It is rare to find a Japanese commentator who does not resort to this-is-meant-to-be-hair-raising scenarios when talking about the DPRK's military capabilities and strategies. Rarer still is to find such a person who writes in clear English. Even rarer is finding a Ground Self Defense Forces reserve officer with such capacities. That said reserve officer is pursuing a doctorate at an Australian university must be unique.
What is best is that Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi (dig that hyphenated surname!) also seems to know what he is talking about:
North Korea’s defence planning: symbolism vs substance
The key takeaway: the DPRK's WMD programs have failed to develop at the speed necessary to provide for the regime's security as the country's poverty grinds the away at the regular armed forces, despite the "military first" policy orientation. The upshot is that the armed forces are falling back on the low cost alternative of equipping core asymmetric fighting forces, rather than maintaining fully functional battlefield armies.
Nota Bene: Do not get me wrong; I love the Russians. It is just that I am at the point where I have read so much of their work that I basically know what each is going to say about any specific development.
Shoots of hope for Vietnamese democracy
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