November 29, 2023

Crossing the line: Responding to North Korean provocation

A new book examines how the DPRK gets away with its over-the-top behavior

A tepid response from Washington to North Korean aggression has led to additional attacks by convincing Pyongyang that American threats aren’t to be taken seriously.

So argues Van Jackson of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in his book Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S. North Korea Relations. He demonstrates that a series of incidents that were followed up by the U.S. backing down, and with one incident that did result in a show of force – Operation Paul Bunyan following the notorious 1976 ax murder incident in Panmunjom – resulted in fewer acts of violence against American personnel.