SEOUL, March 30 (Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a "state of war" with South Korea in a continuing escalation of tough rhetoric against Seoul and Washington after coming under international sanctions for its nuclear test.
"From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly," a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency said. (source)
Experts on CNN were saying that what's happening is really spurred by the North Korean military not the young Kim Jong Un. They also say it's mostly for internal consumption, trying to make the new leader look strong and forceful to a society that still reveres age. Internally, he has been demoting and firing top military officers. It may be that, through him, the most hard of the hard liners in the military are consolidating their power.
The military experts on CNN said that they doubted North Korea would follow up on any of its threats against the U.S. or South Korea. In fact, they'd be crazy. Why? Because they'd lose, despite having the fourth largest army in the world. And they could hardly expect much help from China. North Korea is pretty much a drag on the Chinese economy, with North Korea needing to suck at their teat due to the fact that its economy is a total shambles.
And why would China want to see the U.S. defeated, what with the steady flow of cash from here to there due to all the American debt China owns. The U.S. is their golden goose right now.
China is so pissed off and North Korea that for the first time ever they have joined in with international sanctions against North Korea.
All that said, North Korea is making strides in terms of ballistic missile development, so they will be more of a worry in the future.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?
Why would he be nuts? While his calculations certainly are gut-wrenchingly cold, they are by no means insane. Leaders in the modern era can hardly be crazy, Chavez notwithstanding, and that he's been able to keep power for more than a year speaks to him being quite shrewd.
Kim actually has a fairly strong hand to play as he knows China will do pretty much anything to back him up. It is unfathomable for China to get South Korean soldiers on their borders, not to speak of American ones. Thus they will fiercely resist any type of invasion and forced regime change. However, in a couple of decades China will probably not want an unpredictable NK on its borders, and will push for reunification as long as it has SK within its sphere of influence at the time. China may be annoyed at its neighbor, even going so far as to support UN sanctions, but they will not actually do anything or apply the sanctions.
Kim can also play the nuclear card, and as long as he keeps building capability there are always potential customers willing to pay large sums for weapons. NK already built a reactor in Syria, and is probably exporting to Iran and keeping open the possibility of selling to deep pocketed non-state actors
There will probably be an attack on SK, though I think he will want to avoid casualties as not to provoke a counter attack, some time during or right after the training operations. Then there will be some negotiations whereupon NK will receive food aid and perhaps fuel, and next year or the year after that it will be rinse and repeat.
RE" "he's been able to keep power for more than a year speaks to him being quite shrewd."
Frankly, I suspect he's inept and incompetent, relying on advisers for his decisions.
While partly the case, there is obviously none which has risen to the level of being able to compete with him. While it's impossible to know the palace intrigue from outside, even pyongyangoligists seem to believe he is quite deft at machiavellian games.
Kim actually has a fairly strong hand to play
Kim can also play the nuclear card,
But he should really fold.
Why? That would be tantamount to suicide. I'm pretty sure he has seen both the hanging of Saddam and the mutilation of Gadaffi, and I would presume he prefers that not to be him.
For an official definition of "nuts", I'll defer to a future DSM version.
Oh this is great, WW 3 will start out "Gangnam Style".
I wish I could be a fly on the wall when China talks to Kim. Neither China nor the US really wants the stalemate between NK and SK to break out into war, so I wonder what threats China is making to Kim behind the scenes? Perhaps they are just verifying that it's a bluff. Perhaps they are actively asking him how he'd like an invasion from the China side to get things under control? Now that's got to be something that gives both SK and the US nightmares.
It will certainly be fascinating how this all turns out. I have a vested interest in seeing both the North and the South stay peaceful since I personally know people from both places. I don't want to see any harm to come to any of them or any of their extended families. I get really angry at the leaders in both countries for the ego pissing match.
They are both guilty of rhetoric that is not helpful and using fear to keep the military industrial complex in power. They both need to lay down their arms and make peace already. I know I'm a dreamer and that it is unlikely but dreams do come true occasionally.
Unlikely is right. In another country, you might expect the military to execute a coup if the leader is crazy. Why? First realism about what might befall them if conflict broke out and secondly because they are probably profiteers, too, and don't want to kill the golden goose.
ut in NK the generals are probably even more bonkers than Kim.
I don't know if bonkers is the best characterization. For better or worse they have had a long history of a rigid hierarchy in their culture. Even South Korea still has a fair amount of this very conservative totalitarian form of elderly, leaders and ancestor worshipping culture. The South has had a lot of government changes for the better but a lot of the traditions still have a large influence on the people there.
North Korea and it's problems are the products of more than just the last one hundred years or so and the current leadership. It often takes a lot of time, education and sometimes wars or violent revolutions for these kinds of cultures to change, sadly.
China can't really make any threats, Kim has all the good cards. What would you assume China could do without jeopardizing their own national security?