April 23, 2024

A North Korean invasion is no longer unthinkable. But it’s still unlikely.

Robert Carlin and Siegfried Hecker’s warning of war has Washington fretting as the DPRK prepares long-term for conflict

During a recent visit to Washington, I was surprised by the significant impact of a now-infamous article by Robert Carlin and Siegfried Hecker on Korea watchers in the U.S. For those unfamiliar, the article published by 38 North discussed the current military buildup and ideological shifts in North Korea, in essence warning that North Korea appears likely to invade the South in the near future.

Frankly, had anyone other than Carlin and Hecker made such a statement, I would have hardly paid any attention to it. In my four decades as a Pyongyang-watcher, I have encountered an impressive number of similarly alarmist reports, none of which have been proven true. 

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