29 October, 2008

Watch North Korea

The following excerpt is from the most recent (10/28/08) Nightwatch. The quotes are translated by a South Korean news service. The comments come from John Mccreary--and I can't improve on them.

“We clarify our stand that should the south Korean puppet authorities continue
scattering leaflets and conducting a smear campaign with sheer fabrications, our
army will take a resolute practical action as we have already warned.”
(Note: this is a reference to threats made at a 2 October working
military-military working meeting.)

“As for the "preemptive strike" which the puppet warhawks officially announced as a basic mode of strike at the DPRK (Note: South Korea announced it has a preemptive strike doctrine), we will counter it with more powerful and advanced preemptive strike of our own style as we have already stated before the world. This is our steadfast stand.

“The advanced preemptive strike of our own style is based on a preemptive strike beyond imagination relying on striking means more powerful than a nuclear weapon. It will, therefore, render any early warning system and interceptor system of the puppet warmongers completely ineffective, and the "preemptive strike" based on the so-called method of fighting a war centering on Network much touted by them will also prove futile.

The puppet authorities had better bear in mind that the advanced preemptive strike of our own style will reduce everything opposed to the nation and reunification to debris, not just setting them on fire, and it will turn out to be a just war of strike to build an independent reunified state on it.”

(Note: this seems to refer to thermobaric weapons and/or an electro magnetic pulse blast. The context of fire is that in the1990s the North’s military representatives at
Panmunjom threatened to set Seoul on fire. Same guys, same setting, worse threat.)

Comment: This is out of character with other actions taking place, including that listed below. The threat is disproportionate to the provocation and violates the North’s oft touted principle of symmetry: “action for action.” The proportional response, for example, would be a revival of the old propaganda wars across the Demilitarized Zone. The North is betraying extra-sensitivity to slight provocations. It does this whenever the country or leadership is experiencing internal trouble that the leadership fears outsiders will attempt to take advantage of.

The video taken of Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of Kim Chong-il, leaving the hospital in Paris is persuasive that the elder Kim has taken a turn for the worse. The hypothesis is reinforced by the mismatch in the military statement between the provocation and the threat response.

This is a warning that needs to be taken seriously and the North’s missile forces
watched closely because the North has the capability to do what it has threatened with little warning. The message behind the threat statement is that this is not a time for business as usual relative to leaflet deliveries, which do foment discontent.

On the other hand, North Korean media continued to report on routine diplomatic and other internal activity. A delegation from Syria was feted in Pyongyang by the Party leadership, not including dear leader Kim.

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