Re: The North Korean Situation II
Here's the reason I've gone from being a skeptic to slightly (but still only slightly) worried about a conflict exploding on the peninsula; the closing of the Kaesong industrial joint zone. That is an industrial park located in Kaesong, North Korea where South Korean companies run plants that have both North Korean and South Korean workers working together. It is one of the biggest and only remaining cooperative projects between SK and NK and greatly helps NK's economy. It would also be one of the major road-blocks to a conflict between the two nations (much moreso than a hotline). If NK is willing to sacrifice THAT, things are getting serious. Add to that the re-opening of the Yongbyon nuke plant, the beefing up of military defenses in Guam and warships moving to the area and things are getting worse indeed. So now I'd put the chances of war breaking out at about 5% instead of 0.1%. But I still think things will calm back down just before they reach the boiling point. Thundercrack was right that the the son is much more unpredictable and reckless than his father (which is a big disappointment, since I initially thought he might be a reformer). Or the generals have completely usurped his control and are acting and speaking for him. That's another possibility.