Saber Rattling on the Korean Peninsula

Saber Rattling on the Korean Peninsula

North and South Korea came to a mutual agreement on 25 August to avert conflict following the recent military tension on the peninsula. The South Korean’s agreed to halt their operations of anti-Pyongyang loudspeaker broadcasts on the DMZ, and North Korea expressed regret for the injuries sustained by South Korean troops injured by a landmine planted by North Korean agents on the DMZ. The two sides have exchanged intermittent fire across the border since the ceasefire went into effect in 1953, but no major military operation has commenced against either side, despite continued threat. This latest incident continues to show the relative instability of peace between the two nations and the danger a future war poses on the peninsula.

Despite its threat of violence, the recent actions by North Korea show the relative weakness of the Kim Jong-Un regime. Under the current regime, the leaders of North Korea are defied by the government in an attempt to extort its continued control over the population. North Korea has a firm grip of control over the media in the nation, and any attempt to subvert the regime is brutally crushed. This is why the use of anti-government broadcasts by South Korea is met with such drastic countermeasures. Despite efforts by the North Korean government to stall any outside information from entering, overt and covert propaganda operations by South Korea and the West have met with some success.

Should North Korea pull the trigger and start another war, the Kim dynasty will not survive. While the North Koreans possess a considerable artillery force, years of famine and isolation from most of the world has resulted in a society lacking the modern resources to fight a prolonged conflict. The United States remains resolved in supporting its South Korean ally, and while China remains the foremost ally to North Korea, indications from Beijing show wavering support for the sociopathic regime of Kim Jong-Un. South Korea has a modern military, armed with today’s most advanced technology, including the development of their own stealth aircraft. Unlike the invasion of 1950, the South Korean’s today could easily stand up to an assault by the North Koreans. The use of nuclear weapons by North Korea remains the one critical issue, but should North Korea resort to using a nuclear weapon in a future conflict, they guarantee alienation by any allies that remain.

About The Author

Kyle is a Military Historian and Managing Editor at Strategy & Tactics Press. A fourth-generation combat Veteran, Kyle retired from the United States Army in 2010. He specializes in military operations from 1945-Present and has written extensively regarding the future of asymmetrical warfare.

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