Author Topic: North Korea  (Read 5586 times)

Adam White

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2017, 09:20:40 AM »
So the solution is clear - let Israel take care of it  ;D
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

BridgeTroll

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2017, 09:40:21 AM »
Yesterday I posted an opinion from Crispin Rovere where he discusses two options for dealing with NK... both options included war.  Below is the link to that article.

http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/07/11/north_korea_the_case_for_war_111767.html

Today I found a counter argument to Rovere's article... A case for deterrence.  It is a point for point counter and again is very interesting...

http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/07/13/north_korea_the_case_for_deterrence_111794.html

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North Korea: The Case for Deterrence
By David Santoro
July 13, 2017

A response to Crispin Rovere

Crispin Rovere and I discuss foreign policy all the time. Usually on Twitter. Virtually always on opposite ends of the argument. Not surprisingly, we again disagree over how the United States should respond to North Korea’s first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last week.

In his latest piece, Crispin describes potential consequences of two fundamentally different futures: one where the Trump administration tolerates Pyongyang’s crossing of the ICBM threshold, bringing it a step closer to possessing a capability to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. homeland, and one where Washington acts militarily to destroy the North Korean nuclear arsenal. He concludes that the latter is the “least bad alternative,” stressing that, unlike the former, a military campaign would show the whole world that proliferators will suffer consequences, and would end the awful Kim regime, reunify the two Koreas, and maybe even bolster America’s long-term position in Asia, notably vis-à-vis China.

He is wrong. I have already explained here what I regard as the “least bad agenda” after North Korea’s ICBM test, but let me respond to Crispin’s points, which I fear may be gaining currency in some U.S. policy circles.

Point #1: With nuclear-tipped ICBMs putting the U.S. homeland at risk, North Korea will become more aggressive against its neighbors and deter U.S. intervention

There is a risk that North Korea becomes more aggressive against South Korea, Japan, and others if Pyongyang thinks that its ability to strike the United States with nuclear-capable missiles will deter Washington. Strategists call this the “stability-instability paradox,” when a sophisticated nuclear arsenal brings stability at the strategic level, but, paradoxically enough, instability at lower levels of conflict. There is also a risk that, in a crisis involving South Korea or Japan, North Korea feels that it can create a wedge between them and the United States by threatening Washington with a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland if it intervenes, or “decoupling.”

North Korea would be making serious miscalculations, however, because the United States will not be deterred from pushing back against Pyongyang, and it will not back down in an escalating crisis, even if its homeland is at stake. In the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, Washington makes clear that it will not allow adversaries to “escalate their way out of failed conventional aggression.” And over the past few years, Washington has worked relentlessly with Seoul, Tokyo, and others to build their military capabilities and to coordinate response options with and between them to Pyongyang’s provocations.

Pyongyang’s development of an ICBM capability does not alter that determination. The United States has a long history of successfully extending security guarantees to allies to protect them against competitors that can strike the U.S. homeland with nuclear-tipped missiles: first with the Soviet Union and, since the end of the Cold War, with Russia and China. Washington has learned that it can credibly and effectively deter and defend against such competitors even if it does not dominate them fully. North Korea will never match their nuclear and conventional forces and does not have their strategic depth. The United States can, therefore, manage North Korea.

This does not mean that North Korea’s ICBM development is not a new challenge to the United States and its allies. The latter must adapt deterrence and defense capabilities, concepts, and messages to deal with the evolving threat and strip away Pyongyang’s confidence that it can freely engage in greater military adventurism. But North Korea will not succeed in achieving a “stable deterrence relationship” with the United States or in “paralyzing” Washington in a crisis. This is fantasy.

Point #2: Failure to act against North Korea will cause U.S. regional allies to lose faith in the United States as a security guarantor and to develop independent nuclear arsenals

The failure to roll back and eliminate the North Korean nuclear arsenal has led to frustration and mounting fears in Seoul, Tokyo, and other allied capitals. At no point, however, have regional allies begun to lose faith in the United States, or distance themselves from Washington. On the contrary: they have all systematically sought stronger security guarantees from Washington and tighter alliance relationships. In recent years, the United States and its allies have deployed new military capabilities and established dialogue processes to discuss and strengthen deterrence and assurance. North Korea’s nascent ICBM capability will not reverse that trend. If anything, it will reinforce it. Significantly, in response to last week’s ICBM test, two U.S. bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula to join fighter jets from South Korea and Japan for a practice bombing run as part of a training mission described by U.S. military officials as a defensive show of force and unity from the three allies. Pyongyang’s actions do not pull allies apart. It brings them closer together.

