North Korea Readies Missiles

North Korea Readies Missiles

North Korea Readies Missiles

Is war to resume between North and South Korea?  No peace treaty has ever been signed between the two halves of one country.

CNN is reporting that diplomacy by several foreign entities failed Friday.  Pyongyang told representatives that they could not guarantee the safety of embassies and international interests.

“We are consulting international partners about these developments,” the British Foreign Office said in a written statement. “No decisions have been taken, and we have no immediate plans to withdraw our embassy.”

The Swedish Embassy in North Korea acts “as the United States’ interim protecting power and provides basic consular services to U.S. citizens traveling in North Korea,” according to the U.S. State Department.

The Swedish Embassy remains open and operational, the spokesman said.

The concerns of the embassies heightened as word of two medium-range missiles were reported ready for launch on North Korea’s eastern coast.

Is the 28-year-old leader of a nation of half-starved people willing to face annihilation?  If there has been another country in the modern world more secretive and less understood, it is the Pyongyang government.  And that’s the way they want it.

Russian and South Korean experts on the government of the North are more learned than most about the regime.

“I don’t think they are doing this because they think there is going to be a war,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies in Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. “Rather, this is part of a calculated, psychological campaign to increase a sense of crisis and get international attention.”

Aleksandr Zhebin, a leading Korean expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences, also played down the significance in a statement to the Interfax news agency: “If Pyongyang were getting ready for an armed conflict in earnest, it would hardly have asked the foreign missions to leave the country,” because the presence of diplomats, especially from Russia and China, could help shield the city in case of military conflict.

This is logical thinking.  But what if Kim Jong Un is not concerned with logic?  The United States has decided to dial down the rhetoric, but is preparing a response in case there is an actual attack against our allies in South Korea, or on U.S. soil.

The United States would “not be surprised” if North Korea launched a missile, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday. “We have seen them launch missiles in the past and the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly condemned them as violations of the North’s obligations under numerous Security Council resolutions.”

Wednesday, the United States announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Western Pacific territory that is home to U.S. naval and air bases. North Korea has cited those bases when listing possible targets for missile attacks.

North Korea stands alone.  Its closest ally, China, has advised them to cease aggressive verbiage and actions.

Many questions are circling the threats from Pyongyang.  Many believe that the country’s dictator is attempting to consolidate his authority within the military.  Others believe it is a ploy to secure financial aid for a country in  which a multitude of its citizens are at or near starvation levels.

The last entirely communist country is holding on by a thread.  One hasty and irretrievable move could break that thread and result in North Korea being no more than an ink blot on the international map.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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