That’s the question Bradley Martin asks in GlobalPost:
Expect North Korean naval and land forces to fire missiles and guns in coming days at South Korean targets in a disputed north-south border area in the Yellow Sea, killing some South Koreans and suffering a measured military retaliation.
If the North Koreans do launch an attack in the West Sea — which is likely, IMHO — expect South Korea to whack the North.
Expecting the North Koreans to try something, President Lee Myung-bak has been going out of his way to impress upon Pyongyang that he is NOT Kim Dae-jung or Roh Moo-hyun. Perhaps concerned that leaked plans of artillery and air strikes on North Korean coastal targets hadn’t done the trick, the ROKAF issued a press release Wednesday that said, I quote, “If North Korea launches an armed provocation in the NLL, etc., the Air Force plans to respond promptly and powerfully. At the vanguard of the response, we plan to deploy F-15Ks.” And I quote the Chosun Ilbo, “This is interpreted as revealing the intention to deploy F-15Ks to launch precision strikes with long-range missiles or JDAMs if North Korea attacks our warships with coastal artillery or land-based anti-ship missiles, despite concerns of escalation.”
Again, to reinforce this message, the Air Force apparently released footage from some training exercises involving F-15Ks.
Some civic people believe this is all Lee Myung-bak’s attempt to focus attention away from worsening domestic opinion. Of course, then again, some people also say things like, “Would even the authorities of the United States, which is trying to ram through sanctions against the north to maintain its nuclear superpower hegemony, express dissatisfaction with the detailed live broadcast-like reporting through the media of intelligence on the North Koreans ICBM?”
(HT to Korea Economic Reader)