Locklear recognized in his prepared remarks concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and its concentration of combat forces along the demilitarized zone. But particularly troubling, he said, has been North Korea's willingness to use tactics that could cause miscalculation and spin out of control into conflict.
These provocations "represent a clear and direct threat to U.S. national security and regional peace and stability," he said.
The Admiral is right of course but I would also recommend that we not forget about the very real possibility of regime collapse and what that will mean for us. If the recent reports about war games concerning securing WMD and conducting humanitarian assistance on the Korean Peninsula are accurate we here in the U.S. do not seem to have given adequate thought about preparations for such contingencies (and I specifically say we here in the US because I am confident there are those in the ROK/US Combined Forces Command that are thinking about these problems).
But we should not be thinking only of nuclear weapons and missiles (as dangerous as they are). We need to be looking at the entire scope of the problem – provocations, war, and collapse and the interrelationship of all three. What is happening on the Peninsula right now could lead to any combination of these contingencies, including regime collapse and we need to keep that in mind.
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From: American Forces Press Service <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Subject: Locklear: Tensions on Korean Peninsula Highest Since War's End
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04/09/2013 02:12 PM CDT