Apparently responding to the rapid defeat of Iraq, North Korea announced that it would no longer insist on direct talks with the United States. South Korea believes that the northerners are now willing to negotiate any deal they can as long as it will spare them from the wrath of US armed forces. The northerners apparently really believe they are in danger of invasion. But the chances of this are close to nil because of the risk to South Korea's capital, Seoul. The city is within range of thousands of North Korean rockets and long range artillery, which could kill over a hundred thousand South Koreans within hours, and destroy billions of dollars in property. For decades, the main purpose of South Korean and American relationships with the north is to stop the northerners from making such an attack.