North Korea possibly gearing up for war





President Obama may soon discover his predecessor, George Bush, was more than correct in designating North Korea an “Axis of Evil” state.

As the United States announced on Monday it would conduct joint naval exercises with the South Korean navy in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship two months ago, North Korea, the nation deemed responsible for the disaster that cost 46 lives, raised tensions by putting its military forces on a war footing.

Asia Times reported yesterday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, in a military broadcast, placed his million plus armed forces on “combat readiness,” causing concern worldwide about North Korean intentions as well as a drop in major stock markets....

North Korea...has a long history of committing terrorist acts against South Korea. In 1983, North Korean agents bombed a South Korean delegation in Burma, killing several members. In 1987, North Korea was also blamed for blowing up a South Korean airliner in flight. In another naval incident in 2002, four South Korean sailors were killed in an exchange of gunfire with North Korean patrol boats....

...[C]ommon sense may play no part in a Stalinist dictatorship’s decision to go to war, especially one struggling to survive. Reports have been coming out of North Korea that the people are again facing starvation like in the 1990s when an estimated two million died. A poor harvest this year, the failure of a currency reform scheme last year and the repressing of private farmer’s markets have again left the long-suffering North Koreans destitute.

North Korea also cannot look to China, its main ally, for help. China, like other countries, has refused food aid as long as North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear weapons program. Not wishing to support an economic cripple, China also vainly wanted North Korea to adopt free market reforms and become self-sufficient like it did. Like South Korea, China fears a North Korean collapse and the millions of hungry Korean refugees that would flood over its border seeking food.

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