Saturday 30 March 2013

This Exchange of Threats

Jason Ditz writes:

With North Korea not having the warheads or missiles to actually launch such an attack, threats to nuke the US mainland have mostly been shrugged off by the Obama Administration, with officials reacting with a hard line against “provocations.”

North Korea’s inability to hit the US directly may be all well and good, but experts are warning that as the rhetoric continues to ratchet up, the US may force North Korea to react by hitting South Korean targets, since they very easily could do that.

South Korean government officials thrive on this exchange of threats, and seem to be egging the US on in this, including getting them to sign a deal obliging the US to start a war over any attacks by North Korea.

The North Korean government’s own position, however, has always relied on making mostly empty threats and occasionally lashing out at South Korea if things get too heated, which inevitably gets other regional powers interested enough to cool things off.

Yet with those threats hitting a new all-time high, and the new pact suggesting things could escalate a lot more, a lot faster, the violent blow-off could also be a lot worse, and the US hard line could cost South Korea dearly.

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