As North Korea has already made public the cutting of communication with South Korea and the ignoring of the armistice that ended the Korean War, the fear of war breaking out in the region is very real as the worldwide community waits with bated breath to see what North Korea will do next. The United Nation chief has already chimed in with fears North Korea is on a collision course with other nations that could lead to war. With recent sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear program and threats of potential strikes on the United States, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believe the isolated nation appears to be “on a collision course with the international community” amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula reports the Associated Press. Ban (pictures above), a former South Korean Foreign Minister, said Tuesday in Andorra that the crisis has gone too far because of increasing threats of war by North Korea against the United States and South Korea. He said international negotiations are needed now even though he believes no one intends on attacking North Korea.
North Korea said Tuesday it will escalate production of nuclear weapons materials including restarting the plutonium reactor which leads many outsiders to believe that Pyongyang is trying to extract concessions from the United States by fear of war. As the Associated Press reports, the North’s General Department of Atomic Energy announced their scientist will begin readjusting and restarting uranium enrichment that could make a bomb’s worth of plutonium each year as experts consider the announcement a public declaration that the highly enriched uranium could be used for bomb fuel. The declaration has Washington and its allies concerned that North Korea’s timetable for a nuclear tipped missile aimed at the United States may happen sooner than later even though it is believed to be years away from that technology. The recent weeks are seen as an effort by Pyongyang to force disarmament for aid talks with Washington and to boost domestic loyalty to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by portraying him as a powerful leader according to Hwang Jihwan, a North Korean expert at the University of Seoul reports the Associated Press. The Korean Central News Agency stated that the North Korean atomic spokesman said the measure is meant to address the country’s electricity shortahe but also to “bolstering up the nuclear armed force both in quality and quantity.” The Uranium enrichment program worries outsiders due to the fact that the technology can be hidden much easier than huge plutonium facilities and highly enriched uranium can be used for nuclear weapons. Kim Jin Moo, a North Korean expert at the Korean Insitute for Defense Analysis in South KOrea, believes the announcement of highly enriched uranium through adjustments is North Korea’s way of “blackmailing the international community by suggesting that it will now produce weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium.” China, Pyongyang’s only major economic and diplomatic supporter, expressed disapproval as Chinese Poreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stated: “We noticed North Korea’s statement, which we think is regrettable.”
Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test in February prompting new U.N, sanctions that caused North Korea to declare that the armistice ending the Korean War in 1953 is void shutting down communication with Seoul, threatening to launch strikes against the U.S. and its allies, and recently declaring at a high level government assembly to make nuclear arms and a stronger economy as the top priority. The Korean Peninsula is in a state of war a the truce not peace treaty ended the Korean War and the United States stationed 28, 500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent to the North. Washington has taken all of the North’s threat seriously even though the White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday that the U.S. has not detected any military mobilization or reposition from Pyongyang. As the North raises the stakes, the United States took it a step further by flying nuclear capable bombers and stealth jets at the annual South Korean U.S. military drills. The latest atomic test from the North in February led to the sanctions against the Asian nations as it could not be determined whether highly enriched uranium or plutonium stockpiles were used since other countries including South Korea failed to detect radioactive elements that may have been leaked from the test.
If history tells us anything, which history always repeats itself it seems, then we may have another Korean War on our hands. The unsettling truth as recent Korean history has taught the world that it is only a matter of time before North Korea launches a sudden and deadly attack on South Korea only this time Seoul, South Korea vowed it will respond with a stronger blow as recently as recently as Tuesday which could turn into a larger war. According to the Associated Press, a single statment lost in the headline about nuclear strikes on Washington is one statement made by North Korean army Supreme Command on March 5 saying that North Korea “will make a strike of justice at any target anytime as it pleases without limit.” The attacks of three years ago over naval clashes with the South, which killed 50 South Koreans in 2010, are a chilling reminder of North Korea’s capabilities and intentions according to Bruce Klinger, a former U.S. intelligence official now at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The newly inaugurated President Park Geun-hye, a conservative, says she will try to build trust with North Korea and explore renewed dialogue and aid shipments even though she has made similar comments. On Tuesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry repeated its promise to respond harshly to future attacks by the North and Spokesman Kim Min-seok reiterated that there is no signs of an attack anytime soon however if it did come to defending the South from the North that the North would suffer more powerful damage. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his artillery troops near disputed waters with the South Korea Monday to be on maximum alert because war could break out anytime according to Pyongyang’s official media.
