The North Korea problem needs management. . .now.
While this may sound like a modest incident, it’s very scary. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, escalation, and violence in an already tense situation given North Korea’s seeming determination to hold a nuclear test are possible triggers for a regional conflagration in Northeast Asia.
According to the Washington Post:
South Korean soldiers fired about 40 shots as a warning after five North Korean soldiers crossed a boundary in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two country’s forces, South Korean military officials said.
It was unclear whether the North Korean advance was intended as a provocation, or was rather an attempt to go fishing at a nearby stream, an official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on condition of anonymity, citing official policy.
Five guys might have wanted to go fishing? Or perhaps they were trying to penetrate South Korea’s defenses. In either case, this is far too fragile and America is doing little on its side to steady matters.
— Steve Clemons