Kim Jong Un Appears Determined for War
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is as dangerous as just before the Korean War on June 25, and there is an analysis that Kim Jong-un’s frequent mention of ‘war’ may not be a bluff.
Robert Carlin, a researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the United States, and Professor Siegfried Hecker wrote in an article posted on the North Korean specialist media 38 North on the 11th (local time), “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dangerous than ever since early June 1950,” and “We believe that Kim Jong-un has made a strategic decision to go to war, as his grandfather did in 1950.”
They argued, “We don’t know when and how Kim Jong-un will pull the trigger, but the current risk has exceeded the level of ‘provocation’ that Korea, the United States, and Japan always warn about,” and “The ‘war preparation’ message appearing in North Korean state media since early last year is not the usual ‘bluff’ that North Korea does.”
They saw that Kim Jong-un, who was greatly disappointed with the breakdown of negotiations at the North Korean summit in Hanoi in February 2019, completely gave up on normalizing relations with the United States, which had been the goal of the North Korean regime for three generations, and that was a major reason for deciding to go to war.
They also argued that North Korea may have judged that the opportunity and time to pursue a military solution to the Korean Peninsula issue has come as a friendly global environment is being created through strengthened cooperation with China and Russia.
However, in such a situation, South Korea and the United States are sticking to the idea that Kim Jong-un will maintain the current status while making minor provocations due to the ‘ironclad’ deterrence of the Korea-US alliance, the two scholars analyzed.
They warned, “Korea and the United States may think they can deter North Korea by frequently sending the message ‘If North Korea attacks, we will destroy the North Korean regime,’ but such a thought can be fatal in the current situation.”
They also predicted, “We may have reached a situation where we need to seriously consider the worst case where North Korea plans to move in a way that completely deviates from our calculations,” and “North Korea may try to target the weakest part of the military power of Korea, the United States, and Japan psychologically or physically.”
They also predicted, “If Chairman Kim Jong-un judges that there is no other way to improve relations with the United States, his recent remarks and actions show that he is leaning toward a military solution using nuclear weapons.”
By. Jung Wook Kim