Recent years have seen growing proliferation pressures in South Korea, yet virtually none in Japan, which maintains a strong “nuclear allergy.” Even in South Korea, proponents of an independent nuclear arsenal have been few and are now unlikely to gain momentum, especially under the presidency of Moon Jae-in, who has campaigned for a more moderate approach to Pyongyang even as it presses ahead with its nuclear and missile developments. Still, it is not impossible to envision South Korea going nuclear. South Koreans, however, would likely want to have their cake and eat it too, i.e., have their own nuclear weapons and maintain their alliance relationship with the United States. In any case, the idea that other regional states, such as Australia, would quickly follow suit if South Korea or Japan went nuclear is highly unlikely. So is the possibility of a proliferation cascade that “spread unfettered across Asia and then the world” and bury the global nonproliferation regime. Nuclear weapons do not spread like wildfire, and it is unclear that the nuclearization of Northeast Asia would have such devastating spillover effects.

Today, more relevant than the possibility of U.S. regional allies going nuclear are discussions in allied capitals about how to adapt deterrence capabilities and concepts to the changed and changing North Korean threat. For instance, a small growing number of constituencies in South Korea and increasingly Japan are calling for the forward deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula. This suggests that allies recognize that if denuclearization of North Korea is currently out of reach, good deterrence (and defense), which must involve the United States, is the next best thing.

Point #3: Inaction against North Korea will lead China to accelerate its military build-up and become increasingly assertive in Asia

A U.S. decision not to act militarily to destroy the North Korean nuclear arsenal is not a sign of weakness. Nor it is inaction: the United States will, and has already begun to, strengthen deterrence of North Korea in coordination with its regional allies. Beijing may well use U.S. deterrence efforts to justify an accelerated military build-up (which has been increasing steadily for years), and it has already done so, notably in the context of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system on South Korean soil. But Beijing is unlikely to conclude that the United States is a “paper tiger” and that it can be more assertive against Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia. If anything, U.S. increased regional presence make it more difficult to do so.

Point #4: War will be bad, but it is best fought now when North Korea’s ability to do damage (and China’s ability to exploit the situation) remain limited

Waging war against North Korea after its arsenal has grown and diversified would, in theory, be more difficult and more deadly and costly. Stronger Chinese conventional forces would also further complicate the situation.

This, however, overlooks two important points. First, waging war now would be bad enough. As Crispin himself notes, war would amount to “combat losses exceeding a hundred thousand – to say nothing of the millions of North Koreans dead, both military and civilian.” He adds that it could involve the use nuclear weapons, invite Russian assertiveness in Europe, and that, while only a remote possibility, direct Chinese intervention cannot be ruled out and “would almost certainly escalate into World War III.” It is difficult, in these conditions, to see any upside.

Second, and significantly, warmongers fail to recognize that it is not too late to try and reverse or at least modify North Korea’s trajectory. War, in other words, does not have to be fought, now or ever. In parallel to stronger deterrence and defense, it is possible to ramp up sanctions significantly and squeeze North Korea enough to force it back to the negotiating table. Denuclearization will likely remain out of reach, at least for the foreseeable future, but negotiations may lead to an agreement imposing on limits and constraints on its nuclear arsenal. This would be no panacea, but it would be far better than waging a war that could lead us to World War III.

Crispin Rovere’s case for war against North Korea is not the “least bad alternative.” It is the worst alternative. The way forward is more deterrence to keep North Korea in line and more sanctions and try to force it back into negotiations. That approach is imperfect, but it may yield results and, more important, it is the best option to avoid disaster. It will also help strengthen regional alliances and put China on notice.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2017, 10:24:48 AM »
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/07/12/North-Korea-supplies-high-voltage-electricity-to-border-fence/3871499865995/

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North Korea supplies high-voltage electricity to border fence

By Elizabeth Shim  Contact the Author   |     July 12, 2017 at 9:35 AM   

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North Korean women wash clothing on the banks of the Yalu River near Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea. Kim Jong Un has been strictly regulating cross-border movement since assuming power, Seoul says. Photo by Stephen Shaver

July 12 (UPI) -- North Korea has installed high-voltage electric fencing at its border with China, posing even more challenges for people seeking to leave the country or smuggle goods in from the outside world.

