Yahoo! News is reporting a Reuters story that North Korea may shoot at South Korea if the South continues to send balloons over the North.
South Korea’s military has been dropping leaflets into North Korea about democracy protests in Egypt, a legislator said on Friday. As part of the psychological campaign, the South Korean military also sent food, medicines and radios for residents in a bid to encourage North Koreans to think about change. “South Korea is driving the Korean peninsula to overall confrontation, with beefing up anti-republic, psychological plots,” KCNA news agency said. “If this action continues despite our repeated warning, we officially inform that our military will shoot the area where the anti-republic, psychological plots, come from, including Imjingak, under the right of self-defense,” it said. Imjingak is an area in South Korea near the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas.
North Korea maintains tight control over communications, including the use of telephones and over movement of people, leaving many in the country unaware of world affairs. South Korea’s military has resumed its campaign of speaking directly to North Korean residents after the North bombarded an island near a disputed sea border in November, killing four people.
This article had not been posted to the KCNA site as of 27 Feb 11: 0420Z. Please read the entire Yahoo! article for more information.
Analysis. Flip a coin on this one. Considering all that is going on in the world and the state of the North Korean economy, anything is possible. Kim may well need to distract his subjects with war fever or at least war fear. So far he has not been able to get what he wants by “charm” so it may well be back to fear. South Korea is making a calculated (I hope) assessment that it may not take a lot to topple the Kim regime or at least get Kim to start talking realistically about Korean affairs.
Judging by today’s weather in Sinuiju and Pyongyang, we are still about a month from the Spring planting. As usual, that will be an event to watch very carefully. If last year’s harvest actually did come in at 4.48 million tons, that is still 500,000 tons short of estimated minimum need. The North will need large infusions of fertilizer to prepare the ground if it is to get good yields. This would mean that the army would have to participate with its trucks and tractors. One of the indicators of coming conflict in a Communist nation has been the level of participation of the army in the planting and the harvest. Another has been the level of rations distributed to the army. If the army is being “fattened up”, you had best be ready. So far that has not happened in the North to my knowledge.