Despite the latest North Korea threat against the U.S. and South Korea, 50,000 South Korean soldiers and 25,000 American troops began the 12-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills on Monday. Kim Jong-Un’s regime said they would turn Seoul and Washington into “a heap of ashes.”
According to the Inquisitr, which goes into details to explain North Korea’s threat, Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling says that with as many tests as the aggressive nation has completed, at some point they’re going to get it right.
It also refers to a report by CNN saying that U.S. intelligence insiders feel that the North Korea threat is no longer theoretical and more practical now.
All early reports of the military drill refer to the defection of a North Korean diplomat, which the Inquisitr also reported on as the incident which has increased the potentiality of the threat, as the regime out of Pyongyang — the capital of North Korea — has a history of making frequent threats.
Reports out of the region, though unconfirmed, say that North Korea might be capable of nuclear warhead miniaturization for their long-range missiles, one of which recently reached the Sea of Japan only last month.
Recent news about other defectors — 12 workers from a North Korean restaurant in China — being settled in South Korea will be another way to gauge the threat, as Pyongyang has already accused the one diplomat who defected as being a child molester, according to Reuters.
Those in the intelligence community feel the threat from North Korea is cause for concern; the continuation of the military exercise and other methods already used by South Korea seem to be viewed as threats against North Korea or a way to taunt the regime. Some of those methods have been the blasting of music across the border, for which North Korean soldiers apparently fired a warning shot over last year.
North Korea is not the only country that feels threatened by Seoul and the U.S. Russia and China have also expressed concerns over the installation of a THAAD missile system the U.S. is looking to put on the South Korean border.
Xinhua via the Global Times published an op-ed suggesting that the THAAD missile defense system poses enough of a threat to those nations for them to form an alliance against it, which could result in a downward spiral toward war.
The Inquisitr reported on the pressure the U.S. has put on China specifically, through toughening sanctions against Pyongyang to not assist the “hermit kingdom,” which appears to be working. But if the suggestion from the op-ed has any truth to it, the response from China would likely be aggressive and could pose a threat to the impact those sanctions have.
While not related, Russia’s current involvement in Syria and the reports on the lack of commitment to ceasefire agreements, their lack of commitment to forcing Assad out of power per U.S. demands, aggression towards the Ukraine, or even their efforts to weaken western sanctions against them could be a sign as to the difficulty of putting those missiles there to protect South Korea from possible retaliation.
The president of South Korea has said that the defections from North Korea show that there are “serious cracks” in Pyongyang but adds that the regime is able to conduct cyber attacks in order to deflect attention from those defections.
The threat of cyber-attacks is also taken seriously, especially in the U.S. when SONY was hacked over the release of the movie about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un called The Interview, which revealed incriminating emails and also resulted in the reorganization of the company.
In a similar case, Russia is also considered a North Korea-like threat, as intelligence has reason to believe that they supported the hacking of networks involved with the 2016 United States presidential election.
[Photo by Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]