Friday, April 5, 2013

North Korea Shenanigans

As the occasoinal topical blogger, I figured, 'why not comment on something topical?' So lucky you, two days without a feels post. Let's talk about North Korea and everyone's response to North Korea.

The main thing remember in this, is that this is what North Korea does. They threaten war all the damn time. Hostile rhetoric is a speciality Pyongyang. It's partly to do with getting concessions, oftentimes food-aid, from global powers. Then there's the Military dictatorship within an extremely isolated nation.  The most important thing to have in a military dictatorship is an enemy. The populous doesn't know that a lot of the threats could never be fulfilled and all the menacing talk is probably inspiring in loyalty to the Government.

A mystery that remains is what is going on within the North Korean power structure. Or what that power structure even is. It's impossible to know, but maybe there is some in-fighting leading to these threats. Is there a fight between factions? Is Kim Jung-Un trying to show power and strength, because whatever other leadership there is in North Korea doubts it?

Another variable with this round of tensions is the damage economic sanctions have had. And these newest sanctions we're approved by China, which had been North Korea's remaining ally. The sanctions must have had some effect on the ruling class in the North. There is no wealth to be denied the population of North Korea, but the political and social leadership might just be feeling the squeeze of these sanctions.

I'm not too worried about this becoming a war. One has to think that the North Koreans know they cannot win in a conflict. Also, it also seems the leadership in North Korea wouldn't benefit from a war in anyway. The way the structure is in North Korea is pretty good for those who have power and assuming that they behave rationally will not make a move to lose power.

If they are determined that war is their best option, certainly the missile and nuclear threats would be foolish to follow up on. It is really doubtful that they have a nuclear weapon that could be delivered by any means other than plane, which is an absolute non-starter. If they do have a warhead that can be put on a missile, they couldn't fire it without ensuring their own destruction.

A ground invasion of South Korea is about their only realistic option. North Korea's large military would have the numbers advantage certainly and could quite possibly force a retreat. However, North Korean military technology basically stopped when the Soviet Union collapsed. Modern weaponry could do a lot to stop any North Korean advances. In fact North Korea's only real chance at survival if a war breaks out would be if China would ally itself with them. I doubt China would do that, but if they did we'd have another World War.

So the best case scenario for North Korea if they take military action is a global conflict (in which North Korea is likely to be just a battlefield.) That's why I'm not scared. North Korea (undoubtedly((almost))) isn't going to destroy itself to prove a point. They'll act threatening to keep their people in line and just maybe get the West to make some concessions. Tensions will ease only to flare back up when the North feels it's advantageous.

If war does break out, if North Korea fulfills its threats to fire missiles at Guam or Japan or South Korea, I'm not too worried about that unlikely outcome. It would certainly suck and could even be horrifying if there's a nuclear exchange, but fortunately I believe that the conflict could be contained and ended quickly in case of North Korean aggression.

tl;dr North Korea is playing chicken and they're driving a Smart Car and the rest of the world is a Semi

Thanks for reading


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