...some activists argue that although the North’s agents may still circulate in significant numbers south of the border, they lack the direction and focus that once marked the ominous reach of Pyongyang. ‘It’s very difficult to accurately assess the threat of a lethal attack in the South,’ says Seoul-based North Korea human rights activist Tim Peters. ‘By some estimates, the North may have informants and agents here in the South that number in the thousands.Go RTWT. The commies are floundering around, aimlessly.
‘On the other hand, the type of mortal attacks, such as the one recently carried out but thwarted in its final stage on North Korean human rights activist Park Sung-hak, have tended to be rather rare,’ he says.
Peters is the founder of Helping Hands Korea, an organization that helps spirit defectors out of the North. ‘Those setting these plots into motion in Pyongyang seemed, in the past, to have a rather sophisticated calculus for choosing targets for their perfidy. These days, though, this type of attack seems to be more of a blunt instrument, and certainly more clumsy.’
Some go further. Chris Green, international affairs manager at the Daily NK, a dissident online newspaper based in Seoul, reckons the threat in the South, as much as it exists, is low. ‘Bluff and bluster are the order of the day,’ he says. ‘As far as there are multiple agencies from North Korea operating in the (North Korean-Chinese) border area under the guise of trading groups attached to a multitude of shady North Korean government organs, the risk there is much higher.’
When the commie sub grounded on the east coast of South Korea back in the mid-90s, the commandos aboard murdered the crew and tried to blend in.
At least one was caught because he was out in the stacks, and allowed a farmer to see him; he later testified that it never would have occurred to him that a simple rural farmer would have access to a telephone. Who ever heard of such a thing?!
(Mind you, the government of the Republic of Korea did not exactly come out of it smelling like roses, either--the grounded sub was reported by a pair of taxi drivers, and at least two of the north Korean commandos were apprehended on a ROK Army base, in the canteen, playing video games--how did they get there?)
Individually, they may not be a threat to the average US or ROK soldier, and there may be signs of a desperate regime here, but a desperate foe is prone to irrational acts, in the case, posing a danger to the whole world.