More on North Korea

Please read Sporty Morty’s post on North Korea first as this is a response to his piece, but I thought it was important enough to create a new post instead of just a comment.

The nuclear and missile tests performed by the DPRK (their official designation; it stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, I know it’s absurd but there it is) is something that has been roundly condemned by the world as it should be.  This is essentially what UN Resolution 1874 is all about.  We all need to keep a sharp eye on what they are doing and what they are saying, but I don’t think that North Korea really wants to go to war.  I know that seems counter-intuitive based on the recent developments, but I firmly believe it’s true.

The regime in the DPRK is absolutely ruthless and heartless, but I don’t think they are suicidal.  And I have to imagine that they understand that if they were to really do anything foolish like attack Hawaii, or even come close to it, they would be in for a world of hurt.  Granted, we are already engaged in two wars but there is no doubt that Obama would not hesitate to take out Pyongyang if we were really threatened and especially if we were attacked.  But as I said, I don’t think they want to go to war.  So why are they doing the things they are doing?

They know that they are despised, and that, of course, doesn’t bother them.  But what they want is not to be attacked.  And they want more stuff for themselves.  So why would they act so provocatively if they don’t want to be attacked.  Well, it’s posturing.  They want to show the world that they can strike targets that are relatively far away so it would be unwise to attack them at all.  Also, with the addition of nukes they are saying that if you attack us, we will start WWIII.  I think they are trying to put themselves in Russia’s place during the Cold War.  If they get hit, they will try to destroy everyone around them and the US if possible.  They are essentially trying to show the world how dangerous it would be to attack them.  It may seem crazy, but it might work.  And when you consider how close Seoul, South Korea is to North Korea (about 50 miles), I certainly hope that we don’t have any real confrontations with them.

Also, I think they want to use this “leverage” that they are trying to create by showing how tough they are in negotiations for more aid or fuel or whatever.  Kim Jong-Il only wants these things for himself and doesn’t really care about taking care of his people, but there is only so much that it can get from China (it’s main trading partner).  And so they are trying whatever they can to get more.  Unfortunately, I don’t really think this tactic will work all that well, but no one said that Kim Jong-Il and his people were the smartest political leaders.

So while I think that we need to keep a careful eye on North Korea, I am fairly confident that we will not be going to war with them anytime soon.

I certainly hope I’m right.


One Response to “More on North Korea”

  1. Mort the Sport Says:

    I agree that North Korea has nothing to gain by going to war with the US. But what I don’t understand is what possible “leverage” they could get by firing a missile at any part of the US. It’s such a provocative act that it just defies reason. Are they so incensed by the UN’s most recent resolution that they’d be willing to risk getting into a war just to retaliate against what they feel is unfair treatment? I guess the hidden assumption here is that the media I’ve been reading is right and North Korea is planning something provocative. If they aren’t, however, then why is the US military already ramping up its defensive apparatus? Obviously, this one has me stumped and makes me realize that I’m just a newbie when it comes to foreign policy (especially in Asia).

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