Thursday, April 4, 2013

It always surprises me when we as Americans react with shock when countries and regimes such as Iran and North Korea threaten us with their nuclear arsenal.  Look at a map of the world and it will reduce your amazement.  These two in particular are not in the most comfortable position.  But let's take the latest threat from NK.  First of all, they are now led by the third generation Kim dictatorship.  But he is under thirty years old and being, supposedly, under the influence of his military and trying to establish his own credentials.  What better way than to threaten war with South Korea and the US?  That's the easy part, be a bully who threatens another (US) bully.  The problem for Kim is how to get out of this and what to get out of it.  If you make these threats you better have some way to back it up or you lose credibility with your own military.  So, with the war games in South Korea and the US flying overhead he waves the nukes in our face.  But there is surely more to come.  I don't think an all out war is too likely, but a skirmish off some small island just to show they mean business is a distinct possibility.  Then there is the second possibility for Kim, which is to untie the noose around NK's neck.  They can not do business with any nation other than China and Iran.  Forget Iran.  But China has a common border and fears a huge influx of refugees should a hot war begin.  That would be the camel that breaks China's back as they don't exactly relish the idea of feeding millions of starving North Koreans.  The NK regime is basically surrounded and their only weapon is nuclear.  Our allies in South Korea and Japan will not tolerate more threats and military gesturing without having the ability to not only defend themselves but also the support of the United States, the UN, and the rest of the world community.  The last thing the US needs is another Iraq.  So in my opinion the best thing we can do is see this as something to not exactly ignore, but to remain calm politically, not to threaten back, and for China to step up their political and financial pressure on the NK.  Having been to the north of China, Shenyang to be exact, I know personally how close to the situation the citizens of this area are, and how they must be threatened by the fear of a mass influx from NK.  Calm heads on this side of the fence are needed.  The NKs need the outside world.  They need food.  They need money.  They don't know how to get it other than how they have proceeded since the end of World War II and the Korean War.  They have built up the weapons while their people are starving.  How long can this last without the end of this 60 year stalemate?  We all hope that it ends soon and peacefully.