If war did break out, then the U.S. would assume control of the military due to a decades old alliance but South Korean has made it clear it will do what it has to respond to future North Korean attacks. Even though North Korea is furious over the annual U.S. South Korean military drills that end in April, Pyongyang will not attack as too much U.S. firepower is assembled says analyst and may wait til the drills end. As Chon Hyun-joon, an analyst at the Korean Institute for National Unification in Seoul, explains: “They are quiet when tension is high and state-of-the-art (U.S.) weapons are brought to South Korea for the drills. North Korea may take month to follow through on threats and warning, but when it does take action it happens quickly. North Korea has attempted military provocations within weeks of every South Korean Presidential inauguration dating back to 1992, according to Victor Cha, a former Asia advisor to President George W. Bush, and Ellen Kim at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. South Korea just inaugurated a new president on Feb. 25 leading Cha and Kin to write Thursday to “expect a North Korean provocation in the coming weeks.”
Are we really surprised by this? On Thursday, North Korea threatened to launch a pre-emptive strike against the U.S. as the U.N. diplomats try to decide whether or not to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear testing. An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang commented that Washington is pushing for war against the North so the North is well within their rights to do this. The North however has not been able to produce a warhead missile capable of reaching the U.S. even though they do have the nuclear fuel. In recent days, such inflammatory rhetoric has become even more common since the possibility of a sanction is more than likely leading to a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday to protest the upcoming U.S. South Korean war drills and sanctions. According to the Associated Press, Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told the crowd that North Korea is ready to fire long range missiles at Washington.
The U.N. Security Council is considering a fourth round of sanctions against Pyongyang in order to keep tighter reins on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution, drafted by the U.S. and China, will be put up for council vote just 48 hours later and will most likely have the support of all 15 council members. The statement made by North Korean foreign Ministry spokesman, according to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, accuses the U.S. of being the prime suspect in slapping the sanctions on North Korea however in the statement the new sanctions will only speed up the timing to fulfill previous vows to act on their enemies. The statement, according to the Associate Press, said North Korea “strongly warns the U.N. Security Council not to make another big blunder like the one in the past when it earned the inveterate grudge of the Korean nation by acting as a war servant for the U.S. in 1950.” North Korea in an effort to counter the resolution being passed threatened to end the cease fire of 1953 that ended the Korean War. If the proposed resolution passes, then according to U.S. U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, the sanctions imposed would be the strongest ever ordered by the United Nations. The final draft of the resolution released Wednesday not only puts sanctions on North Korea but two other individuals, one a corporation and one organization, who are the country’s primary arms dealer and exporter of ballistic missile equipment while the other is a national organization in charge of research and development. The success of these sanction depends on China where most of the companies and banks that North Korea is believed to work with are based.
The United States and other nations are concerned that North Korea’s third test has moved them closer to missiles capable of reaching the U.S., while the international community has condemned the government’s nuclear and missile efforts as a regional security risk and a drain on resources that could be allocated to the destitute. The draft condemns the latest test of violating the council’s resolutions, bans on ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, and North Korea’s ongoing nuclear activities especially uranium enrichment and demands the country return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The proposed resolution would also make it harder for North Korea to move around funds for its illicit activities as well as strengthen existing sanctions and inspect all suspect cargo bound for and from the country. It also will impose travel sanctions on senior diplomats that would require countries to expel agents working for sanctioned North Korean companies. Even with existing and new sanctions and resolutions put in place, North Korea has also found ways to conduct business around these measure so only time will tell whether such measure will work. Let’s wait and see who blinks first.
As Norht Korea claims another successful nuclear test in defiance of U.N. warnings, South Korea ups their military preparations and mobilizes their scientist Wednesday to determine whether the claim is true. The denotation is also the focus of global diplomatic maneuvers with the US Secretary of State John Kerry reaching out to China, Japan and South Korea. While President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address, stated that firm action may be taken and to assure his allies. “Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats,” Obama said. The device in question was detonated on Tuesday at an underground site in the northeast. The goal for North Korea is to build a bomb small enough to fit on a missile capable of striking the U.S. Intelligence officials in Seoul believe that another nuclear test and ballistic missile launch test will occur. North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said that if the U.S continues their threat and hostility then they will continue their testing. Japan and South Korea are collecting data on these tests by collecting air samples and South Korea has raised their military readiness level as well as deployed cruise missiles that are capable of hitting North Korea at any time and plan to deploy ballistic missiles. In an emergency session, UN Security Council unanimously said the testing poses a clear threat to international security and peace and pledge further action. The test was a defiant response to UN orders that required North Korea to shut down its atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation. Despite tensions, U.S. and North Korea diplomatic talks could likely occur later this year.