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.”
It has been two decades since North Korea has issued a threat to South Korea to turn the country into a “sea of fire” which caused war like panic, but on Saturday South Korea reacted with little worry or care about continued threats this last week with similar warlike propaganda from the North including a revisit of the “sea of fire” vow. South Koreans don’t see a serious threat nor action will be taken as this is the way it has always been especially now that North Korea is reacting to U.N. sanctions and a major U.S.-Korean military drills. In Seoul, South Korea passerbys took picvtures and laughed as healines flashed across the jumbo screen about North Koreas war threats. When asked, according to Associated Press, Oh Jin-young a South Korean office worker had this to say: “The odds of dying from a North Korean bomb are probably smaller than being killed in a car accident. I’ll spend my time doing better things than worrying about war….North Korea knows that war will be like committing suicide.” Even with the overall apathy to the situation, there are some fears as in recent years where bloodshed has risen with the sinking of a South Korean warship which found the North at fault and an artillery attack on front line South Korean island killing four people in 2010 leading some to believe war is possible.
Across the demilitarized zone, North Korea after the sanctions were announced this past week have ended the Korean War armistice, given up on a nonaggression pact with South Korea and now has turned its attention to Washington as the aggressor threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Saturday talked to some North Korean who were very upset about the U.N. sanctions. One citizen, Sin Myong Sil explains that, “I cannot control my anger…Some countries can launch satellites, and one country can conduct nuclear tests freely, and they are not blamed, but only our country is prohibited from doing nuclear tests and launching satellites. This is absurd and illogical.” In order to boost public confidence, according to the Associated Press, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Friday that North Korea’s government would “evaporate from the face of the Earth” if it ever used a nuclear weapon. With continued threats from North Korea over nuclear strikes on Washington, experts still believe Pyongyang does not have the technology to allow warhead ballistic missiles to reach the U.S.