A lot of new and fun things have been coming from the Korean peninsula recently and I as the worlds foremost experts in all things pertaining to North Korea figure I should once again take you on a journey towards the Hermit Kingdom.
Recent developments have shown that North Korea did in fact sink a South Korean war ship the ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772), killing 46 people. This has led to higher than normal tensions between what some refer to as Good Korea and Bad Korea (if you can’t figure out which is which shoot yourself for being a communist). South Korea has retaliated by tightening sanction and stopping much of the trade between the two countries. North Korea responded by once again screaming about war denying everything like usual no matter how insane their lies are and may shut down what is left of the trade between the two. Both countries will deny each other use of ports, airspace and national waters. North Korea claims any sanctions or any penalty for anything they ever do is an act of war against them (but them torpedoing a ship and killing people is OK for some reason). Is it going to end it war? Well I’m going to go with no, because China is still going to pretend to mediate but basically back North Korea simply because they are both communist countries, although I doubt they would send troops in if a war started but they would as usual send supplies and sell them arms even if they do it quietly (although they probably won’t both to do it quietly since every time they sign on to stop sending the money and arms the just do it anyway and everyone knows it). South Korea probably knows that Obama doesn’t have the stomach to really back them if a war starts. South Korea probably knows war is not the best answer because they would be on their own and if they did crush North Korea it would cause them to go broke trying to rebuild it if they went for reunification and there would be a lot of other problems if they crushed the North and then let them keep their country. North Korea needs to talk about war to keep their population in line but knows they don’t have the money or resources to wage a real war. China doesn’t want a war because they might also have to pick up the tab for North Korea and deal with the refugee problem it would create and also doesn’t want a unified Korean peninsula with a pro-west or at least pro-democracy government so they want to keep the status quo. America is dealing with two other wars and has a leader who can’t even talk to a class of 4th graders without a teleprompter and when it comes to military decisions waffles so much it causes earthquakes
While North Korea has an extremely large army it is very underpowered technologically and the troops are staving. They can do some damage but they can’t wage a protracted war without turning the whole army into a suicide squad. War is not their aim. I know it sounds odd when I say they did not try to start a war. They attacked another country but are not trying to get into a war? Yes, that’s what is going on. It makes sense from their thinking, well to a point I was even surprised they went this far however unless they pull a couple more stunts like this I will say that they don’t want a war. What they want it to give South Korea and the rest of the world a black eye and use the war propaganda to get them through the sanctions and show everyone how tough they are. They know or at least think the UN will not do anything about it (well everyone knows the UN will not do anything), South Korea and America don’t want a war and even if the South did America doesn’t want to get into another one right now and without American support South Korea will be hesitant to attack and due to the world’s economy being in the toilet the rest of the world, or at least the portions who while wouldn’t help militarily but may help economically will be hesitant to spend large sums in support of the South thus helping North Korea get away with this.
Now the question becomes why would North Korea bother to do this in the first place? It’s because Kim Jong-il is old and probably dieing. His successor Kim Jong-un is relatively unknown and unlike Kim Jong-il was not groomed for years as a successor so this causes problems in a communist country since it is the only country that has ever existed that has a system best described as a Dynastic Communism. In order for Kim Jong-un to come to power with at least a little of his father’s power North Korea need a good propaganda coupe to look powerful in the world towards the people. Acting aggressively like this and not suffering military consequences does this for the most part. Basically they are bluffing the world much like they always do when they scream about war only this time they upped the ante by blowing up a South Korean ship and if the world doesn’t call the bluff they will succeed and they can run with the propaganda for a couple of years and use it to help ease the succession problems at least somewhat.
Do I want war? No, not really, war isn’t a good thing, it is sometimes necessary though. The men that died aboard the Cheonan need justice but in this world justice is in very short supply. The problem with this is that there are no good options, sanctions have never worked with North Korea for longer than a week, they will pretend to be good now and then but they never change. war could be catastrophic for the Korean peninsula both in the human and economic costs. I have already mentioned the problems with outside support so the financial burden that may be lifted to some extent (although the human cost will remain) will not be lessened much if at all. In a better world even if something like this did happen a large international force would have started operations last week and while the war would happen the financial cost and the human cost would be more spread out and the reconstruction of the North after the end of the war wouldn’t bankrupt South Korea. But we live in this world where the UN sits by and watches genocide while raping and stealing from the ones lucky enough to survive and most counties think diplomacy is the answer to everything no matter what evidence there is to the contrary.
So what is the cure for all this mess? Fuck if I know. OK I do know to a point. The civilized world needs to enforce strict sanctions making it illegal to sell or buy anything from North Korea (china and the uncivilized world will not go along but other than China most of the uncivilized world excluding some Middle Eastern countries don’t have much money). We also need to get an international force to station more troops on the border shut down the sea lanes and let North Korea know that if they try to pull something they will be destroyed. OK in reality the cure for this is for the world to pull its head out its ass and do a bunch of other things it will never do. OK better solution, hid under your desk cover your ears and eyes, cry like a little bitch and hope it will all go away (or in other words mostly what the worlds leaders do now). I’m counting on not much happening other than talk and I will still have to deal with North Korea shooting rockets over my head (I live in Japan if you didn’t know), well when their rockets don’t blow up during the launch.
Alright I’m joking, I think… OK that wasn’t a joke I just want to tell myself it was. Other than what little sanctions we can get right now we probably won’t be able to do much until Kim Jong-il finally finds his way to hell and if we are luck we can find a way to work with Kim Jong-un and hope (yes “hope” also known as lying to yourself so you don’t cry yourself to sleep every night) he has the power to do something and be North Korea’s Mikhail Gorbachev. Then we have to hope that unlike Russia North Korea doesn’t end up with their own version of Putin and the rest of the ex-KGB and Russian Mafia that is currently running Russia. Yes, Russia’s current leadership is still a bunch of bastards but they cause less international problems than the old Soviet Union.
The good news is that North Korea probably can’t cause WWIII since most countries won’t back them in a shooting war so unless China gets really stupid and commits troops (something they know is not in their economic interest) we don’t have to worry about that. The bad news is that what I just said was the closest thing we have to good news.
I’m not going to get into much else about what would happen in a war, North Korea’s military or the ramifications of a change of government because I have already done it several times so if you want more just go here and you can read all my other articles on North Korea (really, do it, you might learn something).
I hate it here…