03:34 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Debunked: US Experts Deflate Fears of North Korea’s Military Might

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    Two US national security experts have debunked a long-lasting fear of an attack on North Korea: they now say that Pyongyang is more concerned with the survival of its internal regime than initiating a military conflict with the rest of the world and "will assiduously seek to avoid war-triggering actions", even in the event of an external attack

    As it turns out, the US and NATO have been afraid of North Korea and its military might for a long time. Thus, both ruled out even thinking of attacking Pyongyang, even “extremely limitedly or preemptively”, thinking that “if any kind of military strike starts against North Korea, the North Koreans would invade…and they will cause enormous destruction in Seoul”.

    However, now the US policy analysts say it was all a myth.

    In their article in The National Interest magazine, they claim that “alliance policy and military planning needs to recognize a simple reality: no matter what North Korea threatens, it will assiduously seek to avoid war-triggering actions. North Korea’s own historical behavior and its widely presumed goal of regime survival confirms as much."

    In other words, North Korea’s “primarily goal is regime survival, meaning that North Korea will not only take actions to safeguard its regime, but also avoid taking actions that put its survival at risk.” And its foreign policy “is bounded by a logic of consequences.”

    The experts prove it by illustrating how North Korea “never escalated beyond isolated military attacks”.

    Pyongyang Ladies, North Korea
    © Flickr / Matt Paish
    Pyongyang Ladies, North Korea

    “Today, North Korea threatens South Korean NGOs that send propaganda balloons into its territory, yet fires at the balloons and not the people launching them,” they say. “In repeated naval clashes with South Korea in the Yellow Sea, North Korea strikes some blows and suffers others, but it never escalates beyond the local clash. North Korea has had countless opportunities to escalate or broaden conflicts in a crisis, yet has consistently chosen restraint. Whatever North Korea’s rhetoric and motivations for violence, its track record shows a preference for not taking actions that would jeopardize the regime, and the North Korean escalation that everyone fears would do precisely that.”

    The authors, however, specify that they are “not calling for preventive strikes on North Korean nuclear facilities at this time” and call for the alliance to answer several questions first:

    “How confident are we of destroying 100 percent of the targets?”

    “How far would a first-strike set back North Korea’s nuclear capabilities?”

    “How can we disabuse North Korea of the perception that the alliance is pursuing regime change (the one scenario that would trigger devastating North Korean retaliation)?”

    “The biggest risk facing Korea is not inadvertent war or North Korean escalation. It’s allowing Kim Jong-un to think North Korea has achieved a nuclear deterrent that gives it freedom of action on the Peninsula,” the authors therefore state.


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    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), military potential, military might, regime, military conflict, attack, Asia-Pacific, Pyongyang
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