The psychotic regime in North Korea has become even more unhinged lately.
After the UN voted to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test, the regime threatened a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States.
Then, protesting the beginning of annual joint US-South Korea military exercises, Pyongyang unilaterally declares it has voided the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and warned that the next step was an act of “merciless” military retaliation against its enemies.
Because the Korean War was concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas have always remained technically at war. Voiding the ceasefire theoretically opens the way to a resumption of hostilities, although observers note this is far from the first time that North Korea has announced the demise of the armistice.
Pyongyang’s huffing-and-puffing has inspired The Civilian, a prankster “news” site in New Zealand to post the alarming news that Pyongyang is threatening a nuclear attack on New Zealand, Iceland, and Turkmenistan! (H/t FOTM’s joworth)
So how credible and how effective are North Korea’s threats?
From The Guardian: Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US. It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for a handful of cruder devices. The White House said North Korea’s threats would only lead to Pyongyang’s further international isolation and declared that the United States was ‘fully capable’ of defending against any North Korean missile attack by quickly and easily intercepting any incoming missile.
From Reuters: Even North Korea’s sole ally, the People’s Republic of China, is backing away from Pyongyang. China’s U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said Beijing wanted to see “full implementation” of the new Security Council resolution, which tightens financial restrictions on Pyongyang and cracks down on its attempts to ship and receive banned cargo.
See also my post of Jan. 27, 2013, “North Koreans driven to cannibalism from famine and govt mismanagement.”
Update (March 15):
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today that the U.S. is deploying 14 new ground-based missile interceptors, probably in Alaska. While officials didn’t say specifically why the missiles are being deployed, but the announcement comes as North Korea has been making bellicose threats to void the armistice that ended the Korean War and launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. The U.S. and South Korea began annual military drills this week despite the North Korean threats.