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S. Korea to attack Pyongyang independently if North attacks Seoul

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

The Kukmin Ilbo, quoting a high-ranking military official, reports that Seoul has recently crafted plans to attack Pyongyang independently—or, in other words, regardless of American approval or support—if North Korea attacks Seoul or the capital region.

The new guidelines have reportedly been handed down to subordinate units.

The change takes Korea beyond simply retaliating against the source of provocations and supporting units to striking sites that correspond with the sites targeted by the North Koreans.

In particular, the official said South Korea has no choice but to hold back out of consideration of the position of the UN Command, which must abide by and uphold the Armistice Agreement, but now the South would immediately retaliate in self-defence. He explained the situation had completely changed since North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong-do, a violation fo the Armistice Agreement. In the past, approval was needed from the Combined Forces Command (i.e., the Americans) in accordance with the Armistice Agreement’s rules of engagement. Another military official said Seoul can now use the Korean military independently on the basis of an active deterrent and the right to self-defence.

This is believed to be in response to recent threats by North Korea to attack the capital region, including the presidential mansion of Cheong Wa Dae.

The hard-line guidelines are reportedly on orders from Defence Minister Kim Kwang-jin. In fact, during a visit to the command of Korea’s guide missile force early last month, Kim stressed Korea needed to be ready to hit not just the sites from which provocations were launched, but also regions corresponding to the victimized areas. The base Kim visited is reportedly home to ATACMS, 300km-range guided missiles and cruise missiles with ranges of 1,000km and more, including the Hyunmoo-3B. The Hyunmoo-3C, with a range of 1,5000km, could hit North Korea underground Rodong and Scud missile sites at Yongjo-ri, Sangnam-ri and Yongnim.

Also reported in the Dong-A Ilbo.

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  • Yu Bum Suk

    Whether or not this is more bluffing I think it’s good to get this message out. It might all be irrelevant by the end of the year, however.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    The Koreans are completely correct in adopting this defense posture vis a vis the North. However, this should also prompt America’s withdrawal of its forces from the Korean peninsula, or a reevaluation of the “Mutual” Defense Treaty. If US forces are stationed here, it might not be advantageous for them to be automatically committed to Korean defense without any US input into the decision to go to war.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    It might all be irrelevant by the end of the year, however.

    Because of the Mayan prophecy?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Because if a future administration decides it’s better to blow sunshine up NK’s ass no attacks will be forthcoming.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    I also agree, it’s about time South Korea did this.

    With the shelling of Yeonpyeong-do, when the USA told SK not to do much back, that was just telling NK that South is not allowed to retaliate.

    This changes the ball game.

  • Granfalloon

    Yu Bum,
    Lest we forget, North Korea killed six ROK sailors and sank a patrol boat in the middle of Sunshine Policy. North Korea would definitely bite the hand that feeds them.

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