BigBallinStalin wrote:US Korea rattle their sabres by holding military drills.
Then there's the anti-NK sanctions too.
Oh, and let's not forget the shift in US foreign policy toward NK during the Bush administration, which starkly differs with previous US foreign policy toward NK (which was essentially, 'we don't care about you').
NK then rattles its sabre to say, 'we're not afraid'.
You have to take into account both sides and their actions in this scenario to get the fuller picture. If not, then it's pretty much alarmist/sensationalism.
The sanctions were also heavily backed by North Korea's lone ally China, and these sanctions are simply luxury items like ipods.
But the overall stance towards NK has been one where the US has been trying to make peace with them with "ambassadors" and representatives. A military drill that is done publicly right across the border is not a sign of eminant warfare. Maybe a message saying "See what we can do? Back off or you may get a taste of it." Meaning, if NK becomes the aggressor my luanching missiles or invading across the divide, then the US and South Korean troops will counter strike.
Let's not forget Japan, who techinically doesn't even have a standing army (they cannot legally call it that, due to the treaty they signed after WWII). They are also being talked about as a target by North Korea. Granted, the Far East countries have a deep seated hatred of eachother in general, this is open warfare we're talking about.
You can think all that, but it's not how NK perceives the situation. Mobilizing a military of roughly 10k-30k for military drills can be alarming, and the usual response by those who are definitely the target of intimidation (NK) is "we're not scared," thus the ongoing sabre-rattling response by NK.
The general pattern of NK missile tests is as follows:
1. NK launches a missile.
2. US, China, JPN, SK say their crap about blah blah blah.
3. NK responds verbally.
4. NK gets foreign 'aid'.
The recent sabre rattling could be part of this general pattern too. It's not "open warfare," so that isn't the actual topic here. This is about language--communicated through open diplomatic cables, classified cables, and militaristic posturing. There's simply no open warfare here."But the overall stance towards NK has been one where the US has been trying to make peace with them with "ambassadors" and representatives."
That's false. Think of the historical context. Everything changed when Bush threw out decades of diplomacy by labeling NK as part of the 'Axis of Evil'. Decades of diplomacy were obliterated by an extremely stupid speech. Since this fundamental shift in US foreign policy to NK, NK has been more aggressive (which is not at all surprising, thanks to US aggression/intervention). Diplomatic actions to peace (lol) since then don't mean crap--given that the US can be fickle. The US has simply proven that it isn't trustworthy.
See: Patrick James and Ozgur and Ozdamar - "The United States and North Korea - Avoiding a Worst-Case Scenario"