Today, North Korea is the most dangerous country on earth and the greatest threat to U.S. security. For years, the bizarre regime in Pyongyang has issued an unending stream of claims that a U.S. and South Korean invasion is imminent, while declaring that it will defeat this offensive just as -- according to official propaganda -- it overcame the unprovoked American attack in 1950. Often the press releases from the official North Korean news agency are absurdly funny, and American policymakers tend to ignore them as a result. Continuing to do so, though, could be dangerous as events and rhetoric turn even more ominous.
In response to North Korea's Feb. 12 nuclear test, the U.N. Security Council recently tightened existing sanctions against Pyongyang. Even China, North Korea's long-standing benefactor and protector, went along. Convulsed by anger, Pyongyang then threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea, abrogated the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and cut off the North-South hotline installed in 1971 to help avoid an escalation of tensions between the two neighbors. A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry asserted that a second Korean War is unavoidable. He might be right; for the first time, an official statement from the North Korean government may prove true. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Greece’s Reversal Puts China’s Mediterranean Plans Back on Track
- Global Insights: As China Ponders BMD Options, U.S. Must Consider Responses
- Fishing Wars: China’s Aggression Could Stoke Future Conflict
- North Korea’s Economic Reforms Constrained by Geopolitical Isolation
- World Citizen: China’s New Latin America Ties Are Strategic, Not Just Economic