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PacNet #24 – The Real Lessons from North Korea’s Ongoing Threats

As Kim Jong Un ratchets up the threat envelope with unprecedented vigor, many are wondering if he is really contemplating a major provocation. Beginning with the December 2012 long-range missile launch, the third nuclear test last February, the unilateral abrogation of the Armistice Agreement, muffling of the South-North military hotline, nuclear threats against the United States, and the de facto closing down of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, Pyongyang seems to be on a fast and furious track. But if Kim Jong Un is truly contemplating a serious military option, he should realize that such a move would signal the end of the DPRK as we know it. Not only because South Korea and the United States would respond immediately and resolutely to any North Korean attack but because North Korea is in no condition to launch a war.