Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best If Used By 1995

The North Koreans are raising the possibility of nuclear war:

A commentary Sunday in the North's main state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, claimed the U.S. has 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. Another commentary published Saturday in the state-run Tongil Sinbo weekly claimed the U.S. has been deploying a vast amount of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea "is completely within the range of U.S. nuclear attack and the Korean peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," the Tongil Sinbo commentary said.

Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the U.S. military command in Seoul, called the latest accusation "baseless," saying Washington has no nuclear bombs in South Korea. U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea in 1991 as part of arms reductions following the Cold War.

South Korea's Unification Ministry issued a statement Sunday demanding the North stop stoking tension, abandon its nuclear weapons and return to dialogue with the South.

On Saturday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened war on any country that dared to stop its ships on the high seas under the new sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council on Friday as punishment for the North's latest nuclear test.

We don't have nuclear weapons in South Korea, but the South Koreans have to worry that Pyongyang might believe we do and so launch a "preemptive" strike on South Korea at some point when they have weaponized nuclear devices.

And the South Koreans demonstrated more anger than fear with their response.

Plus, though we don't have nukes on the ground, if North Korea uses nukes we can get them on North Korean targets rather quickly. North Korea will come out the loser if it comes to nukes flying.

The North Koreans are used to being the side with the military power to back up their threats. Pyongyang might indeed be right about war coming, but the South Koreans will win that war if it comes. North Korean threats are no longer credible, except in the sense that they can inflict perhaps immense damage on South Korea before we destroy North Korea.

The North Koreans are now in new, dangerous territory. I suspect they have no idea that this is the new reality.