North Korea is likely to launch a small-scale, “sneaky” and “creative”attack on South Korea as a way of de-escalating the current standoff on the peninsula, according to an interview with a former CIA analyst published in Wired magazine
Sue Mi Terry, who was a senior analyst on North Korea from 2001 to 2008, also believes that the attack will be difficult to trace back to Pyongyang for fear of triggering a massive response from the United States or South Korea.
"North Korea will launch an attack,” asserted Terry, now a Columbia University professor.
“It will be something sneaky and creative and hard to definitively trace back to North Korea to avoid international condemnation and immediate retaliation from Washington or Seoul,” she said, noting that the attack is more likely to be along the lines of the March 2010 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, whick killed 46 sailors.
“Something like Cheonan is more likely than an artillery strike like the November 2010 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, because it lessens the chance of a definite retaliatory strike by the South,” Terry explained.
She believes that North Korea will attempt to smooth over the limited attack with diplomacy in a risky strategy that could backfire.
“While Washington and Seoul tries to figure out next steps, the North will then engage in a ‘peace offensive’, after a deadly attack, to pressure Washington and Seoul to return to [diplomatic] talks,” she says
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