Rhetoric from North Korea has ratcheted up following a short respite to throw a party for the country’s founder.
From Yonhap News:
North Korea’s military on Tuesday issued an “ultimatum” saying it would launch retaliation against South Korea without warning if “anti-North Korean” activities continue in the South.
The war games are annual, bilateral training between South Korea (ROK) forces and U.S. forces — over the years the training has become totally routine, and so has the blustering response of North Korean officials.
Experts have pointed out that much of what Kim Jong-Un says could be with the aim of consolidating power internally. Kim could be setting himself up to claim his tough talk prevented a possible U.S. invasion, using propaganda to paint the war games as the South’s attempt to prep for crossing the Demilitarized Zone into the North.
He may take a high-profile victory lap come April 30, when the games end.
Daniel Pinkston, who focuses on North Korea for the International Crisis Group, told NPR recently that North Korea “will say that ‘look, the Americans were really going to invade us. They were preparing for it and they ran away scared because of our nuclear deterrent [and] our great commander. … Now we can celebrate.'”
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