There is the possibility that Pyeongyang could stage a military provocation in the near future as the North has been continuously working on improving its nuclear and missile capabilities.
This is what the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley said at a virtual seminar hosted by U.S. thinktank the Brookings Institution on Wednesday.
Evaluating the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, Milley said North Korea is very likely to resume its military provocations to test the new Biden administration as the North has a long history of doing things like that.
Milley also emphasized that as North Korea has developed its nuclear and missile delivery capabilities, the deterrence capabilities of South Korea, Japan and the U.S. are very significant.
He said the U.S. and South Korea are monitoring the situation closely and are capable of dealing with any North Korean provocation.
But some experts believe that there won’t be any kind of provocation because there is no need for Kim Jong-un to do so.
"In the past, Kim Jong-un provoked to seize power or to let the world know of North Korea’s nuclear missile development. But now, Kim has already seized control of the state internally and completed developing the regime’s nuclear capabilities so the possibility of any provocation is low."
Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Wednesday that Biden needs to make an early decision about how to engage with North Korea.
Such a message can be interpreted as the need to prevent a build-up of tension on the Korean Peninsula from a possible North Korean provocation shortly after the inauguration of the Biden administration.
During a virtual seminar hosted by the Atlantic Council and sponsored by the Korea Foundation, the former U.S. diplomat stressed the need for Biden to send an "early signal" to North Korea working in consultation and partnership with South Korea.
Referring to President Donald Trump's summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Campbell said it is that boldness that the Biden administration needs to emulate or admire.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.