Meanwhile, in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the leader, Kim Chong-il, has been out touring, including a steel mill and a mine. Thus, we are seeing the peaceful face of North Korea.
However, real war preparations by North Korea, especially civil defense measures require careful attention, should they be reported. Such measures involve real costs to the decision makers and the state, unlike propaganda statements, whose purpose is to achieve results with little cost.I thought this was insightful. Threatening is one thing, especially when you think your opponent will not do anything in response. Threatening plays well at home and garners attention abroad and sometimes concessions.
On the other hand, to undertake preparations for war has costs that are economic as they disrupt the normal flow of events. For the United States it is one thing to mobilize. For an economy like North Korea it is another thing.
For more on this warning of war and the search for indicators, see this item by the Honorable Charles Allen.
Remember, it isn't so much what they say as what they do that counts.
Regards — Cliff