It looks like Lil' Kim is up to something and I'm not talking about Lil' Kim the singer. I'm talking about Kim Jun-un the latest of the Kim clan to succeed to resident dictator and all around supreme human rights violator in chief of North Korea. North Korea, where rats die from starvation and people disappear never to be seen again.
After sustaining a recent humiliation seen round the world in the much ballyhooed North Korean intercontinental ballistic failure, Kim Jun-un is reported to be preparing a face saving military provocation which could result in armed conflict arising in the region around North Korea.
[...] Intelligence agencies recently stepped up intelligence gathering of the isolated communist state following an unusual threat issued by North Korea to conduct “special actions.” The threat was viewed as a likely signal that some form of provocative action by the North Korean military is coming soon.
Additional worrisome signs include recent electronic jamming by North Korea of aircraft and ships near the border and maritime dividing line between North and South, as well as the movement of missile batteries. [...]
Military provocations by North Korea occur with an uncanny regularity, usually to cover a public embarrassment or to gain attention of other nations on the world stage. With Kim Jun-un having only recently ascended to the top spot as the newest Dear Leader, succeeding his late father, Kim Jong Il, and being very young, it appears Kim the younger is attempting to establish his "street creds". He is certainly being pressured by the military to exert a presence on the Korean peninsula and beyond.
It should be remembered [...] North Korea conducted two major military provocations in 2010 and recently carried out a long-range missile test U.S. officials also labeled a provocation. The first was the sinking by torpedo of a South Korean naval ship the Cheonan on March 26, 2010, killing 46 sailors. The second was the artillery shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, a border island that killed four South Koreans and injured 19. [...]
What makes this North Korean threat unique is that it seems to have gone further than any other previous provocation.
[...] The North Korean statement said the KPA (Korean People's Army) would “soon” take “special actions,” a term not used by the North in the past despite state media that frequently uses inflammatory rhetoric. The statement called the South Korean government a “group of rats” that would be turned into ashes in minutes. [...]
The North Korean action has gotten the attention of Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, who has publicly expressed concern over the heightened threat of conflict from North Korea.
[...] Defense Secretary Leon Panetta raised the prospect of a new military action by North Korea during a recent visit to Brazil.
“We’ve gone through a dangerous cycle with North Korea that involves periods of accommodation and then periods of provocation,” Panetta said April 24. [...]