The possibility of miscalculation by the North in its technique of brinkmanship is usually raised in reference to a second Korean war breaking out after one of its game-raising actions. The threat to start a war is rarely made by South Korea and the US, who would rather avoid the term completely, but it has been in overuse by the North in the run-up to this launch. At what point does the term lose its currency or the threat become an empty one? Perhaps the morning after one of NK’s National Defense Commission’s provocations go unignored? Unless the DPRK’s intention is to provoke an attack on a projectile which they will then claim was a satellite, so evincing a turnaround in its status at the UN as it becomes a plaintiff, it will surely be required to attack either Tokyo, the US forces at sea or in Yongsan, or launch an all-out invasion attempt on the South. Not to do so would imply its military was no longer “first,” and that might change the destiny of the country.
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