In the past several weeks, there have been a number of reports in which the military plans or political objectives of either South Korea or the U.S. have been discussed. For such information to be brought out into the public realm is tantamount to openly reviewing war plans. It is as though President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared as the U.S. entered World War II, “Hey, Adolph, Benito, Hideki! Listen up fellas, these are our plans for attacking you.”
Thus far, there has been:
- Talk of more diplomatic talks – reported here by the Korea Herald, and again here by the JoongAng Daily, the latter article based upon four U.S. officials associated with the Democratic Party and who are considered to be doves speaking recently with senior North Korean diplomats.
- Talk of regime change – this article in the Korea Times, and a more realistic piece here by the Interpreter of the Lowy Institute citing fears among the elites caused by threats to their luxurious lifestyles.
- Talk of specific military targets – several reports, this one by the Yonhap News Agency, that speak of attacks on air defense positions, nuclear facilities, and even Pyongyang itself.
- Talk of targeting North Korean leadership – an article in the Korea Herald, one of many that openly discuss decapitation strikes, in addition to a recent joint U.S.-ROK exercise that pointedly included such an objective.
- Talk of pre-emptive attacks – quoting U.S. politicians in the Dong-A Ilbo here and here, in addition to many others too numerous to cite in this limited space.
SPEAKING WITH RESTRAINT
There has been a lot of talk of this or that but precious little action. Is this just South Korean or American bluster, mimicking that which usually comes out of North Korea? Or is it something that Pyongyang ought to heed? In answering this, it is critically important to respond as Kim Jong Un would, not from the perspective of Ambassador X, Professor Y, or Senator Z.
Admittedly, it is possible that Pyongyang has already surmised what our most likely targets are – but such deductions are still conjecture on its part. We do not need to confirm its suspicions and take away any doubt.
A lack of certainty is enough to cause enemy strategists and operations planners to spend precious time and resources in developing responses to other contingencies just in case. In removing his doubts – and thus uncertainty – the enemy benefits by being able to better focus his efforts on defending the stated targets.
To be sure, this could also be some part of a grand scheme of disinformation on the part of the West and its allies, except that what is being openly discussed are the right targets, are the right objectives, and are the right strategies. Besides, it is highly doubtful that the current field of diplomats and politicians are skillful enough to successfully pull off anything so disingenuous.
CHEAP TALK IS WORSE THAN NO TALK AT ALL
Aside from being irresponsible – remember the “Loose lips sink ships” slogan of World War II? – all these revelations make North Korea worry. That worry makes them even more likely to take steps to ensure regime survival. It gives them more time to prepare for whatever hostilities might eventually come by hardening bunkers, building new ones, and engaging in further defensive actions. It may even impel Pyongyang to launch some form of pre-emptive attack before we do.
It gives them more time to prepare for whatever hostilities might eventually come by hardening bunkers, building new ones, and engaging in further defensive actions. It may even impel Pyongyang to launch some form of pre-emptive attack before we do.
With the blabbermouths we have spouting off now, there is no need for WikiLeaks or another Edward Snowden – which is both disturbing and scary.
I am reminded of a particularly relevant scene from the 1966 spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in which American actor Eli Wallach is faced by an opponent who spouts a litany of disparaging blather while holding a gun on Wallach’s character. Wallach drills him first and then mocks his dead adversary by saying, “If you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk!” – a good lesson for today.
Featured image: KCNA
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 707 words of this article.