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North Korea says Seoul ‘crazy’ to talk of preemptive strike on ‘nuclear power’ 

Kim Yo Jong and military official warn tensions could ignite into war and that Pyongyang rethinking inter-Korean affairs, NK News, Jeongmin Kim, April 3, 2022  A North Korean military official has slammed South Korea’s defense minister as “crazy” for mentioning “preemptive strike” capabilities, warning that the DPRK is a “nuclear power” and can “destroy” any major targets in Seoul if needed.

………………..Pak’s criticism comes two days after Suh Wook reportedly said the South Korean military is equipped with “capabilities and posture to conduct a precision strike against the launch point” when there are clear signs of a missile launch, in a speech at a ceremony to revamp Seoul’s missile commands on Friday. His remarks were in line with president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s support for a preemptive strike to stop a North Korean attack.

………   EXPERT ASSESSMENTS

Experts on Sunday raised concerns about the increased risk of military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, criticizing Seoul for contributing to raising tensions.

“North Korea is unfortunately correct that a non-nuclear state is out of its mind to actively threaten a nuclear state,” said Van Jackson, professor of international relations at Victoria University of Wellington and a former Pentagon official. 

“If you have intelligence that there’s a high likelihood North Korea will launch some kind of attack, then by all means make deterrent threats. But North Korea isn’t on the verge of attacking the South, and brandishing threats of preemption — or massive retaliation — under status quo normalcy is literally goading a nuclear-armed adversary to be more adversarial,” Jackson said, asserting that “there’s no need to show and tell” capabilities that are already known.

Toby Dalton, a senior fellow and co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, agreed.

“Deterring North Korea’s nuclear coercive threats is best done quietly and with confidence,” he said. “Chest-thumping rhetoric about preemptive strikes is not helpful.”

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted the increased likelihood of conflict due to either side misjudging the other’s intentions.

“South Korea has strong incentives to limit damage to its territory — including by taking out North Korean nuclear-capable launchers — and North Korea has strong incentives to slow and degrade what it may perceive to be an invasion of its territory,” he said. “Both Koreas think they’ll get to shoot first in a war. That’s inherently destabilizing and dangerous.” 

But for North Korea to escalate beyond just words, it will need a more “compelling domestic or strategic rationale,” he added. 

Edited by Bryan Betts    https://www.nknews.org/2022/04/north-korea-says-seoul-crazy-to-talk-of-preemptive-strike-on-nuclear-power/

April 4, 2022 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war

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