View Poll Results: What is the best course of action in dealing with North Korea?

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  • Full scale preemptive military strike

    4 28.57%
  • Limited preemptive military strike

    0 0%
  • Appeasement in the form of recognition and aid

    1 7.14%
  • Strategic Patience - Neither negotiation nor military action

    9 64.29%
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Thread: The Korean Dilemma

  1. #46
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I do know that a first strike against North Korea would guarantee that China and Russia would react...unfavorably toward the United States.
    Some dissent in China about that

    Chinese Experts: There Will Be No Second “Resist America and Aid Korea” | Whats on WEIBO | Aug 14 2017

    The United Morning Paper spoke to Zhang Liangui (张琏瑰), a professor at the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and a noted North Korea specialist. According to Professor Zhang, China will be unlikely to intervene in the matter, no matter who attacks first. “The Cold War is over, and there will be no re-staging of the 1950s ‘Resist USA, Help North Korea’

    Zhang said that North Korea is now destroying peace and stability in Northeast Asia, and that taking military actions against Pyongyang would not be unreasonable: “According to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charters, if the Security Council considers the actions of a state an endangerment to world peace, they can take sanctions against this state – also military ones.” The professor added: “Although China principally does not agree with resolving disputes through military force, it is clear that the culprit of this problem is North Korea. (..) China has no reason to get involved in this conflict.”
    It is not the first time the relations between China and North Korea become a topic of debate in the Chinese media. In 2014, the question of ‘how should China deal with North Korea?’ was also a central one, as two prominent figures in the China-North Korea debate publicly announced their perspectives on the future of the bilateral relationship.

    General Wang’s essay “China’s Non-Existent ‘Abandoning North Korea’ Problem” (“中国不存在“放弃朝鲜”的问题“) attracted much attention in December of 2014, as Wang stated that North Korea was never really China’s true ally to begin with, and that their ‘non-existent’ alliance, therefore, could never be ‘abandoned.’

    In Wang’s view, North Korea jeopardizes the peace and security of the entire region – and therefore does not share any interests with China: “China has to think from its own perspective and has to take a stance against North Korea harming our interests. (..) We should not even think of it as ‘abandoning’ North Korea. China has wiped North Korea’s ass for too long.” He also said that China should not go to war for North Korea: “China’s younger generations should not fight a battle for a country that is not theirs.” Although the rising tensions between USA and North Korea are making international headlines, the issue is not among the main trending topics on Sina Weibo.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Sep 17, at 15:26.

  2. #47
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Peace treaty with the US. Recognition of the regime means legitimacy. He's isn't too particular what the neighbours think. I don't know whether he will try to conquer the south if he gets what he wants and finish his grandfathers job.

    The reason he threatens Japan is because that is where forces for any invasion of NK would be based.
    There is more to it than that. The DPRK is an unholy mixture of Marxism, absolute monarchy and theocracy. Religions & dictatorships frequently require devils & enemies. They also require mythologies. The DPRK has a foundation myth in which Japan, the US & the ROK are very much the devils and Kim Il Sung the great saviour. It has an ongoing myth in which they are the everlasting threat. All of this has a lot more to do with mythology than geopolitics.

    Kim doesn't need recognition. He isn't going to invade the South. He isn't even going to get the US to pull out of Korea or Japan. What he seems to think nukes will give him is a guarantee of survival.

    Colonel Yu used to point out that China had some of its best & most modern divisions on the Yalu. I got the impression that they were prepared to go south in the event of war, but to replace Kim rather than save him. The buffer is still desirable, but the current regime is more trouble than it is worth.


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  3. #48
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Colonel Yu used to point out that China had some of its best & most modern divisions on the Yalu. I got the impression that they were prepared to go south in the event of war, but to replace Kim rather than save him. The buffer is still desirable, but the current regime is more trouble than it is worth.
    Will China be up against the same constraints as the US in this case. Regime change in NK necessarily means the south gets it regardless except this time it would be China's fault
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Sep 17, at 20:15.

