Kim’s bellicose rhetoric about nuclear war ramping up
WASHINGTON – An expert on North Korea predicts the isolated Hermit Kingdom could stage “some kind” of attack or bombing within a few days on the Korean Peninsula amid heightened rhetoric about nuclear war.
Sung-Yoon Lee said the recent bluster is “unusual for [North Korea's] standards.”
North Korean threats could include wiping out an inhabited South Korean island, and it is “not mere rhetoric,” Lee told the open source Langley Intelligence Group Network, or Lignet, in an exclusive interview.
Lee is the Kim Koo Korea Foundation professor in Korean Studies and an assistant professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.
Lee said that the bellicose rhetoric from North Korea could be boxing in North Korea’s 28-year-old leader, Kim Jong-un, and that if he doesn’t act, he could lose face.
Other analysts believe Kim is attempting to prove to a skeptical military leadership that he can be tougher than his father, Kim Jong-il.
Consequently, Lee believes that North Korea will spark a military incident within the next couple of days.
He doesn’t believe the sending of U.S. B-2s during a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise was the source of the new threats.
On the contrary, he believes the B-2 flights may dampen the North’s enthusiasm for engaging in further military provocations.
Meanwhile, North Korea continues to raise the specter of nuclear war, but this time on the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement by the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA. The KCNA is the official mouthpiece of the North Korean leadership.
Reposted with permission.
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