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North Korea (3): South Korea Increases Its Anti-Ballistic Options…

Washington takes seriously the nuclear war threats made by North Korea, and deploys the USS McCain off the Korean peninsula southwestern coast. The ship, is an Aegis-class guided-missile destroyer, and its deployment in the area, increases the South Korea’s anti-ballistic options against missile threats. The strategic game opens:

US deploys warship off South Korea amid soaring tensions on peninsula – Reuters

The United States has positioned a warship off the Korean coast as a shield against ballistic missile attack as South Korea’s new president vowed swift retaliation against a North Korean strike amid soaring tensions on the peninsula. But Washington also said it had seen no worrisome mobilization of armed forces by the North Koreans despite bellicose rhetoric over a ramping up of international sanctions against Pyongyang over nuclear weapons tests. ”If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye told the defense minister and senior officials. North Korea says the region is on the brink of a nuclear war in the wake of U.N. sanctions in response to its February nuclear test and a series of joint U.S. and South Korean military drills that have included a rare U.S. show of aerial power. In Washington, the White House has said the United States takes seriously North Korea’s war threats. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday: “I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilizations and positioning of forces.” North Korea further escalated its rhetoric on Saturday by saying it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea in response to what it termed the “hostile” military drills…

North Korea, USS McCain 1

On the other hand, war escalation rhetoric is not something new in the Korean peninsula:

North Korea threats timeline — RT News

The Korean Peninsula is experiencing a new period of high tensions, with both sides exchanging harsh rhetoric and promising retribution for any provocations. However, the roots of this conflict date back to the end of World War II in 1945. Up until 1945 Korea remained under Japanese colonial rule but after Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers, the land was divided along the 38th parallel, with American forces staying to the to the south of the demarcation line and Soviet troops to the north. In 1948, two states were established on the peninsula: the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). As a result of political and military contradictions the Korean War was sparked on June 25, 1950. South Korea was getting military aid from the US and 15 other states, while the DPRK was backed by China and the USSR. On July 27, 1953 the conflicting sides signed a ceasefire agreement. A peace treaty agreement however has never been signed, so formally they have been in a state of war ever since. The 60s were marked by repeated attacks and armed provocations by both states, which led to the deaths of hundreds of Koreans. Tensions were also stoked between Pyongyang and Washington in 1968 when an intelligence ship, USS Pueblo, was seized by North Korean gunboats. In 1969 North Korea shot down a US reconnaissance plane killing 31 Americans…

More importantly, the North uses its propaganda for promoting military retaliation plans against the mainland U.S.:

Questions for an Expert on North Korean Propaganda – NYTimes.com

As my colleague Choe Sang-Hun reports, North Korea’s state news agency released the latest in a series of saber-rattling images on Friday, this time showing the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, studying what the agency called “plans to strike the mainland U.S.” Since mocking North Korean propaganda featuring Mr. Kim has become something of a reflex in the West, the Internet’s attention was quickly focused on the comic possibilities of a military chart behind the young leader in the photograph, tracing what appeared to be trajectories of North Korean missiles aimed at major cities in the United States…

Finally, it is becoming important for the international community to understand what Pyongyang wants from the rest of the world. The need for creative negotiation approaches in combination with strategic coercion moves, against active war is more than necessary.

On the other hand, internal politics is always connected with foreign policy decisions. North Korea is here…

 

 



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