Tough Talk From North Korea

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A North Korean soldier looks at the South side. (JUNG YEON-JE/Getty)

Charles Armstrong, director of the center for Korean Research at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), discusses Kim Jong Un's threats to South Korea and U.S. and whether it's just bluster or poses a real threat to the region and the United States.


Charles Armstrong

Comments [11]

Devlin from Sherman, Texas

I don't know if anyone ever remembered the movie from a long time ago, if in fact anyone has ever seen it. About a young man who hacked into a government program that triggered a game and resulted in a probable war between Russia and other warring countries to trigger their nuke heads. Well the same here applies only there isn't a computer that takes over. The object of bringing a country to be noticed by other countries and in the mindset of those who are in remote countries, one has to only bring another country to its knees first, causing fear around other neighboring countries. Fear is the worst enemy of all. It will bring a whole empire to its knees. Second, to produce as many nukes and other damaging and likely obtrusively killing measures, this would bring their own country to be equals to the empires of this world. This tactic ensures that they will not be ignored by the world any longer. Whatever their missions and or statements they tell to those in their countries are the sympathies that they say they can relate to those in pain in misery, or financial set backs, are not because of the country's economical failure but the blame are on those who support their adversaries and its people. North Korea from the outside looking in, are behind times. Their uniforms speaks the loudest, which depicts an era of the 1950's you might have seen on the US soldiers during that time. But don't your guard down for a second, and do not wave off the threats. History does repeat itself. We were attacked once when we let our guard down before. However, The US government and its people do not give in and satisfy to those who demand or threaten.

Apr. 03 2013 08:03 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

American soldiers in South Korea and elsewhere are hostages put there to ensure that the US will have to go to war, because those hostages will be killed early in the war. The US does this because it does not want countries like South Korea, Japan and others to get nuclear weapons themselves. So symbolic numbers of US troops are just tripwires guaranteeing that the US will have to go to war to support our allies because our soldiers will be killed very early on.

Apr. 03 2013 10:57 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

N. Korea has always been loud in their rhetoric, but they seem to be more desperate then ever before.
What has changed? Where is this coming from, more sanction?
A nuclear armed stated cornered can be very dangerous.

Apr. 03 2013 10:53 AM
Paul from Glen Cove

Hell, even Kruschev understood the potential horror and knew that nuclear war is senseless and withdrew missiles from Cuba, ending the crisis.
If 'Ul is truly serious with himself, he's crazy and he risks killing millions of his own innocent people. You'd think 'Ul would familiarize himself with events that followed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Apr. 03 2013 10:51 AM
Carola from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Have a listen to the segment on Monday's Ian Masters/Background Briefing show with former U.S. Ambassador and CIA Station Chief in South Korea Donald Gregg, "Instead of Escalating, We Should be Engaging North Korea",, who also has an article in the Los Angeles Times “Reaching out to North Korea: Obama showed on his Middle East trip the power of direct presidential involvement. He should employ the same sort of diplomacy towards Pyongyang”.

Apr. 03 2013 10:45 AM
tflattery from New Jersey

Maybe Kim is a realer threat than we think. We are focussing on delivery by missile. N Korea has a history of working with Pakistan and terrorists. I believe that Kim is showing the US as a target, because he intends to sell a dirty bomb to terrorists. Possible?

Apr. 03 2013 10:41 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

Every time I hear about another one of Kim Jong Un's threats, I see an image in my mind's eye of Un in his military uniform with a pink baby bonnet, a frilly pink Peter Pan collar around his neck, and an infant pacifier in his hand, with his round baby face bawlin' -- a big chubby baby in the midst of a dramatic temper tantrum.

Somehow I have a feeling that's not the image he's trying to project.

Apr. 03 2013 10:39 AM
Soldier's Father from Westchester, NY

Professor Armstrong: don't the members of the 2nd Infantry Division and the rest of the 28,000 U.S. servicemen count as "American" targets within reach of North Korean weapons?

Apr. 03 2013 10:37 AM
pliny from soho

what is China's position?

Apr. 03 2013 10:37 AM
oscar from ny

ha ha ha Mr Martin your deff right about the Koreans and the transformers..but I love the transformers..anyways just like the cartoon everyone needs energons..its like food..but first of all you have to realize that thus really young leader is playing a game only in his head..the leftist,communist,intellectuals cry because America doesn't let korea or iran see this ppl as smart as you think they are..they are like children, stuck in the past...its like when the first smart phones came out dudnt give yiur children to play with right away but waited, and that's how the roulette of lufe goes.. as for Israel ..they made a covenant with god so that's why they have so much energy but realize that its soik that keep them peaceless, is like that..

Apr. 03 2013 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian – please don’t ignore the underside of this charade story -
Obama’s media-trumpeted responses to these NK threats were (like him) less than meets the eye ... more “optics” (as Obamettes would say) than actual substance. We are in decline under this “leader” and we are increasingly unsafe.

-The 2 B-2 bombers (2!) he sent – we no longer make this plane
- The F-22 Raptors he sent (also 2!) – we no longer make this plane, and that production line was closed down by Barry himself in his first term
- The Aegis Class DDG destroyer that was dispatched to Japan (one!) is no longer in production…. And the next generation at cruiser size was halted by Obama himself in his first term
- The increase of 14 anti-missile launchers in Alaska and California was accompanied by the CANCELLATION of our new system in southern Europe (which would protect against Iranian missiles) … on the SAME day, in the SAME policy announcement … and conveniently IGNORED by the Obama media that wants this guy to appear to be tough and decisive.

The people who would harm us know that we won’t replace this equipment (We better hope that we don’t lose any) ... and they neither respect nor fear this president.

Apr. 03 2013 07:50 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.