Several South Korean news outlets have reported that General James D. Thurman, the current commander of the joint U.S.-R.O.K. Combined Forces Command, warned members of the U.S. Lower House at a hearing on March 28 that the old faithful North Korean threat to “turn Seoul into a sea of fire” is an increasing possibility. While some netizens are worried that Korea is not doing enough to protect its citizens should there be an attack, others are sceptical that the report just happens to coincide with the upcoming elections.
General Thurman details the potential NK arsenal of weaponry, and is quoted as saying: “North Korea has various types of traditional artillery, multiple rocket launchers, and ballistic missiles placed in the West of the Korean peninsula, which are a threat to Seoul.” At the Lower House hearing, he went on to note that the current location of the weapons means that they are within range of the South Korean capital if they were to be deployed. He also warned of the possibility of high-explosive bombs and chemical weapons being used by the North without warning. Thurman’s analysis went so far as to predict mass panic, economic instability, and massive numbers of casualties should an attack by the North go ahead.
Dr. Peter R. Lavoy, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), also reported to the Lower House that given Kim Il-Sung’s upcoming centenary celebrations on April 15, the North might attempt to provoke the South, and that also they may try to use every opportunity to exert political influence on the April general election and December presidential elections.
But are South Korean netizens concerned about this U.S. intelligence indicating the rise of North Korea’s military? Or do they think that South Korea has enough political problems of its own?
Comments from Nate:
[This comment, left by someone using their mobile phone, was ‘liked’ by over one-thousand netizens] I’m honestly frightened. Even if they say there is no possibility [of attack]…Really, what chance would there be to go back? If there is an attack then Seoul really will become a sea of fire. There would be no shield like in computer games. We couldn’t intercept their artillery. Once there is an attack, both sides will suffer losses. No matter how much we say we can beat the North. Ultimately we are hurting our own citizens. This is why restraint is necessary. Yet there are still people against the construction of military bases? The history of our nation. It’s like they have no patriotism. Our nation is a nation at armistice. Please, bear that in mind. A bit of security-consciousness!
According to publicly available CIA documents, at the outbreak of war between the North and South, there were 20,000 casualties in Seoul within 24 hours. We need a foreign policy that is strongly security-conscious.
It’s red complex, you say??? Just look at the Jin-tong Party manifesto. Withdrawal of the US army/abolition of the FTA/repealing the national security law/ against the Jeju naval base/ abandoning the U.S.-R.O.K alliance Are you kidding?
You guys who left the comment via mobile, no matter how much you pledge your loyalty, Mr. Narat is busy because of the investigation problem, so he can’t write his thoughts…
Why did they do this article though it’s election time…Yes, of course, as the best comments [first three comments here] say, it is really good to establish military bases and strengthen national security. But by doing this, are they [NK] going to say ‘Ooh, scary’ and just be like ‘good game’ and then give up? If things develop on this side, those commies will also release missiles, and the drip will get more and more, and they will go on to advance weapons on their side…And then because of this, when a war does break out, I guess there will be a higher number of our citizens as casualties in a short time. Of course the question here is are those who do not want war commies? Are these people our fellow citizens, who, while they pretend to curse chubby dictators, are actually helping to increase regional conflict so there’ll be a war?
Some people are seriously deluded. If spies have crossed over from north to south and are carrying out their activities, then are they only active in the Democratic Party? They ought to have infiltrated into every nook of both the Saenuri Party and the Democratic Party. I want people to think a bit about this without unconditionally splitting things into two sides. And it is not the answer to strengthen policies against the North or to take a moderate approach. And the words that the commander of the joint command spoke at the lower house, I think he’s just making the details clear in order to increase concern for the area that he administers. These days, now it’s election time, will North Korea increasingly become a crappy country as more articles related to North Korea come out? I don’t know, but the idea that security = Saenuri Party is wrong.
Official politics in our country:Northern provocation > money envelope+Ddos+4 major rivers of Korea+civilian investigations+room salons [karaoke joints where ‘hostesses’ entertain their rich clients]+foot and mouth disease+Lee Sang-deuk+Park Hee-tae [former speaker of house, resigned over charges of bribery]+ Kang Yong-Suk [drunk tweeting politician] +Na Kyung-won+Naegok-dong [district of Seoul where President Lee plans to build his retirement home, amid accusations of irregularities]+corruption+prostitution
Kim Dae Jung, No Mu-Hyeon – can you see from the afterlife? You dole out the money and that’s what you get in return.
When it comes to election time, the North always starts provoking!
Seems that nowadays North Korea’s military strength is the strongest it has ever been in history^^ Thanks so much, those wonderful people in politics who have made it so over the past ten years^^ Fuck ke ke
ke ke ke Will the American army and our army just sit still until Seoul is made into a sea of fire?
Who caused all of this~? Could it all be thanks to the great Nuclear Dae Jung? Even so, on commie Nate they’ll get shielded~
I wonder why this kind of comment left via mobile only crops up when elections come around~ Pain in the ass~
What are these guys who look at Saenuri and say that they are security-conscious? Where the hell’d they see that?
Go on, please do make a sea of fire~ I don’t live in Seoul, so I don’t give a damn ? ke
So North Korea threatens the capital and our country doesn’t have a counter policy?
Don’t unify and just end the war and accept that democracy and communism are like oil and water so there is no need to them…it’s just that we have to unify, for it to be a good unification, advance like China, and go out into the continent. Looks like the sun will be extinguished before that happens…
The Republic of Korea has five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter, election.
Evidently just another trick from the North..? ke ke ke That’s right, do your best. Ke ke ke Comedy governement. Guess DNA never changes~!
Our own Lee Myung Bak is more dangerous than North Korea. Of course, it’s true, really, that the fact is that North Korea is actually extremely dangerous, but right now, Lee Myung Bak is more dangerous.