  4. #49
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Will China will be up against the same constraints as the US in this case. Regime change in NK necessarily means the south gets it regardless except this time it would be China's fault
    I'm not sure that China cares all that much about the ROK 'getting it', but that wasn't the scenario I was talking about. I'm suggesting that if a war breaks out between the DPRK & US/ROK that China might take the opportunity to occupy the DPRK both to forestall an invasion and put in place a friendly regime. Fat Kim is 'killed by an American bomb' along with anyone else who is in the way and China leaves troops behind to 'defend the territorial integrity of the DPRK'. Not without risk, but better than having the ROK on the Yalu and better than having a nuclear armed nutter in Pyongyang.


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  5. #50
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Kim doesn't need recognition. He isn't going to invade the South. He isn't even going to get the US to pull out of Korea or Japan. What he seems to think nukes will give him is a guarantee of survival.
    Will Kim's tests eventually reduce as his weapons become more credible.

    It's these tests that seem to get everyone concerned. The south responds with exercises to shore up its public confidence. Abe looks stern when talking to the media. Then there are talks, its goes quiet only to erupt a few years again because he's insecure.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    Yet can the same be said of Tiny Kim?
    Here we are talking about a man who is reputed to have had a once favorite uncle tossed to a pack of starving dogs!
    After which he had the entire family of the aforementioned uncle sent to the wall! Wife, children, grandchildren together with their in-laws!
    Had opponents executed by having them shot with anti-aircraft cannons!
    Are these the actions of someone playing with a full deck?
    Of a believable negotiating partner?
    He wouldn’t be the first demented dictator who was willing to tear down the whole house if things didn’t go his way!
    1. "Are these the actions of someone playing with a full deck?" Yes. It doesn't matter whether the threat is you uncle or Khodorkovsky/Litvinenko/Politkovskaya (who would have been 59 two days ago)/Nemtsov or any of the others who have murdered by such people - look at Assad go! Even a persons (or factions) 'neutrality' becomes regarded as a 'threat' after a while (see for example Thucydides Melian Dialogue); it is imagined as showing the despots impotency. You are either pro despot or you are 'the enemy', normally they hedge this by adding "of the people" etc... Commies did exactly the same. Taking them out clearly and demonstrably sets an example; the more horrific the death - especially of your own family - merely reinforces the warning to all the other would be "enemies of the people" who are everyone who is not visibly pro despot and often of 'payed agents' of the greater external 'evil Empire' which is intent on overthrowing the great achievements the despot has made for "the people". Killing Nemtsov a stones throw from the Kremlin when all the CCTV cameras just happened to be off was no different to Kim having his Uncle taken out.

    2. "Of a believable negotiating partner?" No. These people by definition cannot be trusted to keep any agreement made with the outside world. The whole outside world is the 'greater external enemy' which is constantly (for whatever crackpot reason - and some have been laughable) attempting to upset the utopian society the despot has created for 'the people'. Hiring 'agents' or 'agents of influence' within the utopia is a 'proof' of these dark external forces determination to overthrow the 'great achievements' the despot has succeeded in making for 'the people'. Breaking agreements with the 'external enemy' or in any other way succeeding against them (getting Trump elected) is a 'victory' and a 'proof' of the genius of the despot and the power of 'the people' so naturally any time they can backslide on any agreement they will. Agreements therefore must be rigorously enforced with the threat of the mailed fist behind them if there is one instance of backtracking. This was one of the problems with the Clinton negotiations with NK and is an ongoing problem with the Minsk agreements. Sanctions are not a threat to the despot; they are mere proofs of the 'external enemy's' desire to murder/rape/steal from etc 'the people'. In the Moscow case the sanctions were targetted to Putin's pals so specifically did not harm 'the people'. To remedy this the despot imposed 'counter sanctions' to deprive 'the people' of French cheese, Polish apples etc etc and of course blamed this on the actions of the 'external enemy'. No these people cannot be trusted but their actions and reactions can to an extent be predicted.
    Last edited by snapper; 02 Sep 17, at 18:39.

  7. #52
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    I'm in agreement with Bigfella and Double Edge.

    China wants the status quo, the one that prevailed before Tiny Kim (love that name!) arrived.
    Tiny Kim is more trouble than he's worth, but any change is fraught with risk.
    If and when the DPRK collapses, it won't be cheap and easy like Germany.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  8. #53
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    I'm in agreement with Bigfella and Double Edge.

