Thursday, March 28, 2013

Special delivery

North Korea has been doing a lot of saber-rattling lately. And saber dancing. And saber-waving. Lots of saber activities, actually, except for actual saber use.

That last one is a good thing, obviously. No one wants war on the Korean Peninsula. Although it would, without any doubt, end badly for the government in Pyongyang, even a few days of real warfare would create a huge death toll, including civilians in Seoul, just a hop, skip and an artillery shell away from the DMZ.

The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea can still issue threats, though. And oh, how they do issue them. It is getting to the point, as several commentators have noted, that they are running out of substantially different things to say. There's only so much crazy you can pump across the border before you're repeating yourself.

South Korea and its ally, the United States, have generally responded to these threats with the geopolitical equivalent of eye-rolling. But with the volume of caterwauling turned up lately, the U.S. made a fairly grand gesture this week: it flew B-2 bombers on a training mission over South Korea.

That's about 13,000 miles round trip, all to drop some inert practice bombs.

A long way to fly, and not even bi bim bop to show for it.

Will this give the hot-blooded pause in North Korea? Who knows. It's equally unclear whether even the hottest-blooded general (or whatever Kim Jong Un's title is these days) had plans to do any button pushing or trigger pulling in any event.

But the message South Korea and the U.S. are trying to deliver could not be clearer. This is a weapon system that gives the U.S. Air Force first-strike capability anywhere in the world, with no warning... including, say, downtown Pyongyang. To complete the poke in the eye, the Air Force issued a press release to spell out to the DPRK that the only reason it knew about these planes' participation is thanks to, well, a press release.

In other words, what they can't see can hurt them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a really good one!
Your wit never ceases to entertain.

Hopefully someone in N. Korea reads your blog!!

.eric g