Joint US ROK search and rescue mission in Pocheon, using a panoply of jets, rockets, live ammo, and 2000 troops is, Washington and Seoul say, a warning to North Korea.
These military exercises close to North Korea’s borders—yet not in harm’s way of provoking Pyongyang to respond as it did in November 2010 when joint naval exercises using live fire landed in North Korean territorial waters.
It is telling that the failed US led alliance to rollback North Korea to the point of capitulation in 1950 still stings the US to the quik. An armistice notwithstanding the Bush 43 and Obama administrations have picked up a hoary policy of pushing North Korea to the edge of collapse or provoking it to reopen the Korean War.
It is equally interesting that although Pyongyang is on the ‘qui vive’, the aggressors appear in the shape of Washington and Seoul. The two allies are engaging in the old tactic of the best defence is offence, and offensive in all sense of the work they are.
From North Korea’s standpoint, its ‘military first’ policy is justly confirmed: the US and South Korea appear as though they are on the threshold of war with the DPRK. Can anyone blame Pyongyang for thinking so in the light of US and South Korea manoeuvres diplomatically, economically, and militarily, these two countries in concert have carried out since 2008.
The US North Korean clerisy advise strongly against ending the Korean War, which looks as though it is a modern version of the 100 years war. Instead, bankrupt ideologically and intellectually as they are, their views of rolling back North Korea to the point of exhaustion or war. [Ironically, had they any notion of history, it was the US UN led troops that the DPRK and Chinese volunteers rolled back to the DMZ, thereby frustrating America’s mission to destroy the spread of Communism. Rollback didn’t work then, and it is not working now.]
Nonetheless, like a tired old fighter long past his prime, the US and South Korea try to slug it out for the championship, and keep getting knocked down. In the end, they are more punch drunk than lucid in policies towards North Korea.