CIA Official Predicts North Korea Action on Columbus Day
A top CIA official told U.S. News and World Report that the U.S. should be ready to see North Korea act on Columbus Day, October 9. The date coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the political part that governs in Pyongyang. The deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center, Yong Suk Lee, is asking people to “stand by your phones.” North Korea has a track record of testing missile launches on anniversaries and holidays. Monday marks not only an American holiday, but also a significant anniversary for North Korea. Lee didn’t state specifically what North Korea might be up to, but they’ve been known to carry out missile launches or nuclear tests on major anniversaries including the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un. October marks the anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea in 1945.
It should come as no surprise that tension between North Korea has become high in the past few months. Trump’s tweets have certainly not alleviated any of those tensions and North Korea doesn’t seem to be backing down. North Korea has initiated multiple weapons testing despite surrounding countries and the U.S. from asking them to cease. Two main fears North Korean leader Kim Jong Un once had was the fear of the Chinese abandoning its support for the Hermit Kingdom and the U.S. carrying out a military strike. According to Lee, Kim Jong Un no longer has those main fears.
Despite these things happening Lee doesn’t think North Korea will be starting a war with the U.S. or its allies anytime soon.
“The last person who wants conflict on the peninsula is actually Kim Jong Un,” Lee said, adding that Kim, like all authoritarian leaders, wishes to rule for a long time and die in his own bed. “We have a tendency in this country and elsewhere to underestimate the conservatism that runs in these authoritarian regimes.”
Trump will visit South Korea, Japan and China on a trip through Asia this coming November. Here’s to hoping Trump’s borderline threatening tweets won’t cause any trouble while he’s there. Experts say that a war against North Korea would be an “unbelievably bloody” one. No great outcomes either way.
California Congressman Democrat Ted Lieu served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Guam in the 1990s. He trained in military exercises that would prepare military service members for a major clash with North Korea, but luckily never had to use them. Lieu told the media, that starting a war against North Korea, “is an unbelievably bloody scenario. North Korea is an absolute danger and threat, and we need to take its ability to kill a lot of people seriously.” While Lieu holds no opposition to war, he believes it should only be a last resort. Surely Trump’s tweets calling Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man” isn’t a great solution to the problem. Trump Tweeted, “Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.” Good luck Mr. President.