Less Powerful North Korea:

North Korea is now a much less powerful threat than it used to be, said Navy Adm. William Fallon, commander of US Pacific Command. When asked about the North Korean conventional—not nuclear—threat, Fallon told defense reporters in Washington Thursday that North Korea is less capable of doing damage in South Korea because Seoul’s military since the Korean War “is much more capable; their resources are much more extensive; … they have had an extremely large exposure to new technology by the US and others.” In contrast, North Korea—starved financially—has a physically diminished military. Fallon said that Pyongyang has sent people down to the south by boat or submarine to “probe” for information, but their ability to “stage major combat for a lengthy period of time, I believe, is much less than it was in the past, particularly given this growth in South Korean capability.”