People watch a television broadcasting a news report on North Korea’s new type of tactical guided weapon test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, April 17, 2022.
Who is the aggressor in this situation?
Protip: the people associated with the Americans are always the bad guys. In every situation.
South Korea is pouring resources into its strategy of deterring any North Korean nuclear attack by preparing for preemptive strikes if necessary, a strategy some experts say may exacerbate their arms race and risks miscalculation during a conflict.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has publicly given new emphasis to the so-called “Kill Chain” system to counter a North Korean nuclear attack.
First developed a decade ago as North Korea ramped up its nuclear development, Kill Chain calls for preemptive strikes against the North’s missiles and possibly its senior leadership if an imminent attack is detected.
The system is a logical but highly risky and potentially unreliable way to try to counter North Korea’s nuclear threat, some experts and former officials say.
The implicit threat against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is particularly destabilising, said Ankit Panda of the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“I can see why leadership decapitation is tempting for South Korea, but threatening to kill the leadership of a nuclear-armed state is uniquely dangerous,” he said.
Jeffrey Lewis, a missile researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), called the plans “the most plausible route to a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.”
“This is the *military* plan that is most likely to succeed…” he said in a post on Twitter. “But it is also the option most likely to create uncontrollable escalation dynamics and start a nuclear war.”
South Korea’s Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment on such concerns.
Yoon has previously said boosting the system is vital to making sure North Korea never launches an attack in the first place.
This month, Yoon’s administration announced the creation of a Strategic Command by 2024 to oversee preemptive and retaliatory strike strategies. It includes a growing arsenal of ballistic missiles, F-35A stealth fighters and new submarines, which have been displayed in increasingly frequent drills.
South Korea is also seeking to develop its own satellites and other technology to detect North Korean targets independently from the United States.
But some experts say it is doubtful a preemptive strike could accomplish its goal.
North Korea in recent months has tested hypersonic missiles and missiles it says could carry tactical nuclear weapons, narrowing the time Seoul would have to respond to a pending attack.
“Kim has ample reason to believe that he can employ his nuclear weapons in a limited way and still survive,” Panda said.
A focus on decapitation strikes, meanwhile, may encourage Kim to adopt more dangerous command and control practices in a crisis, such as delegating nuclear authority so North Korea’s weapons can be used even if he is killed, Panda added.
An inconvenient fact for South Koreans wanting to display independent bravado to the North is that any preemptive strike would have to be done in consultation with the United States, a former senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation said.
Kim has nukes.
That’s why they can’t ever just bomb him and wipe him out.
Kim could also totally wreck the South with conventional rockets that they have no way to defend against because they’re too close. Even an Israeli style system would be useless, because Kim has way more advanced weapons.
So: why not just be nice to him?
What is the point of all of these mean-spirited threats and demands?
Just quit hassling him.
It’s all so stupid and dishonest.
Does anyone think the average North Korean is not happier than the average South Korean? By a lot?
But South Korea is better because of… democracy and freedom?
What is the meaning of a human life? To have a democracy?
If so, then why? What are we trying to do here? Why are North Korean people so happy, and why is that considered unacceptable by Western powers?