Ex-CIA analyst says North Korea will launch strikes against South
April 5, 2013 11 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A former senior analyst on North Korea at the United States Central Intelligence Agency believes that the communist state will launch limited strikes against the South before moving to de-escalate the ongoing crisis in the Korean peninsula. On March 27, Pyongyang announced it was withdrawing from the Korean Armistice Agreement, which it signed along with the United Nations and China at the end of the Korean War, in 1953. Shortly afterwards, North Korea closed all border connections with the South and disconnected the direct telephone line linking it with Seoul. It subsequently declared that it would not hesitate to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against South Korea and the United States. Pyongyang heightened its rhetoric in response to Key Resolve/Foal Eagle, a two-month-long military exercise involving US and South Koran armed forces, which includes the deployment of nuclear-armed airplanes and ships. Although some expert observers are worried, few believe that the rhetorical boxing-match between the two Koreas will result in an outbreak of hostilities. But Columbia University Professor Sue Mi Terry, who headed the CIA’s North Korea analysis unit from 2001 to 2008, believes that Pyongyang will launch military strikes against Seoul before de-escalating the tension. Speaking to Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, Terry noted that the attack will not be nuclear, nor will it involve mass use of military force. Instead, it will be “a relative small attack” that “won’t leave many people dead”, she said. She added that the attack will be “something sneaky and creative” that would allow the North Korean regime to drum it up at home while officially disassociating itself from it, thus avoiding international condemnation or immediate retaliation by Washington or Seoul. Like many North Korea observers, Terry believes that the primary political goal of the North Korean government is its very political survival. It therefore wishes to avoid “an all-out war with South Korea”, which “would spell the end of the North Korean regime”, she says. She also told Danger Room that the administration of US President Barack Obama would be able to restrain the South Korean government of President Park Geun Hee from responding with the use of force to a small-scale attack by the North.