Gadzooks and gosh-darn! A truly shameful 5-month gap in what was already a floundering blogging habit. I have a litany of excuses, I always do, but there’s no need to indulge in such tedious piffle here for it would bore all you hypersensitive internet kids to self-harm. The drought endeth now!
The plan here was to have written about the most recent crisis with the DPRK when it was actually at its peak, some two months ago, and myself and many people I knew living in the Republic of (South) Korea were having to deal with phone calls and other anxious enquiries from friends and loved ones in our respective home countries. However, I procrastinated like a slovenly fiend whilst the whole overblown affair quickly wilted and faded from the headlines. I had wanted to answer the concerns of my family and chums by pointing them in the direction of several North Korea analysts and experts whose views on the crisis showed a reassuring convergence, i.e. they all stressed that the outbreak of war, particularly one launched by the DPRK, was highly unlikely.
The North Korean regime is not suicidal, and has zero interest in initiating a full-on conflict that it could not possibly win and which would likely end in its complete destruction. They’re quite content with the status quo, but that status quo as it is requires regular bouts of nutty Nork brinkmanship on their part to, paradoxically, keep things running smoothly for them. The threats issued by the North Korean leadership in March and April, therefore, were simply the latest in a longstanding pattern of sabre-rattling bullshit that South Koreans in particular have become accustomed to and tend not to entertain as a serious menace. The only difference, as I saw it, was that the particular proclamations being delivered this time were of a significantly loud and colorful nature; declaring a state of war, threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes, etc. that they made for excellent copy and were thus widely and prominently reported in the western media. Read the rest of this entry »