    China wants the status quo, the one that prevailed before Tiny Kim (love that name!) arrived.
    Tiny Kim is more trouble than he's worth, but any change is fraught with risk.
    If and when the DPRK collapses, it won't be cheap and easy like Germany.
    More a case of when...Hard to gauge public dissent with that level of top down control. Basterd needs wiping out....for making his people suffer so he can look big....but yeh It'll make E Germany look a piece of cake

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    More a case of when...Hard to gauge public dissent with that level of top down control. Basterd needs wiping out....for making his people suffer so he can look big....but yeh It'll make E Germany look a piece of cake
    And a scramblefest between the South Koreans/US and China which is why both sides are willing to prolong the status quo.

  10. #55
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    I'm suggesting that if a war breaks out between the DPRK & US/ROK that China might take the opportunity to occupy the DPRK both to forestall an invasion and put in place a friendly regime. Fat Kim is 'killed by an American bomb' along with anyone else who is in the way and China leaves troops behind to 'defend the territorial integrity of the DPRK'. Not without risk, but better than having the ROK on the Yalu and better than having a nuclear armed nutter in Pyongyang.
    This friendly regime would need legitimacy to control the people. Where are the candidates. Kim like Gaddafi made sure to get rid of any potential rivals. So a replacement isn't going to be easy to find unless China plans on occupying for a while until some one emerges, after which there will be periods of chaos as coups could occur. And there needs to be no unification.

    This all seems like a pretty big ask and leaves China responsible for maintenance.

    China has far longer borders with the Russians, they deal with it, what makes ROK so threatening. Even a unified ROK. May be in the 50s, but still today ?
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Sep 17, at 20:33.

  11. #56
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    1. "Are these the actions of someone playing with a full deck?" Yes. It doesn't matter whether the threat is you uncle or Khodorkovsky/Litvinenko/Politkovskaya (who would have been 59 two days ago)/Nemtsov or any of the others who have murdered by such people - look at Assad go! Even a persons (or factions) 'neutrality' becomes regarded as a 'threat' after a while (see for example Thucydides Melian Dialogue); it is imagined as showing the despots impotency. You are either pro despot or you are 'the enemy', normally they hedge this by adding "of the people" etc... Commies did exactly the same. Taking them out clearly and demonstrably sets an example; the more horrific the death - especially of your own family - merely reinforces the warning to all the other would be "enemies of the people" who are everyone who is not visibly pro despot and often of 'payed agents' of the greater external 'evil Empire' which is intent on overthrowing the great achievements the despot has made for "the people". Killing Nemtsov a stones throw from the Kremlin when all the CCTV cameras just happened to be off was no different to Kim having his Uncle taken out.

    2. "Of a believable negotiating partner?" No. These people by definition cannot be trusted to keep any agreement made with the outside world. The whole outside world is the 'greater external enemy' which is constantly (for whatever crackpot reason - and some have been laughable) attempting to upset the utopian society the despot has created for 'the people'. Hiring 'agents' or 'agents of influence' within the utopia is a 'proof' of these dark external forces determination to overthrow the 'great achievements' the despot has succeeded in making for 'the people'. Breaking agreements with the 'external enemy' or in any other way succeeding against them (getting Trump elected) is a 'victory' and a 'proof' of the genius of the despot and the power of 'the people' so naturally any time they can backslide on any agreement they will. Agreements therefore must be rigorously enforced with the threat of the mailed fist behind them if there is one instance of backtracking. This was one of the problems with the Clinton negotiations with NK and is an ongoing problem with the Minsk agreements. Sanctions are not a threat to the despot; they are mere proofs of the 'external enemy's' desire to murder/rape/steal from etc 'the people'. In the Moscow case the sanctions were targetted to Putin's pals so specifically did not harm 'the people'. To remedy this the despot imposed 'counter sanctions' to deprive 'the people' of French cheese, Polish apples etc etc and of course blamed this on the actions of the 'external enemy'. No these people cannot be trusted but their actions and reactions can to an extent be predicted.
    An interesting and insightful description of Tiny Kim as a graduate of the Caligula School of State Science,
    where he must have graduated top of the class in the use of latent pathological homicidal and sadistic tendencies as a tool of governing.

