Pyongyang’s provocative and erratic behavior is starting to unnerve South Korea. “Many people are alarmed by the North’s recent provocative acts and as they learn of an extreme reign of terror within North Korea,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on May 15 — two days before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Seoul to show the United States’ “ironclad commitment” to South Korean security. In the last month, Pyongyang announced the successful test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, reportedly executed its defense minister for disobedience to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and fired shells near a sea border disputed between the two countries. South Korea and Japan, two of the most likely targets for North Korean violence, are U.S. allies and protected by its nuclear umbrella. But as Park’s comments imply, that may offer little comfort: U.S. extended deterrence is not curbing its ally’s fears.
Read the full op-ed at Foreign Policy.