ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 12th, 2013 at 5:23 am

The Economic Warfare of North Korean Provocations

» by in: North Korea

I have seen so many of these North Korean provocation cycles now that the economic damage to the South caused by them just seems implied any more, but Tom Coyner gives everyone an important reminder in the Joong Ang Ilbo of the economic warfare angle of these North Korean provocations:

Even while working in Bangkok I found myself being asked by journalists, diplomats and others what in blazes (pun intended) is happening in Korea. Is war eminent? Do you worry about your family’s safety in Seoul? And so on .?.?.

But my consistent reply has been that while I am concerned, I’m not at all worried about the North – yet I am very worried about how American pundits and politicians are misreading the overall situation. In real terms, America is not being militarily challenged. But South Korea is under full-scale economic attack.

We are witnessing a groundbreaking example of psychological warfare using the media – both traditional and bleeding edge – to achieve economic and political gains. North Korea has initiated major psychological warfare to damage South Korea’s economy by discouraging foreign direct investment and tourism while constricting movement of foreign economic players. [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read the rest of this excellent analysis at the link, but Tom is right that these North Korean provocations do have an economic angle where the North reminds decision makers in the South that if they do not get what they want they do have the ability to effect the South Korean economy.

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  • Onezime
    5:37 am on April 12th, 2013 1

    And yet, tourism was up 11.9% in March this year, no doubt because the Chinese government isn’t blowing the situation out of proportion like the Western media is.

  • Glans
    7:08 am on April 12th, 2013 2

    Michael J Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University believes this is possible:

    Kim Jong Un’s “unpredictability finally turns the North’s erstwhile ally, China, firmly against the regime.” China applies pressure, the regime unravels, China cooperates with the US and South Korea to unify the peninsula and remove the nukes.

    That’s the second of three scenarios discussed by Green at CNN.

  • Onezime
    4:31 pm on April 12th, 2013 3

    Well, the Korean currency and stock markets have regained their losses. I would suspect part of this is due to China’s strong reaction against North Korea’s provocations. The Chinese government and its citizens are royally pissed off, and the Chinese media hasn’t been afraid to express those feelings. It’s to be expected. The economic ties between China and South Korea are very significant. Moreover, there are thousands of Chinese living, working, and studying in South Korea. Say what you will about the CCP, they don’t take too kindly to foreigners threatening their own people. To make matters worse, North Korea, like a petulant child, conducted military exercises near the Yalu yesterday in order to aggravate the Chinese.

  • Onezime
    4:35 pm on April 12th, 2013 4


    I doubt that will happen since most South Koreans don’t want reunification. A coup sponsored by China, followed by economic development seems more likely.

  • Denny
    2:41 pm on April 13th, 2013 5

    China Sides with North Korea

    Has Beijing finally made the switch from supporting Pyongyang to siding with the international community?

    Not so fast. On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to confirm that Xi had North Korea in mind when he uttered those words.

    And the following day, People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship publication, issued a stinging commentary, leaving no doubt who Xi thought was the culprit.

    “Some country has spent hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars creating a situation that cannot be resolved and has eventually withdrawn in a disorganized manner at the same time causing a financial crisis in its own country,” stated a commentary titled “Who Has the Intention to Create Chaos for the World for Selfish Gain?” “Look back on the world’s security situation to the beginning of the new century. There are many ‘hot spots’ and ‘chaotic spots.’ The first of them are Afghanistan and Iraq.”


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