Fletcher in the News

DPRK is Engaging in Psychological Warfare, Says Prof. Sung-Yoon Lee

NBC News

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

North Korea threats predictable but Kim Jong Un is not, analysts say

Is Kim Jong Un crazy -- or crazy like a fox?

Analysts said Friday there's a familiar method to the madness coming out of North Korea, where the rookie supreme leader has put rockets on standby, threatened to "settle accounts" with the U.S., and posed near a chart that appeared to map missile strikes on American cities. On Saturday, North Korea said it had entered a "state of war" against South Korea, according to a statement reported by the north's official news agency, KCNA.

Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather were also serial saber-rattlers when they headed the secretive regime, and experts said there are clear strategic reasons why the world's youngest head of state is ramping up the rhetoric now, after little more than a year in power….

… "I think there is always room for miscalculation and things spiraling out of control," said Sung-Youn Lee, assistant professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. "But he is following the playbook set by his father and grandfather."

North Korea is "very adept at engaging at psychological warfare," Lee said. It cranks up the tensions, putting pressure on Seoul and Washington, and is rewarded with aid and concessions when it tones things down, Lee said.

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