Inter-Korean and North Korea/American relations have broken down once again after weeks of largely diplomatic interaction between the South and the North. North Korean media is reporting that they intend to produce a “show of force” shortly before the Winter Olympics, the first event in recent years where North Korean athletes were granted access into South Korea to compete. NK has also pulled out of recent cultural events with their southern neighbors, citing recent South Korean journalism as the cause.
• NK’s “show of force” will begin with a massive military parade showing off soldiers, missiles,and other advanced military equipment. It will be held on February 8, the 70th anniversary of the creation of their massive 1.3-million member military. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the timing of the event, which takes place just one day before the Winter Olympics, is coincidental or intended.
• Some North Korean media sources are claiming that the move is effectively a “show of force” aimed at frightening Americans into submission. This mindset also has many people questioning whether the show of force may be evidence that World War III is looming closer than ever before.
• The restrictive country cancelled a joint cultural event designed to bring the North and South closer together. NK’s media sources report that they are tired of “unflattering coverage” in South Korean newspapers and magazines. This is a marked negative shift in what many perceived as encouraging diplomatic improvements over recent weeks.
• At least one North Korean media outlet released a scathing article pinning the blame for the breakdowns on South Korea. “South Korean media continue to insult North Korea’s genuine measures regarding the PyeongChang Olympics and take issues with its domestic festival”
• Despite the breakdowns, athletes from NK continue to land safely at South Korean airports for the Winter Olympics. The South Korean military is ever-present and has ramped up protections throughout the country in an attempt to prevent potential acts of terror against athletes or visitors from either side of the border.
Do you expect North Korea’s show of force to ruin their newly developing relationship with South Korea? What will this mean for the US?