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Title [miscellaneous] The current situation in the Korean peninsula
Date 2017.04.27 21:09 Read 1155
Dear Partners and Students,
Warm greetings in Korea.
I am writing to explain about the current situation in the Korean peninsula.
Recently, North Korea has yet again started military provocations against South Korea, Japan and the United States, by test-launching ballistic missiles.
In response to its nuclear tests and repeated missile lauches, South Korea and Japan vehemently condemned North Korea, saying that its actions clearly threaten the security of the region, while the United States announced that a preemptive strike on North Korea’s military facility is one of the options on the table. The US says it plans to activate a missile defence system called “THAAD” in South Korea within days and tighten economic sanctions against North Korea.
Despite its neighboring countries’ effort to step up pressure on North Korea, Pyongyang is still adamant that it will “never stop nuclear tests” and threatens to sink an US aircraft carrier crusing towards the Korean peninsula.
Listening to North Korea’s war rhetoric and what other countries are saying in response to that, People living outside Korea might think that a war is imminent in the Korean peninsula. However, if you took a close look at how North Korea has done in the past, you would realize that its military provocation comes out of desperation and it would never be able to wage a full scale war against South Korea.
Since North Korea is ruled under the young dictator Kim Jong-un, its foremost important objective is the preservation of its regime. The North Korean leadership knows very well that a war would result in the forced reunification of the Korean peninsula under South Korea and therefore, it will never be able to start a war. Indeed, it would be suicidal for the North Korean regime. Think about this: North Korea is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. How possibly can North Korea survive a war if the US and South Korea jointly retaliate?
North Korea is very much well aware of this and it knows we know that too. This is why North Korea is always trying brinksmanship strategy whenever it needs food and oil. (For Pyongyang, brinksmanship may be rational, because it does not have any real power to push other coutries)
Most South Koreans are already used to hearing North Korea’s bluffing and war rhetoric and therefore, it is not surprising at all that life here goes on as usual. People do listen to news stories about North Korea, but they are not afraid of its threat anymore.
Therefore, please rest assured that there can never be a war or a full scale military attack. There might be a border skirmish between the two Koreas, but there will be no more escalating conflict. (Please note that the Trump Administration recently announced that it is “ready to talk” with North Korea)
I hope you can understand my explanation. There is really nothing to worry about. If you have any questions or concerns regarding safety issues in Korea, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you.
Jerry Kam