Spring is a season for cherry blossoms. However, for many of the 28,500 of American military personnel forward deploying in the Republic of Korea (ROK), this is the season for living in desolate bunkers. Every year, as winter gives way to spring, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff conduct annual combined military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle. The command and field exercises elicit a steady barrage of North Korean vitriol, making this also a season for censure. Pyongyang propagandists produce variations on an old theme: that ‘U.S. imperialists and South Korean reactionaries’ are bringing the peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. North Korean missile launches are but the punctuation points of this disinformation campaign.Why does North Korea overreact to what the ROK-U.S. alliance sees as routine, annual defensive exercises?
Read the full op-ed in The Diplomat.
More from CNAS
CommentaryA Nightmare for For China: What Would Beijing Do if Kim Jong-un Dies?
A leadership transition in North Korea would present both tremendous risk and opportunity for all stakeholders in Northeast Asia, perhaps most acutely for China. Beijing has l...
By Kristine Lee
CommentaryBreakthrough or Crisis? How Will Coronavirus Impact Tensions with North Korea?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated geopolitical tensions first in Northeast Asia, with the original outbreak in China, and now around the world as the United State...
By Duyeon Kim
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson