East Asia Correspondent – David McDonald
North Korea Highly Likely To Intensify Anti – South Korean Rhetoric During Exercises
25 March 2016
It is highly likely that the North Korean military will continue its anti – South Korean military exercises, amid increased tension among the two nation. It is also likely that North Korea will continue to run missile tests despite a recent United Nations expansion of an arms embargo on the country. In its most recent exercise, North Korean officials announced that the military simulated an artillery attack on the South Korean presidential residence.
A Pyongyang based news agency reported that North Korean military officials conducted an anti – South Korean exercise on 25 March. Although other news agencies are now reporting the same story, the bulletin is the most recent form of North Korean rhetoric towards South Korea. The reports indicated that the North Korean military conducted a live artillery drill that simulated an attack on the South Korean Presidential residence. In response, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye ordered the army to be on full alert.[i]
The U.S. sees the operation and press release as North Korea’s response to recent U.N. sanctions on the country’s nuclear weapons program.[ii] The U.N. established the sanction, which blocks North Korea from gaining money for its nuclear weapons program, in response to nuclear tests it conducted in January and February.[iii] Recent nuclear sanctions on North Korea have been tough to implement because of the country’s insistence on the use of nuclear weapons as a means of its national security. As an example of this, North Korean officials drafted a constitutional amendment declaring that the country a nuclear-armed state.[iv]
The U.N. has imposed previous sanctions on North Korea, with no results. Starting in 2006, the U.N. adopted a resolution prohibiting countries from supplying the DPRK with major conventional weapons such as military vehicles, missiles and missile launchers, and warships. In 2009 the U.N. expanded the embargo to prohibit the sale of all arms, except for light weapons, to North Korea.[v] Despite these attempts, North Korea has displayed the ability to bypass international restrictions and obtain missiles and missile launchers.[vi]
Analytic confidence for this assessment is medium. The analyst used no analytic methodologies for this analysis. Source reliability is medium with no conflict among sources and information from the past two months. The analyst’s expertise on the topic is minimal. The analyst worked alone with some casual discussion among group members. The task complexity is minimally complex and the time constraint was sufficient.
Image, above, despite U.N. sanctions on North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea created the THAAD missile defense system to defend from a missile strike.