SOUTH KOREA: Mulling Response to North Korean Threats
Pyongyang's threat to avenge the Killing ol lis tnlillrators ise assessed the most likely retaliation scenarios to be an undefined incident along theabotage or terrorist attack in South Korea, or the murder or kidnapping of South Korean citizens.
Kong said the North is also probing for weakness in the US-South Korean alliance. He arguedisplay of military power might be necessary to show resolve. He apparently rulesubstantial augmentation of US troops, which could provoke the North to lash out violently.]
Seoul,inimum,ecurity Council presidential statement on tbe submarine incident; Kong said Beijing is signaling that it will not block the move. The Soulh has been slow to decide on other responses, in part because il has few attractive options.
Any effort to deliberately hinder implementation of the Agreed framework or pursuit nf four-party peace talks would isolate South Korea without harming the North- P'yongyang would be pleased if Seoul limited its participation in both efforts.
Nailing secret talks with the North on economic aid would foreclose the South's only forum for bilateral contact. This would leave the diplomatic field to direct US-North Korean contacts on issues such as POWs/MlAs.
Seoul must also be wary of erratic South Korean public opinion, which in the past has turned in favor of cooperation with Ihe North after periods of tension.'