The Chosun Ilbo is reporting that one of the events during the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Guardian will be a simulated rescue of hostages from the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Since North Korea’s sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March, “there have been mounting worries that South Korean staffers could be taken hostage at the industrial park,” a government source said Thursday, which is why the two countries decided to carry out the drill.
The militaries will reportedly stage the drill in two steps: joint training with the help of U.S. military equipment, including A-10 “tank killer” ground-attack aircraft, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and special operations aircraft such as MH-47 and MH-60 helicopters; and training to be carried out by South Korea’s special forces alone.
Please read the entire article for more information.
Analysis. This is the second major leak to the Chosun Ilbo in a many days. It will not make the North happy. They are obviously beginning to run really scared of an invasion from South to North. And the North is trying, and I suspect failing, to set up the succession of Kim 2 to Kim 3. All this while the economy falls down around their heads as result of the destruction of savings caused by the currency revaluation. The phrase “bearding the lion” comes to mind.
Kaesong lies dead center in one of the two major invasion routes form North to South and is about the only decent tank country in Korea. Rescuing people from the Kaesong Industrial Complex would be a very expensive undertaking and no doubt start the war. Even practicing such a “contingency” will get the North riled up. I saw nothing new on the KCNA website relating to this article. It takes about two days for the KCNA web site in Japan to be updated. I will watch for anything out of KCNA. It is more likely that along with the bleating from KCNA, the North will move more of its air defense assets south as has been noted in a previous post. I would be watching very carefully for any increase in the manning of the DMZ defenses. That may be a hint that troops are moving to their attack positions.