Sunday, March 10, 2013

North Korea Scraps Armistice Today (Again)

From here.
What happens today, March 11, 2013, local time off the Korean Peninsula could become a historic event, so I want to make sure it is noted what happened. This was the threat as reported by BNO.
A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry Thursday issued the following statement:

The U.S. is now working hard to ignite a nuclear war to stifle the DPRK.

Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises kicked off by the U.S., putting the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war, are maneuvers for a nuclear war aimed to mount a preemptive strike on the DPRK from A to Z.

The U.S. is massively deploying armed forces for aggression, including nuclear carrier task force and strategic bombers, enough to fight a nuclear war under the smokescreen of "annual drills."

What should not be overlooked is that the war maneuvers are timed to coincide with the moves to fabricate a new "resolution" of the UN Security Council against the DPRK, pursuant to a war scenario of the U.S. to ignite a nuclear war under the pretext of "nuclear nonproliferation".

It is a trite war method of the U.S. to cook up "a resolution" at the UNSC to justify its war of aggression and then unleash it under the berets of "UN forces."

That is why the U.S. is hurling into the war maneuvers even armed forces of its satellite countries which participated in the past Korean War as "UN forces".

After directing the strategic pivot for world hegemony to the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. regards it as its primary goal to put the whole of the Korean Peninsula under its control in a bid to secure a bridgehead for landing in the Eurasian continent. It also seeks a way out of a serious economic crisis at home in unleashing the second Korean war.

The U.S. is, indeed, the very criminal threatening global peace and security as it is staging dangerous war drills in this region, the biggest hotspot in the world and a nuclear arsenal where nuclear weapons and facilities are densely deployed.

The DPRK has so far made every possible effort while exercising maximum self-restraint in order to defend the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.

The U.S. is, however, responding to the DPRK's good will and self-restraint with large-scale nuclear war maneuvers and the "annual" war drills are developing into a real war. Under this situation the opportunity of diplomatic solution has disappeared and there remains only military counteraction.

The spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry states as follows upon authorization as regards the grim situation that was created on the Korean Peninsula seriously threatening the sovereignty of the country and its right to existence:

First, now that the U.S. is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war, the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country.

The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army declared that it would totally nullify the Korean Armistice Agreement (AA) from March 11 when the U.S. nuclear war rehearsal gets into full swing. This meant that from that moment the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will take military actions for self-defence against any target any moment, not restrained by AA.

Second, the farce for the adoption of "resolution on sanctions" against the DPRK being backed by the U.S. at the UN Security Council will compel the DPRK to take at an earlier date more powerful second and third countermeasures as it had declared.

If the UN Security Council gives the green light to the U.S. in its moves for a war of aggression against the DPRK by adopting a new "resolution on sanctions", it will fully display the might of Songun it built up decades after decades and put an end to the evil cycle of tension.

Third, given that it has become difficult to avert the second Korean war, the DPRK strongly warns the UN Security Council not to make another big blunder like the one in the past when it earned inveterate grudge of the Korean nation by acting as a war servant for the U.S. in 1950.

The UNSC should immediately call into question the U.S. DPRK-targeted nuclear war rehearsals that pose a serious threat to the global peace and security, immediately disband the "UN Command" which is a tool for executing the U.S. war of aggression and take measures for ending the state of technical war.

Justice can be defended only when strength is reacted with strength and nuke with nuke.

Should the U.S. ignite a war in the end, it will cause flames of justice to flare up like an erupting volcano in which the aggressors will perish and the cursed Military Demarcation Line disappear for good. -0-
Most of this is the typical North Korean noise machine turning up the volume, but the DRPK making the Armistice Agreement invalid effective March 11 (later today) stands out as the most dangerous provocation. It is also not the first time North Korea has claimed the Armistice is over, indeed this is the 6th time they have claimed it.

 The Armistice Agreement is the cease-fire, without it there is no cease-fire and the rules of engagement is different.

The recent nuclear threat by North Korea got all the media attention, but this statement was released before the UN vote. That suggests there has been an ongoing planned effort by North Korea, indeed every move is calculated. What bothers me the most is that all events and responses are extremely predictable. North Korean observers say everything needs to stay predictable on our side to insure escalation control. What happens when they are no longer being predictable and change the rules? We take it hard, and apparently we have accepted that risk.

For an interesting take on the unfolding intelligence situation, check out this Nightwatch report from the other night. I was particularly interested in some of the local propaganda. Nightwatch is hit and miss for me, but I still read it quite often and I have always found they are one of the better sources on the internet when discussing North Korean activity. Treat their analysis like you would any open source intelligence though.

My sense is North Korea is looking for a small skirmish, some kind of clash that raises tension on the security situation, but only a limited battle not a full war. After 2010 it is unclear if they can maintain escalation control though, which may explain why they are message traffic heavy to the locals. The key here is that North Korea wants to change the dynamics of the security situation for the purposes of negotiation, because apparently they have calculated the security situation is too comfortable for everyone else for security to be used in negotiation as a concession. If that is truly the case, then if a skirmish or something breaks out North Korea would need to get hit harder than they hit the South in order to keep the security situation from being a concession in negotiation, but that isn't easy to do unless we feel you have control over escalation and deescalation of the situation.

All of this is good timing for North Korea though. The Navy has 4 destroyers in the area, but no available aircraft carriers anywhere in the Pacific and the nearest is a few weeks away. USS George Washington (CVN 73) is in a 6 month availability window that began in February. The Navy is probably saying otherwise, but if something happens they are not in a very good position to react quickly - not even close. O&M budget shortages due to sequestration and the continuing resolution probably make it difficult for the DoD to react based solely on rhetoric, although the DoD has other, more legitimate means of evaluating the legitimacy of threats from North Korea. Could be hard to tell though, all reports from South Korea have claimed that this week the North was going to conduct the largest military exercise in recent memory, and that was before all the threats happened. Maybe it isn't the exercise we think it is?

Beyond military positioning the timing is pretty good on the political level too, because if in fact something happens on the Korean Peninsula this would be the first actual crisis for John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. I can't say I feel very comfortable about that.


I do wonder, does South Korea change the Rules of Engagement to reflect the North Korean statement the Armistice is invalidated? Can they afford not to given the political implications of being caught unprepared like in 2010? Can we afford not to? This gets really hard when you step through it, particularly when everyone believes the North isn't looking for a major war.

I do not believe North Korea is looking for a major war, but I do think the North is looking for an incident. From their point of view, they have honored every legal requirement regarding any direct attack against any target beginning March 11, 2013 is not some random act of violence. That is what really bothers me, basically North Korea has positioned their nation to be legally at war on purpose, but the specific purpose is yet to be revealed.

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