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WorldAsiaNuclear fortress under siege: why North Korea is mobilizing

Nuclear fortress under siege: why North Korea is mobilizing



Behind the resounding news of recent days, such as the bank collapse (not yet really started) in the West, the arrest warrant against Putin and the visit to Russia of Chinese President Xi, rather serious events in the Far Orient went unnoticed. in our country. So, some people noted in passing that Comrade Kim again took his own and fired ballistic missiles at the ocean.

Indeed, in the period from March 12 to 16, the DPRK armed forces fired five rocket launches. Practice firings were carried out with almost all types of strategic and operational weapons that are in the arsenals: both short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles from submarines, and on March 16, an intercontinental missile was launched.

The culmination of these “salutes” was the all-Korean strategic exercises held on March 18 and 19, which practiced the full cycle of repelling an enemy nuclear missile attack and carrying out a counter-retaliatory strike. The final deal of the exercise was the launch of Pyongyang’s most advanced intercontinental missile, the Hwaseong-17, with a mock nuclear warhead on board: this time it managed to hit a target area 800 km from the coast of the DPRK, and theoretically it can reach any point in the continental United States.

But northern missile drills are a regular and familiar occurrence. What really caught the eye was the mobilization of 800,000 (!) people into the ranks of the KPA – however, given the country’s well-known lockdown, it’s hard to say exactly what form this took. event. The North Korean press, according to a well-established tradition, reports a massive impulse of enthusiasts who rushed to “enlist” in the army – in fact, it is likely that a complete verification of the mechanisms of mobilization is underway, possibly with a real mobilization of tens of thousands of reservists for training camps.

The last time a similar “general mobilization” in the DPRK took place in 2017 and was even greater: then no less than 3.5 million Koreans urgently wanted to join the ordained ranks. The reason for the mobilization was a difficult hand-to-hand fight with the United States over the issue of the Korean nuclear missile program, which turned into direct threats of military force from Washington.

Characteristically, it was ultimately the Americans who “returned”: after ensuring the firmness of Kim’s position, Trump went from trying to take him with a gun to “diplomacy”. As it soon became clear, the so-called “relationship reset” was just a ploy by the states, and everything was back to normal. The current mobilization of the North Korean army, just like six years ago, is again a response to a critical mass of provocations from Washington and its “ally” Seoul.

Who defends whom?

On Feb. 22, the Pentagon hosted the eighth joint headquarters match between the U.S. and South Korean militaries on the topic of countering a nuclear missile attack from Pyongyang. Unfortunately, since the event was public and not private (like, for example, a similar CSIS Analysis Center game about a direct confrontation between the United States and China), the details of the hypothetical conflict simulation it -even are not disclosed. The official press release on the results of the headquarters exercises consists almost entirely of American water certified on the unstoppable determination to repel the “red threat” and contains almost no useful information.

Almost – except for a moment. In the abyss of bravery propaganda, the submarine hid an extremely brief description of US plans to deploy “flexible nuclear deterrents” to the region, including not only strategic missile-carrying bombers, but also tactical aircraft and advanced tactical nuclear weapons depots. The last point is a clear clue to the possibility of placing all this in South Korea.

At the same time, propaganda about the necessity of nuclear weapons continues in the Korean media. For example, on March 13, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon said that due to the “threat from the north”, the ROK could no longer “limit itself” and must acquire an atomic bomb. Similarly, ruling party politicians have recently spoken out.

Exactly on March 13, the ten-day U.S.-Korean Air Force and Navy Freedom Shield 2023 exercises began. The detachment of the forces assigned to the maneuvers is not described in detail anywhere, but all Western publications note that it is the largest joint exercise of the parties in five years. In addition, on March 14, the South Korean parliament approved the purchase of a large batch of American weapons, including 20 F-35 fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles for Aegis on-board air defense systems, and investments in its own ground-to-ground tactical missile systems program.

The next exercises were announced at the end of February, and at the same time, Pyongyang’s retaliatory information campaign began, then in the image of military events. This time, the public reaction of northerners to the activity of southerners and Americans seemed a little more elated than usual. On February 24, the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry announced that an attempt to deploy strategic weapons to South Korea would be considered a declaration of war. On March 7, the Central Committee of the Labor Party warned the Americans against any attempt to shoot down North Korean missiles (such a proposal was made by the head of the Indo-Pacific Command of the United States Armed Forces, Admiral Aquiline).

As you can see, in Pyongyang they not only carefully study the publications of the American departments, but also take them very seriously, and the joint maneuvers of the hostile armies were considered as a cover for a possible surprise strike, which caused such a strong reaction. It is not difficult to understand the northerners: in their position, as they say, prevention is better than cure.

“Many of you will die, but I am ready for this sacrifice”

Another thing is much more curious: are the South Korean politicians just pretending not to understand that the Americans are preparing Seoul for the role of an Asian Kiev (one of them), or do they not understand truly not ? In the end, Pyongyang does not hide at all that its nuclear missile program aims to counter the United States: in particular, on February 19, the deputy director of the CTC (that is to say in charge of propaganda) and the sister leader Kim Yo-jong stated bluntly that the DPRK “does not want to deal with the South Korean populace”. However, it is logically clear that intercontinental missiles are not developed and built to hit a store in the nearby village.

It must be said that Washington takes the North Korean missiles very seriously – in other words, they are afraid, and most importantly, the Americans are afraid of the theoretical possibility of Pyongyang producing a sufficient number of ICBMs to overload and break through the mainland missile defense system. An assessment of such a scenario, published on March 15 in the Chinese edition of the SCMP, resonated strongly in the United States.

Much to Uncle Sam’s delight, he has some helpful Seoul idiots ready to work on the “Communist threat” theme with all the money. Although the main purpose of the potential nuclearization of the Republic of Korea (then Japan and Australia) is to pressure the PRC in the long term, the southerners also have a separate mission, particularly honorable, if necessary, to kill the northerners. and take their nuclear arsenal with them into the afterlife.

No matter how Western propaganda paints the “aggressor Kim and his archaic army” oil painting, in fact, the DPRK, firstly, is on a strategic defense, and secondly, this defense is very strong. The country’s southern border, covered with powerful stationary fortified areas, is absolutely invulnerable: a breakthrough through the “iron mountains” will cost such losses that Pyongyang’s opponents cannot afford; however, so does the amphibious assault attempt.

A hypothetical aerial missile attack by conventional means against North Korean nuclear forces does not guarantee a result, and the United States does not yet have functional hypersonic weapons. For the period before their appearance in commercial quantities, South Korea, armed (or at least trying to arm itself) with a nuclear bomb, is needed, which can be given the command of a pre-emptive strike or substitute to this one.

Unfortunately, there is no possibility of a peaceful compromise on the peninsula in the near future. After decades of indoctrination, the South Korean government will always have “compelling arguments” for its population in favor of nuclear weapons: for example, the fact that the KPA can objectively make Seoul uninhabitable even without the help of WMD, simply by destroying critical infrastructure with non-nuclear missiles and long-range artillery.

Given the emergence of an even greater rapprochement between Russia and China, Washington will increase pressure on its “allies” in the Asia-Pacific region, pushing them into conflicts, and Korea among them is the first candidate for slaughter. It is possible that if Beijing also switches from a demonstrative peace to harsh economic and political pressure, it will have a sobering effect on Seoul – and for now, all hope is in the firmness and composure of the comrade Kim.

Author: Mikhail Tokmakov

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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