Asia Time Online - Daily News
Asia Times Chinese
AT Chinese

     Aug 20, 2011

Dangerous games
By Kim Myong Chol

See Pyongyang's war face is painted on

The United States and South Korea have totally disregarded North Korea's repeated objections by launching the 10-day joint war games Ulchi Freedom Guardian on August 16, involving 530,000 forces from the United States, South Korea and seven other countries.

The number of US-led multilateral combat troops is more than enough to undertake a surprise invasion of North Korea.

Objectives of the games
It is all too obvious that in their multilateral war games, the Americans seek an opportunity to invade North Korea, capture its top leadership and establish a pro-American regime.

Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun August 13 quoted military sources as

revealing that far from defensive, the war game is part of the US-South Korea joint operation plan "5027", with troops training for a wide variety of missions, including a full-scale multilateral coalition invasion of North Korea, and a bid to capture supreme leader Kim Jong-il and topple the North Korean regime.

Agence France-Presse reported on August 7 that one of the key objectives of the exercises was a search and destroy mission for North Korean nuclear weapons:
"US and South Korean troops will practice destroying North Korean weapons of mass destruction during an annual joint exercise this month to improve their combat-readiness," according to a report.

"The allies will form a combined unit called the Joint Task Force for Elimination (JTF-E) when they begin a 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise on August 16," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
It seems the Americans are mad enough to risk initiating war with North Korea.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman stated on August 17:
The US is staging exercises for a war of aggression against its dialogue partner while putting up signboard of dialogue. This incoherent behavior on the part of the US is only adding to the skepticism about whether it is sincere towards dialogue or not.

It is very ill-boding that the US let "a special action unit" participate in the on-going joint military exercises as it is one tasked with detecting and destroying nuclear weapons of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]. The prevailing situation goes to prove that the US is not set to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiations but sees an opportunity to deprive it of nuclear deterrent by a brigandish method.

No attempt on the part of the US to do harm to the DPRK by force of arms can go with dialogue. This will only face the mode of merciless counteraction of Korean-style.
Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack Obama is most likely to be the first American president who will be fighting six aggressive wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Korea, to paraphrase the words of former Reuters columnist Sherwood Ross. [1]

Untoward incident could unleash shooting war
The divided and heavily armed Korean Peninsula remains the most inflammable global flashpoint, with any conflict sparked there likely to become a full-blown thermonuclear war involving the world's fourth-most powerful nuclear weapons state and its most powerful.

Any incident in Korea by design, accident, or miscalculation could erupt into a devastating DPRK-US war, with the Metropolitan US serving as a main war theater.

Rodong Sinmun warned on August 16: "The Korean Peninsula is faced with the worst crisis ever. An all-out war can be triggered by any accident."

Recent incidents illustrate the real danger of miscalculation leading to a total shooting war, given the volatile situation on the Land of Morning Calm.

1. The most recent case in point is the August 10 shelling of North Korea by the South. Frightened South Korea marines on Yeonpyeong Island mistook three noises from a North Korean construction site across the narrow channel for artillery rounds, taking an hour to respond with three to five artillery rounds.

The episode serves as a potent reminder to the world that the slightest incident can lead to war. A reportedly malfunctioning firefinder counter-artillery radar system seems to partly account for the panicky South Korean reaction.

South Korean conservative newspaper the Joong Ang Daily reported August 17:

"A military source said that radar installed to detect hostile fire did not work last week when North Korea fired five shots toward the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the disputed maritime border, on Aug 10.

"'We must confirm the location of the source of the firing through the ARTHUR (Artillery Hunting Radar) and HALO (hostile artillery location) systems, but ARTHUR failed to operate, resulting in a failure to determine the source of the fire,' said the source."

BBC reported on November 25 last year the aggressive nature of troops on the South Korea-held five islands in North Korean waters.

"Seen in this sense, they (five islands including Yeonpyeong Island) could provide staging bases for flanking amphibious attacks into North Korea if South Korea ever takes the offensive."

2. An almost catastrophic incident took place at dawn on June 17 near Inchon. South Korean marines stationed on Gyodong Island near Inchon Airport fired rifles at a civilian South Korean jetliner Airbus A320 with 119 people aboard as it was descending to land, after mistaking it for a North Korean military aircraft.

The Asiana Airlines flight was carrying 119 people from the Chinese city of Chengdu.

About 600 civilian aircraft fly near the island every day, including those flying across the NLL, but they face a perennial risk of being misidentified as a hostile warplane.

It is nothing short of a miracle that the Airbus A320 was not hit and nobody harmed.

3. On March 26, 2010, the high-tech South Korean corvette Sokcho fired 130 rounds at flocks of birds, mistaking them for a hostile flying object. The innocent birds looked like a North Korean warplane just at a time when an alleged North Korean midget submarine had managed to escape with impunity after torpedoing the hapless Cheonan deep inside security-tight South Korean waters.

The South Korean military's habit of firing at the wrong target increases the risk of an incident running out of control.

CNN aired a story December 16, headlined: "General: South Korea Drill Could Cause Chain Reaction."

F/A-18 pilot-turned Marine Corp General James Cartwright told the press in the Pentagon, "What we worry about, obviously, is if that it [the drill] is misunderstood or if it's taken advantage of as an opportunity.

