In a new report by the observer group 38 North, a Russian academic who recently visited North Korea and met with several of its officials came back with a startling conclusion: they're absolutely certain the U.S. will launch a pre-emptive war against them and they're absolutely terrified because of it.
Alexander Vorontsov writes that he traveled to Pyongyang in mid-November, spending “several days” in the North’s capital city to talk with North Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry officials. While the North doesn’t want war, he added, they have made it clear they won’t “hide” from it; but that they also feared the U.S. as “already trying to shape the battlefield” for an impending war. It’s to the point, he added, North Korean soldiers go to bed with their boots on.
Vorontsov wrote he saw nothing to suggest the North was ready to accept the Russian-Chinese “freze for freeze” plan in which it halts its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. halting military drills on the Korean Peninsula. He said the Hermit Kingdom also remains committed to achieving “nuclear parity” with the U.S.
That asymmetrical parity is likely in the form of an EMP attack. It’s the only way a small country with a limited nuclear arsenal could potentially bring a global superpower to its knees. It would be the only means of achieving “mutually assured destruction.”
In other words, little seems to be changing.
Vorontsov wrote the North sees U.S. military exercises in the region as a step-by-step rehearsal of a coordinated military operation. “Zero Hour,” as they put it to him, “is not too far away.” They will not, however, fire the first shot, unless they believe an invasion is imminent.
Quoting a North Korean official:
"t would be suicidal to attack the USA first and especially with nuclear weapons. We understand that it would be the last day of our country."
Vorontsov’s report also notes that South Koreans are seemingly oblivious to the threat they now face. It was noteworthy that Japan didn’t seem to enter into the discussions at all.