North Korea vowed Wednesday to attack South Korea if ships from the North are searched as part a U.S.-led effort to stop vessels suspected of carrying missiles or weapons of mass destruction. It also declared that the truce that ended the Korean War in 1953 was no longer valid.
On Wednesday, the government of Kim Jong Il went on a rhetorical counterattack. North Korea said it no longer could guarantee the safety of ships from South Korea and other countries sailing in the Yellow Sea off its western coast. It added that it would not honor a North-South border in that sea, which was drawn at the end of the Korean War.
The North also said it would not respect the legal status of five islands on the South’s side of the line. Two naval clashes occurred in that area in 1999 and 2002, killing six sailors from South Korea and more than 30 from North Korea. In those skirmishes, North Korea was badly outgunned by the South’s more modern weapons.
“The location of mansions where Pyongyang’s leaders enjoy their Hennessy cognac is well known to the American military, and North Koreans know the precision of U.S. cruise missiles,” Lankov said. “The North will steer clear of any action which might lead to a real confrontation.”
So do they mean to go through with an attack on South Korea? Yeah, probably not, but it’s always fun to have a bellicose lunatic with a potential nuclear capability next door.