North Korea has a missile attack on South Korea


SEOUL, South Korea — Monday was business as usual on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea, flouting U.N. Security Council resolutions, test-fired a trio of short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea/Sea of Japan a day after the top U.S. diplomat arrived for a summit in South Korea.
The fallback for the U.S., South Korea and Japan has been a policy heavily reliant on deterrence.
Those who worked with previous Seoul governments and who have direct experience in and with North Korea suggest that another form of leverage exists: military drills.
Offering the carrot of a suspension of joint U.S.-South Korean military drills could lure North Korea back to the negotiating table, they say.
“To protect it, you need the wisdom of diplomacy.”Relying on deterrence is especially dicey for South Korea.
Its capital lies just 35 miles from the border, where North Korean long-range artillery is dug in.
North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, home to 3 million people, lies 130 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone — beyond artillery range.
North Korea routinely criticizes the joint spring drills as rehearsals for a potential invasion.
“Inter-Korean relations have hit bottom and North Korean hostility is very high, so they may not accept the gesture,” Mr.
His term included three personal meetings that ultimately failed to produce the denuclearization deal Mr. Trump wanted.

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SEOUL, South Korea — On Monday, the Korean Peninsula continued as usual, with North Korea defying U. N. Three short-range ballistic missiles were tested into the East Sea/Sea of Japan one day after the top U.S. official signed Security Council resolutions. s. envoy arrived in South Korea for a summit.

The day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived to deliver a speech at the third Summit for Democracy—a signature Biden administration project that concludes on Wednesday—Pyongyang fired its most recent missiles.

During the summit, Mr. Blinken emphasized the perils of disinformation warfare. According to a statement released by Yoon Suk Yeol’s office, Mr. Blinken stated that the United States would always stand by South Korea to firmly respond to North Korea’s provocations and to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. “.

However, commentators claimed that the U. s. and its regional allies to put an end to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction projects demonstrates their lack of power over Kim Jong-un’s regime. The ability of the democracies to influence North Korea’s actions is limited in the absence of diplomatic, economic, or political ties with Pyongyang and few avenues of communication with the government.

As a backup plan, the U. S. Japan and South Korea have had a deterrent-heavy foreign policy. Military drills are another form of leverage, according to those who have worked with previous Seoul governments and have firsthand knowledge of North Korea.

A joint U.S. suspension is being offered as the carrot. S. -According to some, South Korea’s military exercises could persuade North Korea to return to the negotiation table. It has previously been carried out with senior U. S. officers in the military.

“Deterrence is a given. Deterrence is important and cannot be disputed, but it only lasts until it fails, according to Choi Jong-keun, the deputy minister of foreign affairs under Moon Jae-in, Mr. Yoon’s immediate predecessor. “You need the wisdom of diplomacy to protect it. “.

For South Korea, depending solely on deterrence is particularly risky. North Korea’s long-range artillery is entrenched near the border, about 35 miles from the capital. Half of South Korea’s 51 million inhabitants live in the Seoul-Incheon-Suwon metropolitan area, which has virtually no civil defense planning.

Nestled beyond the reach of artillery, and situated 130 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone, is Pyongyang, the capital and home to 3 million people of North Korea.

“There is an imbalance of vulnerabilities between the North and the South,” said academic Moon Chung-in, who has counseled all Seoul governments that have dealt with Pyongyang. “I emphasize preventative diplomacy because there is no way to defend; the damage we would cause is too great. “.

increased drilling intensity.

Both sides are increasing their military drills instead of engaging in any diplomacy at this time. Mr. Kim supervised an armored and artillery drill last week. When the paratroopers practiced landing, his daughter Kim Ju-ae went with him.

Beyond the demilitarized zone that splits the peninsula, joint U. S. -South Korean military drills known as Freedom Shield 24 came to an end last week, but more are planned. On Wednesday, there will be a combined water crossing drill.

The joint spring drills are frequently criticized by North Korea, which sees them as invasion practice. Seoul and Washington maintain that their war games are purely defensive.

According to The Washington Times, former members of the body in charge of monitoring the armistice during the Korean War, the exercises are “not entirely” defensive in nature. These participants pointed out that they end with counterattacks.

The drills are also a cause for concern for Pyongyang, which adheres to Russian and Soviet doctrine. Before invading Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2022, Moscow’s forces staged exercises to conceal troop movements.

Pyongyang has expressed interest in the past in agreeing to a pause in the military drills. 1992 was mentioned by Mr. Moon, as President George H. D. W. Bush halted the practice runs. In 2018, the same thing transpired under President Trump. Both occasions provided opportunities for interaction.

Not even the U. S. In 2018, the military supported the pause. Chief Gen. Chief of Staff Officer Vincent Brooks, U.S. S. According to Forces Korea, the diplomacy needed to gain traction may require reducing the scope of the exercises and the publicity associated with them. “.

Should drills be reduced once more, maybe during the next U.S. s. administration, adding, “It might send a positive message,” Mr. Moon stated.

complicating elements.

Dear Mr. Moon mentioned two elements that make forecasts about the reaction to a halt to military exercises difficult.

“North Korean hostility is extremely high and inter-Korean relations have reached a low point, so they might not accept the gesture,” Mr. Moon stated. “With the general election in April, President Yoon Suk Yeol is unable to reduce exercises.”. His [conservative] constituents would no longer support him. “.

One of the U.S. S. foreign relations expert who teaches at Seoul’s Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, pointed out that the 2018 drill suspension “occurred in a constellation of Trump being experimental and Moon being on a peace and charm offensive.”. “Mr. Yoon is not willing to do that,” he declared. “.

From his inauguration in 2021, President Biden has demonstrated minimal enthusiasm for renewing diplomatic ties with Mr. Kim. Mr. Richey believes that if Mr. Trump wins the election in November and goes back to the White House, he might try to resume his personal friendship with Mr. Kim. During his term, there were three private meetings that ultimately did not result in the denuclearization agreement that Mr. Trump desired.

Washington would have to change its long-held position to arms control, providing a de facto acknowledgement that North Korea is a nuclear state, since the majority of North Korean experts believe Pyongyang will never completely give up its nuclear arsenal.

Building a detente with their ally is one way to increase attention on China, as Mr. Dot Richey stated. “It is not impossible that Trump comes around to the idea that a nuclear North Korea is out of the barn and you will never get the horse back in,” he said. In that scenario, I see Trump being free to follow his own judgment or being surrounded by individuals who are far more open to unconventional thinking than the current administration, rather than being constrained by the chiefs of staff, the national security adviser, and the secretary of state. “.

Although such drastic measures might unsettle Capitol Hill, former foreign secretary Mr. Choi said engagement should be investigated despite the dangers.

He stated that courageous leaders in Seoul and Washington are needed for committed diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Andrew Salmon can be contacted at

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