Friday, March 29, 2013

US Official: 'N. Korea No Paper Tiger, Danger is Real'

US Warning as N. Korea Vows "War of Liberation" Against South

A United States official seems to agree with Foreign Confidential. As this blog has repeatedly asserted, the North Korean threat is extremely serious. Dismissing or downplaying the threat would be worse than foolish.

Read more.

The unthinkable can happen, as 9/11 proved most tragically and horrifically. A North Korean attack on some South Korean target seems increasingly likely, if not imminent; and the fighting could easily escalate into a full-blown conflict.

Which would be in Iran's interest. North Korea's proliferation partner would like to see the U.S. embroiled in a new foreign war--at the very least, a prolonged crisis of sufficient duration and complexity so as to afford Iran yet more time to achieve its strategic objective of becoming a nuclear-armed power.

Not for nothing have Iran and North Korea jointly developed and test-fired cargo vessel-based ballistic missile launch systems. Not for nothing have they threatened to attack U.S. bases and interests in their respective regions, the Middle East and East Asia, and the U.S. homeland itself. Iran has even boasted that it is capable of attacking the U.S.--meaning ships and/or coastal cities--from the Gulf of Mexico.

Not for nothing have Iranians have been present at every major North Korean missile and nuclear test.

That the partners in nuclear and missile crimes are so brazen--that they do not appear to fear Washington even in the face of its awesome military might--is arguably most disturbing. The New York Times reports the following:

A photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday showed Mr. Kim conferring with his top generals on what the agency called “plans to strike the mainland U.S.” A military chart behind them showed what appeared to be trajectories of North Korean missiles hitting major cities in the United States. 
North Korea also said its leader, Mr. Kim, “finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the K.P.A., ordering them to be standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea.” K.P.A. stands for the Korean People’s Army. 
Kim Min-seok, the South Korean spokesman, said the North’s “unusual” public announcement of such plans was partly “psychological.” Many experts and South Korean officials doubted that North Korea has such long-range missiles, much less the know-how to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on such rockets. 
But other analysts believed that the North’s new KN-08 missiles, which were put on public display last April, were indeed intercontinental ballistic missiles, although they and Musudan have never been test-launched before. They wondered whether North Korea might use the current tensions as an excuse to launch them.

In short, a major provocation by the North, or a series of provocations, is in the works. Shooting of some kind could start at any time.

In this reporter's opinion, the period from April 15, when North Korea will mark the birthday of the country's founder and "Eternal President," Kim Il Sung, to July 27, the day the Korean War armistice was signed in 1953--called a "Commemorative Day of War Victory" in the North--will be especially dangerous.