    Now you said yourself:
    -These people by definition cannot be trusted to keep any agreement made with the outside world.-
    Therefore when; not if, they break or repudiate an agreement, the situation will be as now: rock and hard place!
    Sure do miss the Brigadier and OoE, for their analysis of a diplomatic/military situation where the solutions alternate between horrendous now,
    or even worse down the road.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Care to share? Links? I've seen analyses held up as 'realistic' and lower end that put the figure at 60,000 in Seoul alone the first 24 hours, and these were made before the DPRK acquired longer range rocket artillery.
    Yeah, you might have read the excellent study from the Nautilus Institute:

    https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet...c-and-reality/

    Which projects 64,000 casualties in the first day and up to 80,000 in a week's time when the threat of the DMZ artillery has been largely eliminated. But you read the headline number without what the study actually tells you.

    The 64,000 figure is for a total surprise attack by NK, assuming 100% functional rate for the artillery, unlimited ammo, and a 1% attrition rate per hour from counterbattery fire.

    In reality such an attack has never been rehearsed in large scale military exercises by NK, we will be initiating military action if we chose to attack the nuclear weapons program, the artillery function rate will be no where near 100%, ammo will be limited, and attrition rates will be multiples or orders of magnitude higher than 1% because of the enormous improvements in kill chain response times in the last decade, the advent of continuous real time surveillance by drones and satellites, the limited geography, and the continuous monitoring of NK military sites on the DMZ by such systems.

    When yo take into account these realities you are looking at figures well below those estimates. Less if we initiate on the DMZ.



    It isn't up to America to decide if these people die unless there is an act of war committed. The ROK has decided to tolerate periodic low level attacks rather than go to war and will suffer the consequences of any conflict. They are the ones who need to take the lead here.
    That's your personal opinion with little relevance to US national policy. There has been many acts that could be considered acts of war on behalf of NK, nevermind that we are actually still AT war with them. In addition, the direct threat of NK against the US as a result of our continuous defense of ROK gives us equal voice as ROK in deciding how to counteract an existential threat. Lastly, what ROK truly decides is between the US and ROK. We have ALL tolerated NK up until this point. That does not mean that ANY of us would continue to do so as NK cross the nuclear threshold.

    America can establish that 'bottom line' in a very short time without killing a single Korean. How about just going about it that way?
    By going to war with Russia in Eastern Europe? That replaces a manageable catastrophe with a completely uncontainable one.



    Here's an idea, put yourself in their shoes. I don't mean in the superficial way of some of this drivel that serves as "analysis" in online forums. I mean really do it. Think thorough what it would be like to have an allied power start an unnecessary war that destroys the place where you live & kills many of your friends & family. Think about what this would mean to you. Really live in these people's skin.

    They have lived almost 2 generations in the shadow of this dictatorship and have built a prosperous, peaceful, democratic nation. Then a nation that is supposed to be their friend decides that because the dictatorship to the north might one day present a threat then these people's lives get destroyed. Left to its own devices the DPRK might do this one day, but it hasn't in over 60 years. If the US attacks it will unleash hell on your home, friends & family. Doesn't look like a great idea from that perspective, does it?
    It would be a gut wrenching decision, but knowing that going forward KJU will have the ability to kill 10 million ROK citizens, that my children would be facing an uncontainable, unmanageable, existential catastrophe that is ordersof magnitudes greater threat to the existence of the nation should this generation fail to act? Knowing that, I'd vote to act.

    A nuclear armed DPRK is a very, very bad thing, but it doesn't give the DPRK the ability to anything it wants to. If it uses the nukes it ceases to exist. Within minutes. Kim wants to be a God King, not ruler of the rubble. In an ideal world China would fix this. America can't without a LOT of people dying, very few of them American, very many of them notionally US allies. There are lots of choices here. The military option is by far the worst and should only be used if there is literally no choice. Living with a nuclear DPRK is choice, especially for those people who live nowhere near you but within artillery range.
    So, after 50 years building up your military forces and ensuring the survival of the nation, you would allow a murderous enemy living directly on your border to cross directly into a regime of capability that erases the gains that you have made and threaten the existence of your entire nation, your children and your children's children. You'd let him gain the ability to wipe out everyone you know and love in an instant because of the prospect that in the worst case scenario that won't happen, he can inflict 80,000 casualties on your city should you act? To me that is insane.

