Kim Helps Roll Out 'Nuclear Shadow' Strategy

Park Seong Guk  |  2013-03-06 21:15
Yesterday, North Korea stepped up its rhetorical threats once again as the international community edges toward consensus on a new UN Security Council resolution in response to the third North Korean nuclear test of February 12th.

Acting as a spokesperson for the Supreme Command of the Chosun Peoples Army (KPA), the director of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, Gen. Kim Young Chul issued a statement threatening a firm response to what North Korea calls the aggression of the U.S.

Reading the statement, Kim asserted, The Supreme Command of the KPA, which is responsible for national defense and the security of the country and the destiny of the nation, sent a warning message to the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces through the KPA Panmunjom mission on February 23rd. It warned them that if, in the end, they ignite a war of aggression, from that moment on their fate will hang by a thread.

Kim is believed to have led the Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong Island shelling incidents in 2010; thus, his appearance was intended to explicitly heighten South Korean and international fears that North Korea might follow through on one of its threats.

In terms of practical acts, Kim said that North Korea reserves the right to: first, as previously noted, take second and third strong practical counteractions in succession to cope with the high-handed war acts of the U.S. and all other hostile forces; second, nullify the Korean War Armistice Agreement; and third, abandon the activities of North Koreas mission at Panmunjom, the inter-Korean truce village.

Of course, such comments are not new. North Korea often becomes extremely vocal around ROK-U.S. joint military exercises, such as the Key Resolve-Foal Eagle exercise currently underway. Equally, when North Korea is preparing to conduct a provocative act of its own, it is always careful to construct a rhetorical rationale in advance.

The most surprising statement in the speech was, however, Kims claim that Now that the U.S. imperialists seek to attack [North Korea] even with nuclear weapons, it will counter them with our-style diversified precision nuclear strikes. According to South Korean experts, this threat to use nuclear weapons in battle shows North Koreas strategic desire to secure a dominant position in future dialogue with both Seoul and Washington.

Kim Tae Woo, a former researcher with the Korea Institute for National Unification, explained how, saying, This statement was a stronger and more concrete threat than before. They are realizing their nuclear shadow strategy.

Professor Kim Yeon Soo of National Defense University agreed, adding, The claim about nuclear attack, which surpasses that of mere nuclear deterrence, marked an incontestable declaration of North Koreas nuclear status. They are trying to set up North Korea-U.S. relations as based on one nuclear power to another nuclear power, while saying also, Lets discuss the Korean Peninsula peace treaty problem between two nuclear armed states.

Despite the threats, the UN Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution denouncing North Koreas third nuclear test before the end of this month. Both China and the U.S have reportedly agreed a draft of the resolution.
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