News / Asia

Obama Expects More Provocation From North Korea

Reuters
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he expects more posturing and provocation by North Korea and, while he does not believe the Asian nation has the capacity to mount a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, the United States is preparing for "every contingency.''
       
"I think all of us would anticipate that - you know, North
 Korea will probably make more provocative moves - over the next several weeks,'' Obama told NBC's 'Today' show.
 

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"But our hope is that we can contain it and that we can move into a different phase in which they try to work through diplomatically some of these issues,'' he said.

The interview was conducted on Monday before the bombings that killed three people and injured more than 100 people in Boston.

After a series of belligerent steps and statements in recent weeks, Pyongyang has issued new threats against South Korea demanding an apology for anti-North Korean protests.
       
The North has also rejected U.S. overtures for talks, but a U.S. military official said the North Korean leadership was looking for a way to cool down its charged rhetoric.

Obama said he believes North Korea's saber rattling is
similar to past patterns of behavior. Even so, the United States is taking precautionary measures, he said.

"We have to make sure that we are dealing with every
contingency out there,'' the president said. 'And that's why I've repositioned missile defense systems - to guard against any miscalculation on their part.''

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Comments
     
by: Robert Ezergailis from: Canada
April 17, 2013 7:58 AM
Contrary to the varied theories concerning what North Korea might do, are the simple facts. The DPRK has a large stockpile of armaments, and delivery systems, that are near "end of life" in terms of design and actual age. There are very few military strategies for using that type of weaponry to maximum effect against what amounts to being an overwhelming retaliatory defense. The decision to do so is held back by exactly that fact of an all or nothing end game as the only game in town.

Anything less than that, yet significant enough to matter, having the potential for rendering the offensive position far less effective. At least it could decimate the very same assets that currently provide a feeling of strength. Thus the actual outcome depends largely on how much military pressure, from within the DPRK, is being placed upon the political leadership to play out the all or nothing end game scenario. That depends on how deeply and completely the military and civilian leadership have bought into the myth, in which the final battle is an integral part.

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