trump moving B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea, we may see things heat up quickly.
The news is sounding an ominous tone, pointing blame for the flare up in tensions on the North’s young leader: “North Korea and the US have been teetering on the brink of war for months after Kim Jong-un carried out a series of controversial missile launches. Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan. Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough, according to the Korea Times.”
How far will Kim push things? Is he rational? How much will the Trump administration put up with? What about Japan and South Korea which are much easier targets for Kim than the United States? All of these are vital questions, the answers to which are largely unknown.
Speaking of propaganda, North Korea’s leader is his usual bellicose self. “Pyongyang’s Korea Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has stressed ‘a need for preparation for a fight’. He listed guidelines to strike South Korea and the US ‘mercilessly’.”
The United States has not be subtle in stating its position: “Secretary of Defence James Mattis said the US ‘remains steadfast in its commitment’ to the defence of the South, according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt Jeff Davis. Capt David said: ‘He [Mattis] further emphasised that any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a response that is effective and overwhelming.'”
This is not empty talk as “Washington is reportedly expected to deploy a series of strategic assets from the US as well as from military bases in Guam and Japan, reports the Daily Mail.”
Any accurate analysis of what is happening in North Korea is difficult to conduct due to the reclusive nature of the Stalinist state. While it might be assumed that the US has intelligence assets buried within Kim Jong-un’s government, any information obtained from them would be highly classified, so that’s of no help to the rest of us.
This would be a terrific opportunity for Kim to show some restraint. Unfortunately, he’s known for doing just the opposite. Let us hope the 60-year old peace treaty between the North and the South continues to hold.
Source: The Sun