May 24, 2018

North Korea's Nuclear Deterrent Totally Justified

Causes, effects and doctrines are subtle. 

Before the sure handed statesman Trump and Kim meet or don't meet in Singapore on June 12, 2018 history needs recalling. 

Historical mentions of Korea are overlaid by simple moral assumptions: 

-  North Korea BAD

-  South Korea GOOD.

From the North Korean point of view, its status as the most invaded country in the world justifies a nuclear deterrent to prevent regime change and merely conventional destruction. Would Kim disarm on the word of such statesman as Trump and his neocon Pompeo noting the "Libyan solution"
 Bolton and Pence? What would stop them?

North Korea Most Invaded?

The territory that is now North Korea has been invaded by the Chinese many times, by Mongolians, Manchus twice, Japanese several times, Russians several times, the US three times, by UN forces (including Australians and British) twice and South Korea twice.

North Korea has a nervous relationship with China and 
Russia rather than friendly alliances. North Korea realizes it cannot rely on a nuclear protection guarantee from China. 

[see an excellent article What does China Really Think of North Korea? of May 25, 2018 from The Diplomat]

South Korea was no peace-loving democracy before North Korea invaded it in the 1949 (beginning the Korean War). The invasion followed frequent South Korea vs North Korean border clashes since 1945.

South Korea's leader, the authoritarian Syngman Rhee, killed between 14,000 and 30,000 of his own people during the Jeju uprising in 1948-49 just before the Korean War [1].

In 1950 Rhee had between 
100,000 and 200,000 South Korean Bodo League prisoners murdered [2].

North Korea's capital, Pyongyang was bombed flat by the US Air Force during the Korea War. 
"By the time of the armistice, 75 percent of Pyongyang's area was destroyed by the conventional bombing campaign, which was part of a broader U.S. bombing effort throughout the country costing" the lives of between one and three million North Koreans by the time the war ended [3].

Nuclear disarming North Korea, which is China's buffer zone, could bring on World War Three like nothing else.

[1] and subsequent massacre by South Korean troops.


Nawaponrath Asavathanachart said...

True spot on

Josh said...


While the history is worth noting, it's still a rather out of date view of the modern situation to invoke Mongolians or even Rhee. Furthermore as far as I know conventional disarmament is not on the table: the only thing being discussed is missiles and nuclear weapons. Bestest Korea must have the 2nd or 3rd largest army in the world, and if its economy were to recover via integration, we can expect heavy modernization as more funds became available.

That said I don't think we have to worry about a disarmed Korea - IMO the entire charm offensive was a stunt to slip off the PRC and ROK from sanctions efforts and avoid a US first strike, which I think we were only a missile launch or definitely one more nuclear test away from. I don't think Lil Kim has any intention of giving up his ultimate deterrent: the 'Libya model', and to a lesser extent the Ukraine, proved what can happen when you no longer have nuclear weapons that you could have had.


Anonymous said...

Talks of a US first strike on NK iare dubious. Folks do not realize from Vladivostok, home port of Russia's Pacific fleet, to NK border is no more than 100km. Pyongyang is <300km from Dalian where China builds its aircraft carrier or <500km to Shenyang, where you have aerospace industries or <800km from Beijing. Given the proximities, both Russia and China cannot tell, would trust what we say, or would wait to find out where those strikes are heading.