5 April 2013
Missiles in the DPRK Inventory:
5 April 2013
Missiles in the DPRK Inventory:
In late March, the DPRK said that relations between the two Koreas are now on a “war footing”, and Pyongyang would react accordingly in the case of “hostile provocation”, which could escalate into war… even a nuclear one. In early March, the DPRK protested against the holding of joint American/ROK military exercises, saying that it cancelled all agreements with the ROK on nonaggression and denuclearisation, and terminated the Armistice Agreement signed to end the Korean War. Besides that, the DPRK threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the USA.
What’s behind it all… a possible war on the Korean peninsula, its probable origins, and what are its possible consequences? It might look like a conflict between the DPRK and the ROK, but what positions might the USA, China, and Russia take in the event of such an eventuality? Click here for an article by Konstantin Bogdanov.
3 April 2013
On Saturday, Russian media outlets reported that recent media reports that the DPRK declared a “state of war” with the ROK might have their origin in a mistranslation. International media reported the DPRK statement, published on the official state news agency KCNA, as reading that the DPRK “is entering a state of war” with the ROK, and that all questions between the neighbouring countries would be handled in accordance with wartime protocol. On Saturday, AFP cited the same DPRK statement as saying, “The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over”. However, later on Saturday, Russian media reports stated that a faulty translation might have been to blame for the apparent uptick in bellicose rhetoric.
Apparently, the original DPRK statement emphasised that the country would act “in accordance with wartime laws” if attacked, and, from that time, North-South relations would enter a state of war”. The DPRK and the ROK aren’t technically “at peace”, since there was no peace treaty signed following the Korean War in 1953. The Demilitarised Zone between the countries is the most heavily-armed border in the world. On 11 March, the ROK and the USA began their annual large-scale military exercises, codenamed Key Resolve. The drills involved 10,000 ROK and 3,500 American troops. Prior to the exercises, Pyongyang threatened the USA with a pre-emptive nuclear strike amidst warnings that it planned to terminate the Korean War Armistice Agreement. It warned of retaliatory countermeasures if the USA and the ROK went ahead with the drills.
On Thursday, the USA dispatched two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on an “extended deterrence” practise run over the ROK. American officials said that the exercise should serve “to demonstrate very clearly the resolve of the USA to deter aggression on the Korean peninsula”. On Friday, the DPRK responded by placing its strategic rocket forces on standby to strike American and ROK targets. Russian media reported that ROK news agency Yonhap cited unnamed military sources as saying that “no special deployments of DPRK forces were observed, despite this threatening rhetoric”. There’s been no further clarification from the DPRK.
30 March 2013
The last time that the USA faced a peer force was in the Korean War of 1950-53, where the conflict ended in a stalemate between the USA on one side, and the VVS (USSR) and the PLA (PRC) on the other. The PLA soldiers proved themselves the best infantry in the conflict (the Americans could only counter them with massive firepower from artillery and air strikes). The fighter regiments were led by VOV heroes such as Ivan Kozhedub (the leading ace in the Anti-Hitler Coalition in WWII) and Aleksandr Pokryshkin; they flew the MiG-15… that is, they had better aircraft than the USAF did (the MiG wasn’t known as the “Sabre Killer” for nothing) and were led by more experienced leaders than the Americans had. No wonder that they won local air superiority over North Korea (they were forbidden to fly below the 38th Parallel). Since then, the USA has scrupulously avoided any opponent that might come close to it in power, as the PLA and the VVS gave the USA a real run for its money and bloodied its nose badly (in fact, the USA changed the armament on its fighters as it found out that MiGs could open fire outside of the range of the outmoded equipment on American planes). Would I be unkind in stating that the leading Sov aces outscored the leading American aces (the USAF racked up victories against the PLAAF and KPAAF that was balanced by the VVS knocking down the USAF)?
The USA provoked Russia through its proxy war in South Ossetia in ’08. I translated the news dispatches then (they’re posted on this site), and the posts told the story of an unprovoked surprise attack that started with a rocket bombardment of sleeping civilians at 22.00. The USA smiled at this… GWB smiled at this… Condi Rice smiled at this… the Republican Party smiled at this. This is a pattern, kids… so, mark that ballot for Barack Obama on 6 November. He ain’t perfect, but he’s kept us out of that sort of mess. The next time the GOP provokes the Russians, they might not be so lucky. God do preserve us all.
Friday 15 June 2012