North Korea is breaking some agreements with Washington and other countries made during the Bush Administration to allow food aid to travel to North Korea and to ease some trade restrictions and to remove North Korea from the list of of states sponsoring terrorism in exchange for the destruction of it's nuclear power program. Back on July 1, 2008, another U.S. ship with 37,000 tons of wheat sailed to North Korea, only days after North Korea allowed Western reporters to film the destruction of a disabled nuclear plant. North Korea has also received more than 100,000 metric tons of fuel oil from the U.S. as well during 2007 from the Bush Administration.
The fact of the matter is that the U.S. , South Korea, Japan and China all offered North Korea some substantial food aid and other assistance in exchange for the destruction of their nuclear program. Now that there's a new administration in Washington, North Korea is simply looking to appear threatening, only hoping to wring more new aid from Washington.
However, it is likely that the Obama Administration might take a hard-line against North Korea in the area of inspecting North Korea ships to prevent them from shipping missiles, missile parts or nuclear materials to rogue nations such as Iran. And that could be a potential area of conflict, compared to the tough statements by the Pyongyang government.
It wouldn't appear that Pyongyang seriously wants war. The reclusive regime likely is only looking to wring out a few more aid benefits from the donor states. But that doesn't mean that some ship inspection could go horribly out of control and accidentally trigger some military incident. And that's the real danger here.
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