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AVAILABLE EXPERT – Artillery exchange between North Korea & South Korea

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Queen’s University security expert, Christian Leuprecht, is available to comment on elevated tensions on the Korean Peninsula, following a recent artillery exchange between North and South Korean military forces. The exchange occurred after an attempted shelling by the North of a South Korean loudspeaker that had been installed in response to a previous North Korean incursion.

“With the sinking of the Cheonan in 2010, South Korea abandoned the vestiges of the sunshine policy.  South Korea has since banked on deterrence: provocation by the North will be met with a clear yet measured response,” says Dr. Leuprecht.  “These responses are not necessarily military though, as the loudspeaker response to the mines presumably planted within South Korean territory demonstrates. “

“The ongoing challenge is our very limited understanding of what may be driving the North’s moves: These moves could be instigated from the very top; or, after reportedly over 700 executions among the elite since Kim Jung-un came to power in 2011, they could be directed by military commanders concerned for their own well-being.  This murkiness of the inner workings of the DPRK, even more so in recent years, makes it very difficult to anticipate how the North will respond, and even more difficult to de-escalate.  As a result, the South Koreans have to gamble: appease the North and risk ongoing extortion and humiliation; or deter and weigh the risk of escalation.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Chris Armes at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.


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