Alarming other nations and making them feel threatened by our power and our maneuvers are important elements of the PNAC’s strategy, and of the United States’ current foregin policy stance. So North Korea’s reaction here would not necessarily be seen by PNAC proponents as a bad thing.
James Brooke, New York Times
Published June 22, 2003
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—When the United States announced plans to pull its troops away from the border with North Korea, attention focused mostly on South Korea and its objections to losing the protection of the so-called tripwire. What was largely overlooked were the protests from the party that felt most threatened by the change: North Korea.
In a new twist, North Korea now fears that if the United States rolls up its human tripwire, it will free U.S. military planners to go north, bombing nuclear sites near Pyongyang, the capital. In the military chess game on the Korean Peninsula, by moving U.S. troops out of range of North Korea’s border artillery, the United States gains a strategic advantage.
“Our army and people will answer the U.S. arms buildup with a corresponding powerful deterrent force and its pre-emptive attack with a prompt retaliation to destroy it at the initial stage of war,” North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said recently.
Alexandre Mansourov, a former Soviet diplomat in Pyongyang who now teaches security studies in Hawaii, translated North Korea’s concerns to mean, “If the U.S. pulls out of the bases, North Korea knows that the U.S. is preparing a pre-emptive strike.”