AirTalk for April 1, 2013

North Korea names new premier, escalates nuclear tension

SKOREA-NKOREA-US-MILITARY

KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images

South Korean K-200 armored vehicles move over a temporary bridge during a river-crossing military drill in Hwacheon near the border with North Korea on April 1, 2013. South Korea's new president promised a strong military response to any North Korean provocation after Pyongyang announced that the two countries were now in a state of war.

After a week of saber-rattling, North Korea has stepped up its bellicose rhetoric against South Korea and the United States. This weekend, the country announced that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, and North Korea’s parliament voted to beef up its nuclear weapons arsenal. 

At the same time, Pyongyang has named an economic reformer as its new premier. The U.S. sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to participate in annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises, meant to dissuade the North from making further threats. But the South appears to be shifting its position toward the North: The new South Korean president told her top military leaders to respond forcefully should North Korea attack.

On today’s show, Larry talks to North Korea expert David Kang at the University of Southern California on these latest developments coming out of North Korea.

Guest:
David Kang, Professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California. He is also director of the Korean Studies Institute.


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