Korea: April 9, 2005


A North Korean document, containing guidance for senior military officers, indicates that thinking up there is heavily influenced by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the fall of the East European communist governments in 1989. The document warned senior officers that American agents would try to bribe them, just as the Americans had done to Saddam Hussein's military leaders in 2003. The United States is blamed for all civil unrest in North Korea, and officers are warned to be wary of the very clever American tactics and agents. It is asserted that the United States, if it attacked North Korea, would go after the military leadership first, not the nuclear weapons. The North Koreans are impressed, and frightened, by American military technology. Particularly scary, to the North Koreans, was the use of armed UAVs. The North Koreans fear that the American military will spring many unpleasant surprises on them if it comes to a war. And then there's the historical angle. In June, 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, the advancing troops quickly overran nearly all of the country. Then American troops showed up, and by September a U.S. amphibious force struck deep in the rear of the North Korean forces, cutting off their supplies. A month later, four months after the initial invasion, the North Korean army as shattered, and the few survivors were running for the Chinese border. Only the intervention of a large Chinese army saved the North Korean communists. The North Koreans fear that history will repeat itself, that the Americans are capable of many military surprises, and they look upon the lightning 2003 invasion of Iraq as just another example of this magic.



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