Rutting deer could become raging tigers, by Gwynne Dyer

[If the USA and South Korea continue to ignore North Korean threats, Kim Jong Un may feel obliged to do something to restore his credibility. This opinion piece by Canadian columnist Gwynne Dyer warns that even a limited local attack could rapidly escalate to full-scale conventional warfare. Gwynne Dyer, OC, is a London-based independent Canadian journalist, syndicated columnist and military historian. Dyer was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His articles are published in 45 countries. This column was originally published on 4 April 2013 –CanKor]

Gwynne DyerThe U.S.-South Korean military exercises will continue until the end of this month, and the North Korean threats to do something terrible if they do not stop grow more hysterical by the day.

Last week, the Great Successor, Kim Jong-un, was shown signing a decree that ordered North Korea’s long-range missile forces to be ready to launch against the United States, while senior military officers looked on approvingly.

On the wall behind Kim was a map, helpfully labelled “U. S. Mainland Strike Plan,” that showed the missile trajectories from North Korea to Hawaii, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas.

These threats are so palpably empty that the instinct of both the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department is to ignore them. Read the rest of this entry »

Reaction to the NK food crisis by Mitchell Reiss

[This continues the discussion on food aid published in the Nelson Report on 5 April 2011. Mitchell Reiss, President of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, was a former US State Department policy planner.]

Starting in the first term of the Bush 43 Administration, USAID director Andrew Natsios articulated the three prongs of a humanitarian relief strategy: (i) real need, (ii) more severe need than other places, and (iii) our ability to monitor the food distribution to ensure that it reaches its target audience. This was a more complete articulation of the first Reagan Doctrine that stated that “a starving child knows no politics.” Read the rest of this entry »

North Koreans wrap up talks with ex-US envoys

Ri Gun

North Korean diplomat Ri Gun, center, gives a statement to media at the airport Tegel in Berlin

Associated Press reported that a delegation of senior North Korean diplomats wrapped up three days of talks with former U.S. officials in Germany. The six-person North Korean contingent, led by Ri Gun, the director general of the North American affairs bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and his deputy Choe Son Hui, departed from Berlin Wednesday.

Charles King Mallory, executive director of the Aspen Institute think tank that organized the talks, said the two sides met at a secluded castle in southern Germany from Sunday through Tuesday. The American delegation was led by Tom Pickering, a former secretary of state for political affairs at the State Department. There was no official U.S. government involvement.

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