North Korea has asserted itself into the headlines of international news over the past week. As a country with an already tumultuous relationship with its neighbors, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has decided to test the world’s patience by increasing threats of military action.

North Korea started its media onslaught by releasing numerous propaganda films depicting the destruction of American cities, along with parades and massive displays of “military might.” North Korea has recently vowed to restart its nuclear program and is apparently planning a fourth nuclear test on April 10.

North Korea has also requested that all countries – Great Britain and Russia – evacuate their embassies in the event of a conflict following the nuclear test. British and Russian officials decided to stay in Pyongyang after the request, but then were told that if fighting followed the April test, their safety would not be guaranteed.

South Korea and the United States are both treating these threats as credible. Kim Jang-soo, South Korea’s chief of national security, said in his daily press briefing that North Korea is releasing these “headline-grabbing messages” to sway public opinion and cause anxiety.

“We are open to every possibility and thoroughly prepared,” Kim said. “Whether it is merely rhetoric or not, we maintain military vigilance.”

A potentially favorable development for the United States and their allies is the new imposition by China – North Korea’s sole diplomatic and financial ally. China is normally supportive of North Korea, being one of the few Communist nations left in the world. However, China released a statement on April 6 urging them to halt its recent slew of threats.

“We oppose provocative words and actions from any party in the region and do not allow trouble-making on China’s doorstep,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

While South Korea has yet to detect anything out of the ordinary, Kim Jang-soo has his own warnings for Kim Jong Un and the North.

“If limited war is to break out, North Korea should bear in mind that it will receive damages many times over,” Kim Jang-soo said.

Without the support of China, the likelihood of North Korea attacking anyone is greatly reduced. The retribution for anything even remotely resembling an act of war from North Korea would be swift and lethal.



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