The fence had already been installed along the Tumen and Yalu rivers, but the barricade was not being supplied with electricity until recently, North Korean reporters collaborating with Japan-based Asia Press said.

One North Korean reporter in Yanggang Province told Asia Press on July 4 the electric fences have put an end to what was once regular activity at the border.

"Not even an ant can afford to loiter around the border nowadays," the source said. "Since electricity was deployed, many people have been shocked, and it's been said some have died. A woman from Wiyon-dong [Hyesan city] was electrocuted and her eardrums ruptured."

A North Korean reporter in North Hamgyong Province confirmed the report of electric fences on July 6.

"It's been said even coming within a meter of the barbed wire could bring you in contact with electricity," the source said. "Even if the residents are not supplied with electricity it's said they can send electricity to the barbed wire, but it's not like there is a surplus of power."

The fence was installed in the fall of 2016 on the North Korea side. It is unclear whether electricity flows across all parts of the barricade.

China built a barbed wire fence from 2012 to 2014 along the Yalu and Tumen rivers.

According to the North Korean reporter in Yanggang, the power is being supplied from the relatively new Mount Paektu Songun Youth Power Station.

Ordinary North Koreans in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province, on the other hand, are supplied with electricity for about 3 to 4 hours a day, the North Korean source said.

The number of North Koreans reaching and resettling in the South has decreased, according to Seoul.

South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday a total of 593 defectors arrived in the South in the first half of 2017, or about 20 percent less than in 2016.

The ministry said Kim Jong Un's crackdown on movement across the border is the "main reason for the decrease," News 1 reported.

There are now 30,805 defectors in South Korea, according to Seoul.

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2017, 01:02:06 PM »
So the solution is clear - let Israel take care of it  ;D

They did once already.

They bombed and destroyed a nuclear facility North Korea was building for the Assad Goverment on the Euphrates River in Syria.

It was still weeks or months away from getting radioactive materials.

Syria simply said that Israel bombed a power facility. But the Syrian government recycled the metal left behind and bulldozed the site over.

Intelligence reports showed it was going to be a breeder style reactor so the Syrians could produce more material.

The architecture was an exact duplicate of a NK reactor.

It didnt get a lot of press at the time, but if a foreign based NK based reactor hit the hyperactive press today, we would be inundated with doom and gloom.

BridgeTroll

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2017, 02:40:10 PM »
So the solution is clear - let Israel take care of it  ;D

They did once already.

They bombed and destroyed a nuclear facility North Korea was building for the Assad Goverment on the Euphrates River in Syria.

It was still weeks or months away from getting radioactive materials.

Syria simply said that Israel bombed a power facility. But the Syrian government recycled the metal left behind and bulldozed the site over.

Intelligence reports showed it was going to be a breeder style reactor so the Syrians could produce more material.

The architecture was an exact duplicate of a NK reactor.

It didnt get a lot of press at the time, but if a foreign based NK based reactor hit the hyperactive press today, we would be inundated with doom and gloom.

Make that twice.  They also took out the Iraqi Osirak reactor complex in 1981...  8)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2017, 10:13:38 AM »
From the Australians...

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/korean-war-1950-53-still-settling-score/

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The Korean War 1950–53: still settling the score
17 Jul 2017|Ron Huisken

The three countries that started the Korean War in June 1950—Russia (USSR), China and North Korea—are still manoeuvring to secure a better outcome. When World War II ended in August 1945, American and Soviet troops had met more or less amicably at about the 38th parallel on the Korean peninsula. In 1949, both those powers withdrew their forces, leaving behind feeble local administrations in the north and the south that each aspired to lead the first government of the whole of Korea following the decades of Japanese colonial rule.

