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Saturday, July 24, 2010

North Korea on the Offensive Again

There are very few countries I can think of as verbally aggressive as North Korea. In the wake of military drills on the Southern Norther border they released this charming little quote from the central press agency. The said they would "legitimately counter with powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces."  I don't exactly understand if this is North Korea claiming they are willing to go to war with the super power or basically reminding us they have nuclear weapons.

The drills carried out by the US and South Korean forces were in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. if you missed that you can catch up here. Indeed the threat of War from both sides I believe is minimal. The last thing Obama wants is another war while his efforts to wind down US  involvement in Afghanistan are faltering and North Korea, a country with a devastated economy and aging leader surely doesn't want such unrest during a leadership exchange.

So I believe the military drills and also the aggressive reaction are in fact nothing more than political bench-pressing. But the North has "promised" a "physical response". The drills are scheduled to go ahead from Sunday until Wednesday. The people of the South will no doubt be waiting for their climax with bated breath. And as I have previously stated violence is quite unlikely but Kim Jong-Il has proved himself to be nothing less than belligerent in the way he handles international relations.

His administration has used some rather frightening language in the past saying the South would experience "unheard of disastrous consequences" if it misunderstood the North's will. It has also labelled the US an "empire of evil" and it has dubbed Hilary Clinton a "funny lady" and stated she "Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping". However, most amusingly of all it claimed former President Bush was "a hooligan bereft of any personality as a human being, to say nothing of stature as president of a country. He is a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with."

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