You'll be happy to know that there isn't a crisis in Korea, despite Pyongyang's recent nuclear test and a series of missile launches. If you don't believe us, just ask Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Our new column for Examiner.com looks at Mr. Gates assessment, and how it squares with reality on the ground. To be sure, there are no signs of an imminent invasion of South Korea by the DPRK, but with most of Kim Jong-il's army deployed near the DMZ, intelligence warning for a limited attack would probably be measured in hours, not days. And besides, there are plenty of hostile acts that North Korea could launch without sending its troops into South Korea.
Obviously, no one can predict Kim Jong-il's actions with complete certainty, but keep watching for these scenarios in the coming days: 1) A major naval confrontation along the Northern Limit Line (the maritime extension of the DMZ), and 2) Potential engagements of U.S. reconnaissance aircraft by NKAF fighters, or long-range SAMs. Coincidentally, the most recent North Korean missile test involved a modified SA-5, a weapon ideally suited for intercepting stand-off recce platforms like the U-2 and RC-135.
But remember, whatever happens in the days ahead, it's not a "crisis."