After North Korea issued a statement offering “an all-out confrontational posture,” South Korea has placed its military on alert.
Strained talks have plagued the Korean peninsula for many years, and they may now have reached a boiling point. According to Pyongyang, this situation is provoked by Seoul over hard-line policies that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has implemented since taking office last year.
Cheong Seong-chang, senior researcher at the Sejong Institute, said “It really is in a desperate situation right now, and if it goies over the top, it really may try to take some sort of military action, especially with its leader Kim Jong-il getting ready to succeed his throne.”
Some experts believe this is targeted at the incoming Administration to urge Washington to normalize bilateral ties.
This comes as American nuclear experts say that Pyongyang has “weaponized” 67.8 pounds of plutonium. This has the capability to produce up to five warheads, dependent upon the grae of plutonium.
If true, it could put an end to the six-party negotiations that began in 2003. The negotiations, which included South Korean, China, Japan, the U.S. And Russia, have continued to be aimed at ending the nuclear program of North Korea.