Over the past few days, much of the news community has been abuzz with the latest threats from North Korea (Reuters and AP). The best quote coming from a translated North Korean document states the following:
“If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises…at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour,” said Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean Military. He went on to say, “”You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction.”
The articles make it sound as if this is something new. The truth is that every time South Korea and its allies conduct a military drill, North Korea issues a threat just as this. The only difference between them, is that the regime changes the wording. Every threat has the same key features: 1) warn that the drill raises tensions, 2) states that the drill is an act of aggression, and 3) North Korea will completely obliterate the US and South Korea.
With years of the same rhetoric being spewed, it’s difficult for anyone to take such comments seriously. What would be news and worth reporting, is if North Korea failed to make such a statement. When incoming President Park Guen-hye is sworn in later today, this will be her first test and it will be interesting to see how she responds, if at all.
Personally, such repeated statements with no actions following them up gives the words little weight and I’d be inclined to completely ignore them as nothing more than a bunch of hot air from an insolent child.