Kim Il-sung, a northerner who had fought in the resistance against Japanese rule and was accepted by the occupying Soviet forces as the leader of the north, lobbied the Soviet leader to support using force to take over the south and bring the whole of the peninsula into the socialist camp. Stalin eventually agreed that that was an attractive and feasible objective. On the condition that Kim Il-sung also secure China’s support for the venture, Stalin undertook to provide equipment, training and planning but ruled out any direct involvement by Soviet forces.

China’s Mao Tse-tung approved the plan and North Korean forces launched the attack on 25 June 1950. The north overran the southern forces, who retreated to a small enclave around the southern port of Pusan before the American-led UN forces reversed those gains and routed the north’s forces only to encounter, in October 1950,  a large force of Chinese ‘volunteers’.

This US–China phase of the conflict lasted for two more years before a truce was negotiated that recognised the original informal dividing line—the 38th parallel—as the de facto border between the Republic of Korea in the south, allied to the US, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, a socialist state closely tied to the USSR and China.

That truce is still in place, which means that all the belligerents are still, in formal terms, at war with one another. And the peninsula did indeed evolve quickly into an arena of essentially permanent tension, provocation and imminent conflict. The USSR and China took care to ensure that Pyongyang lacked the capacity to contemplate renewed unilateral military adventurism. That remained the case even as the DPRK veered off towards becoming the most highly militarised and uniquely repressive authoritarian regime in the world.

The narrative that underpinned the DPRK’s political trajectory has been founded on the contention that the country had narrowly escaped naked American aggression in June 1950 and that the enemy, a superpower bristling with nuclear weapons, had since embedded itself in the south while it searched for another opportunity to invade.

Russia and China have never had the courage to contest this narrative or, indeed, to seriously encourage the DPRK to take a different path. The US has for some 70 years borne the lion’s share of the burden of deterrence and alliance management emanating from the machinations of the DPRK. Even when Pyongyang began, in the late 1980s, to explore the possibility of a nuclear option, Russia and China kept their distance. China, in particular, openly informed Washington at subsequent points of nuclear crisis—notably 1993–94 and 2002—that responsibility for the issue lay with the US and the DPRK.

The DPRK conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, and others followed in 2009, 2015 (two) and 2016. It then began to work more seriously on ballistic-missile-delivery vehicles and, over the period 2012–17, demonstrated developmental progress across a family of ballistic missiles that has astonished most experts. It is astonishing because the DPRK is small, very poor and the subject of rigorous sanctions to preclude the acquisition of critical nuclear and missile technologies. Some have drawn pointed attention to the fact that nearly all of North Korea’s trade comes through China.

For those reasons, it is more than a little rich for Russia and China to advocate, as they still do, that the solution must lie in the US agreeing to meet and negotiate with the DPRK unconditionally—that is, without even an understanding that the purpose of the negotiations is to reverse the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs.

Moreover, China and Russia insist that even with the DPRK’s astonishing progress with ballistic missiles, the deployment by the US and South Korea of a more advanced THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) system demonstrated an unacceptable disregard for their own strategic interests in an unimpeded capacity to target the US with ballistic missiles.

Finally, it matters that Vladamir Putin and Xi Jinping want to see the DPRK and the US set the stage for negotiations, by the former freezing its missile and nuclear tests and the latter cancelling its regular military exercises with South Korea, implying equal responsibility for the enduring impasse.

Each of these postures illustrates a cavalier denial of responsibility for the DPRK and all that has transpired on the peninsula since 1950. The fact is, however, that Russia and China bear deep and significant responsibility for the current state of affairs on the peninsula.

They may hope to prolong the crisis beyond the end of American pre-eminence so that the history sketched above can be recast. But we may also be approaching a defining point. There are no attractive military options, not even for a superpower, but if the US gets to the point where it harbours doubts about the stability of the DPRK leadership and suspects that any one of several missile types could be carrying a nuclear warhead, it may feel compelled to act.

It’s only too clear that a negotiated outcome is beyond the reach of the three players most immediately involved—the US, South Korea and the DPRK. All the relevant players must bring their full influence to bear. That can’t happen if some won’t even acknowledge significant responsibility for the issue.

AUTHOR
Ron Huisken is adjunct associate professor at the ANU’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. Image courtesy of Expert Infantry.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2017, 12:23:57 PM »
The issue for the US is pretty simple.  All of the known nuclear powers are somewhat rational.

The DPRK is not.