"If North Korea were to react to that in a negative way and fire back at those firing positions on the islands, that would start potentially a chain reaction of firing and counter-firing.

"What you don't want to have happen out of that is ... for us to lose control of the escalation. That's the concern."

Agence France-Presse on December 11 quoted former chief of US intelligence retired admiral Dennis Blair as saying that South Korea "will be taking military action against North Korea".

New Korean war differs from other wars

Obama and the Americans seem to be incapable of realizing that North Korea is the wrong enemy, much less that a new Korean War would be fundamentally different from all other wars including the two world wars.

Two things will distinguish a likely American Conflict or DPRK-US War from previous wars.

The first essential difference is that the US mainland will become the main theater of war for the first time since the US Civil War (1861-1865), giving the Americans an opportunity to know what it is like to have war fought on their own land, not on faraway soil.

The US previously prospered by waging aggressive wars on other countries. Thus far, the Americans could afford to feel safe and comfortable while watching TV footage of war scenes from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya as if they were fires raging across the river.

The utmost collateral damage has been that some American veterans were killed or returned home as amputees, with post traumatic stress disorder, only to be left unemployed and homeless.

However, this will no longer be the case.

At long last, it is Americans' turn to have see their homeland ravaged.

An young North Korea in 1950-53 was unable to carry the war all the way across the Pacific Ocean to strike back, but the present-day North Korea stands out as a fortress nuclear weapons state that can withstand massive American ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) attacks and launch direct retaliatory transpacific strikes on the Metropolitan USA.

The second essential difference is that the next war in Korea, that is, the American Conflict or the DPRK-USA War would be the first actual full-fledged nuclear, thermonuclear war that mankind has ever seen, in no way similar to the type of nuclear warfare described in science fiction novels or films.

North Korea is unique among the nuclear powers in two respects: One is that the Far Eastern country, founded by legendary peerless hero Kim Il-sung, is the first country to engage and badly maul the world's only superpower in three years of modern warfare when it was most powerful, after vanquishing Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

The other is that North Korea is fully ready to go the length of fighting mankind's first and last nuclear exchange with the US.

The DPRK led by two Kim Il-sungs - the ever-victorious iron-willed brilliant commander Kim Jong-il and his heir designate Kim Jong-eun - is different from Russia under Nikita Khrushchev which backed down in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Khrushchev and his company never fought the Americans in war. As a rule, most countries are afraid to engage the Americans. As the case is with them, North Korea is the last to favor war with the Americans.

However, it is no exaggeration to say that the two North Korean leaders are just one click away from ordering a retaliatory nuclear strike on the US military forces in Guam, Hawaii and metropolitan centers on the US mainland.

On behalf of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-eun will fire highly destructive weapons of like Americans have never heard of or imagined to evaporate the US.

The North Koreans are too proud of being descendents of the ancient civilizations of Koguryo 2,000 years ago and Dankun Korea 5,000 years ago, to leave the Land of morning Calm divided forever with the southern half under the control of the trigger-happy, predatory US. The North Koreans prefer to fight and die in honor rather than kowtow to the arrogant Americans.

At the expense of comforts of a better life, North Koreans have devoted more than half a century to preparing for nuclear war with the Americans. All available resources have been used to convert the whole country into a fortress, including arming the entire population and indigenously turning out all types of nuclear thermonuclear weapons, and developing long-range delivery capabilities and digital warfare assets.

An apocalyptic Day After Tommorow-like scenario will unfold throughout the US, with the skyscrapers of major cities consumed in a sea of thermonuclear conflagration. The nuclear exchange will begin with retaliatory North Korean ICBMs detonating hydrogen bombs in outer space far above the US mainland, leaving most of the country powerless.

New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and major cities should be torched by ICBMs streaking from North Korea with scores of nuclear power stations exploding, each spewing as much radioactive fallout as 150-180 H-bombs.

Editor's Note
1. Sherwood Ross wishes to make clear that he was mistakenly paraphrased in his article and has never accused President Barack Obama of desiring to make war on Korea. While he did say that Obama was waging war in six countries at once: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Sudan, he did not include Korea. He also wishes to stress that he was a workplace contributor to Reuters, not writing about foreign policy.

Kim Myong Chol is author of a number of books and papers in Korean, Japanese and English on North Korea, including Kim Jong-il's Strategy for Reunification. He has a PhD from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Academy of Social Sciences and is often called an "unofficial" spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea.

(Copyright 2011 Kim Myong Chol.)

War games on Nightmare Range
(Mar 12, '11)

The (war) games go on (Jul 31, '11)

India faces a deal with the devil

2. US gropes, muscular China wrestles

3. Persian classic too sexy for censors

4. Knives out for Malaysia's Najib

5. Putin ignores gathering storm

6. China's shift in posture as the West wanes

7. TAPI deals nudge pipeline nearer reality

8. Yingluck and the generals

9. Pakistan frets over femme fatales

10. North Korea seeks rice deal

(24 hours to 11:59pm ET, Aug 18, 2011)


All material on this website is copyright and may not be republished in any form without written permission.
Copyright 1999 - 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings), Ltd.
Head Office: Unit B, 16/F, Li Dong Building, No. 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, Hong Kong
Thailand Bureau: 11/13 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan, Thailand 77110