    ROK has MUCH MUCH more to lose from a nuclear North than we do in the US. There are only so many ICBMs NK can make. We may be able to build enough missile defenses to shoot all of them down, eventually. There is NO WAY for ROK to have enough defenses against dozens or hundreds of nuclear armed SRBM and MRBMs without some getting through.

    The military solution is horrible, except for the "living" with a nuclear Kim solution.

    We've been trying to leave the Kims alone for 50 years. They do not want to be left alone. If left alone to deal with his own country, his regime collapses and he dies. His survival DEMANDS an outward push. The creation of continuous pressure to justify and prolong his narrative of triumphalism, militarism and absolute control.

    Kim is more afraid of peace than he is of war. Peace without the threat of war is THE existential threat to his regime. That's the LAST thing that he wants.

    So you let him have a nuke on a solid fueled ICBM, he's going to want a 100 on all sorts of missiles. Then those weapons will be expensive, so he'll seek to sell the tech. He's also going to want more and more concessions to feed a military apparatus that becomes a bigger and bigger threat.

    And if you think his ability to threaten Seoul is great now, imagine what happens when he gets nukes.

    Today, if he kills 10,000 people in Seoul with a sudden artillery barrage, he's a goner in 30 days or sooner.

    He gets 100 nukes, heck, 50 nukes on MRBMs and SRBMS. He then gets pissed and kills 10K people in Seoul in a surprise attack. Or, maybe he feels generous and only kills a 1000, or 200. Heck, maybe he just blows the shit out of a border village and kills a few dozen people once or twice a year. Blows up an ROK and Japanese ship or two, or maybe shoots down an air liner every once in a while, Putin style. What do you do next?
    Last edited by citanon; 02 Sep 17, at 23:59.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    I'm not sure that China cares all that much about the ROK 'getting it', but that wasn't the scenario I was talking about. I'm suggesting that if a war breaks out between the DPRK & US/ROK that China might take the opportunity to occupy the DPRK both to forestall an invasion and put in place a friendly regime. Fat Kim is 'killed by an American bomb' along with anyone else who is in the way and China leaves troops behind to 'defend the territorial integrity of the DPRK'. Not without risk, but better than having the ROK on the Yalu and better than having a nuclear armed nutter in Pyongyang.
    That would be 100% fine with me, except that's probably the last thing that China wants. The don't want to spend the money. They don't want their own Iraq.

    They'll want to stop the American and ROK attack via diplomatic pressure, then get a chastised Kim (or another regime figure if he's killed) back in their orbit, and into the Belt and Road.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    An interesting and insightful description of Tiny Kim as a graduate of the Caligula School of State Science,
    where he must have graduated top of the class in the use of latent pathological homicidal and sadistic tendencies as a tool of governing.

    Now you said yourself:
    -These people by definition cannot be trusted to keep any agreement made with the outside world.-
    Therefore when; not if, they break or repudiate an agreement, the situation will be as now: rock and hard place!
    Sure do miss the Brigadier and OoE, for their analysis of a diplomatic/military situation where the solutions alternate between horrendous now,
    or even worse down the road.
    Despots learn the logic of their position by need; if they did not learn they would be murdered. Little Boots was rather tame and probably actually mad considered to the calculating despot; he did after all not survive to a natural death.

    The real point is that these despots who calculate are not insane; they are not going do a gotterdammerung style stunt - nuke Guam or whatever. Their fundamental purpose is maintain their regime during their lifetime and enjoy the gilded luxury they live. They will push but never force the issue.

  15. #60
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    ...Their fundamental purpose is maintain their regime during their lifetime and enjoy the gilded luxury they live. They will push but never force the issue.
    Seeing some of the statistics quoted here and elsewhere I hope sincerely that you are right!
    That said, seeing what has been posted here and elsewhere Iím afraid youíre not!
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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