Events in the Middle East may have eased so that the US could turn its attention to upping the ante in the psychological warfare Washington and Seoul have been unremittingly waged against North Korea, especially since the sinking of the ROK corvette'Cheonan' in March 2010.
The US and South Korea are again beginning joint military exercises along the NLL[Northern Limit Line]with live ammunition. In November 2010, South Korea's shells landed in North Korea waters. Seoul did not heed the North's warning that should the South violate its water, the North's military would respond. And respond it did to the South's shelling. Its riposte sent shivers throughout the region lest it might reignite the long dormant Korean War in the corridors of the South, the US, and Japan, if not China and Russia.
Now, issuing the North, seeing the same danger signals in the upcoming joint US ROK exercises, has once again put out the same alert. Will Washington and Seoul again be so foolhardy as to not heed Pyongyang's warning?
On the psychop front, the Lee Myung bak regime has accelerated the sending of messages by balloons towards North Korea. Initially, they blackened the name of Kim Jong il and his family. Now, it has raised the stakes by dropping leaflets into the North about the democracy protests in Egypt and their success in toppling Hosni Mubarak. Translation: rise up North Koreans and throw out Kim Jong il & co.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this tactic has not sat well with Kim Jong il & co.
Yet, it has provoked the response Seoul has been waiting for: the threat by the North of military action if it does not cease and desist this practice. Fat chance! In fact South Korea and the US are looking for that chance to go in and reduce North Korea to the rubbles that they did during the active years of fighting of the Korean War 60 years ago.
It is also apparent that no way in hell is the Obama administration willing to negotiate with North Korea. It is sticking to its policy of 'rolling back' the North till Kim Jong il & co. are overthrown. By using the example of Egypt, the psych warriors are trying to cash in on the fact that Egypt and North Korea have over the years sustained military and commerical relations. So although North Koreans may be insulated from what's going on in the wider world, they have heard of Egypt and of Hosni Mubarak.
Will the North put its money where its mouth is remains an open question.