Most military experts say that the North will likely not launch an all-out war against South Korea and its U.S. ally due to its outdated weaponry.
Pyongyang is viewed as more likely to stage an attack along a disputed sea border between the two countries as it did in 2010 when it shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.
Such a move would provide a major test for new South Korean President Park Geun-hye who took office pledging closer ties with the North if it abandoned its nuclear push.
I received this very important and insightful analysis from Bob Collins in response to the article and my comments below. This is important for anyone studying north Korea and how the regime operates.
We should not be surprised that NK is just now getting around to flash a message that they successfully shot down a two-decade (?) US capability. One of the problems with NK defense industry research is up-to-date research information for their applied sciences programs. Scientific research in NK is overseen on the party side by Science Education Department that recruits, educates and trains all NK scientists. That same research is implemented on the government side by the National Academy of Sciences in general and the 2nd National Science Academy in the military field. (anything numbered the "2nd" in NK government/military/party structure is normally related to the military.) The 2nd Academy focuses on the applied sciences side, however, which means making things work. NK's S&T weakness is on the pure research side. This is the side that is not funded or staffed nearly as well as the applied sciences side.. All the best scientists and the vast majority of the funding goes to the applied sciences side, thus focus on nuke weapon rather than expansion/improvement of their overall nuclear energy program. So as NK recruits, educates and trains new scientists, they do so with 2nd and 3rd string instructors with poorly funded research centers that are poorly equipped for modern research. They are sacrificing tomorrow for today.