29 November 2010

China SignPost™ (洞察中国) #8: Playing with Fire? Potential impact of a North Korean threat to South Korean oil refineries

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson,Playing with Fire? Potential impact of a North Korean threat to South Korean oil refineries,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 8 (29 November 2010).

North Korea’s recent shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island raises the risk of armed confrontation in the region. If its core demands were not met, North Korea might threaten to target such critical economic infrastructure as refineries in South Korea and Japan in the low-probability, but high-impact event that a shooting war erupted. Saddam Hussein’s Scud attacks against Israel during the First Gulf War in 1991 suggest how despots with large missile forces can lash out in unpredictable ways during a conflict, even to their ultimate detriment. …