Mad Men: ROK Lawmaker Says DPRK May Borrow From Putin’s Playbook
Mere days after suggesting South Korea scrap the 1991 inter-Korean denuclearization declaration and bolster extended deterrence with the United States, ruling party lawmaker Chung Jin-suk has expressed concern that North Korea may draw inspiration in the Kremlin’s veiled nuclear threats, while also citing the failure of the Budapest Memorandum to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as grounds to question whether Washington really has Seoul’s back in the event of a nuclear strike on the ROK.
Chung Jin-suk “North Korean provocations reaching a climax… repeating Russia’s ‘madman’ strategy”
People’s Power Party Chung Jin-suk, chair of the Emergency Committee recently said of North Korea’s repeated military provocations “Kim Jong Un’s provocations are reaching a climax” and that “as Russia proclaims it may use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the madman strategy is spreading.”
At a session of the National Assembly’s Emergency Committee, Mr. Chung said “North Korea is maximizing the fear that it can, at any time over the smallest issue, go off and use nuclear weapons.”
Mr. Chung stated that “Ukraine, which was the third nuclear power in the world at the time of the Soviet empire’s collapse, believed the US and the UK’s security assurances and gave up its nuclear weapons, yet even though Putin is threatening to use nuclear weapons the US, the UK and NATO haven’t explicitly promised a counterattack.”
Mr. Chung went on to ask, “Even if Putin uses tactical nuclear weapons, the US and NATO haven’t promised a counterstrike. If Kim Jong Un should carry out a tactical nuclear strike on the Korean Peninsula, can the United States surely carry out a nuclear counterattack, risking Guam and Okinawa?”
“One of the Emergency Committee’s tasks is to fortify the ROK-US military alliance. In the case that North Korea carries out a military provocation, we must make it clear through strength that it will immediately bring down Kim Jong Un’s government” he insisted.
“Former president Park Chung-hee warned that ‘a stick is needed for a mad dog’ after the Panmunjom axe murder incident. The government and the military must, without fail, remain in a constant state of preparedness for a North Korean military provocation and cooperate closely for the maintenance and readiness of the ROK-US mutual assistance system” he continued.
Original article by Lee Hyun-young. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna
 Source: Chung Jin-suk “North Korean provocations reaching a climax… repeating Russia’s ‘madman’ strategy” [“정진석 “북 도발, 점입가경…러시아 미치광이 전략 복사판”], SBS News, October 17, 2022, https://news.sbs.co.kr/amp/news.amp?news_id=N1006934938