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North Korea: a dangerous poker game

December 24 category:Asia
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North Korea: a dangerous poker game

Pyongyang threatens US nuclear strikes and breaks the non-aggression agreements with its southern neighbor. Great no matter what? Yes, but not only.

L'Express / Marc Epstein

North Korea said Friday the repeal of the non-aggression agreements with the South and warned the US that they were exposed to a "pre-emptive nuclear strikes." The army was ready "to lead a total war," according to Kim Jong-Un, the leader of the regime.

The North Korean regime is customary aggressive advertisements, but his rhetoric has skyrocketed in recent days, while the UN adopted new sanctions against North Korea and joint military exercises naval forces met in Washington and Seoul, off the peninsula.

In the manner of a child who constantly threatens to "break everything," the bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang eventually arouse in the world, tinted weary smiles. Should we take it seriously? Yes and no.

The main non-aggression pact between North and South, separated for over six decades, was signed in 1991 committed the two countries to settle their disputes peacefully and avoid accidental military confrontations. But the texts of this kind seem to be of relative importance in the minds of North Korean leaders, who did not hesitate to approve several attacks in recent years against military or civilian South Korean targets.

Empty promises and agreements disowned

Kim Jong-Un pushed the provocation, Friday until inspected the artillery unit that had bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in November 2010 (4 deaths). In Pyongyang, there seems to believe that a written agreement does not necessarily commits signatories ...

For twenty years as international negotiations are conducted on the North Korean nuclear program, international negotiators have stopped counting the number of empty promises and agreements disowned by Pyongyang. With this eccentric and unpredictable interlocutor, carrot also not very effective than the stick. Proof, Seoul has hardly been rewarded for the millions of dollars of aid granted from 2001 to his neighbor bulky North.

Under these conditions, how credible the latest threats from Pyongyang? In the manner of the frog who wants to be as big as beef, in the fable of La Fontaine, North Korea willingly exaggerate its power. In keeping with this tradition, the North Korean Vice Minister of Defense, Kang Yong Pyo, said Thursday that the North had intercontinental ballistic missiles "equipped with miniaturized nuclear warheads."

The United States, prime target?

Pyongyang suggests that the United States would be a prime target. Such statements should not be surprising: the regime nuisance capacity is, by far, his best asset.

Past novelty somewhat unnoticed, since this morning, it is the effect of the answers came from South Korea. In Seoul, in fact, rather than calm the situation and call for dialogue, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in turn threatened to "make disappear from the earth's surface" North Korea if -C triggered a nuclear attack against South Korea.

These exchanges illustrate the war of nerves which now opposes the young North Korean leader, in search of credibility to the head of a militaristic regime, Park Geun-hye, the new president of South Korea, which describes her as Margaret Thatcher political model and puts national security at the top of its priorities. This novel iron arm between two young and relatively inexperienced leaders is too risky to be taken lightly.

China's attitude

As often, in the case of North Korea, the sequence of events will depend, to a large extent on the attitude of Beijing. "China calls on all parties concerned to remain calm, to exercise restraint and refrain from any action likely to aggravate tensions," said Friday a spokesman for China's diplomacy.

Beijing will do anything to avoid the disappearance of the Pyongyang regime, but the vote on Thursday to the UN Security Council for new sanctions against North Korea, reflects his growing impatience. Unanimously adopted the 2094 resolution tries to dry up the sources of financing used by Pyongyang to feed its military and ballistic ambitions.

In this new part of liar's poker, led to many, the North Korean regime appears vulnerable, as it depends on energy supplies, particularly from China. But the wounded beasts are unpredictable ...

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