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Thursday, August 10, 2017

North Korea Endgame



I try not to panic when North Korea does a bit of saber rattling. The difference right now is that they may actually have a saber to rattle. The intelligence briefings don't come across my desk, but it appears they could have missile ready nukes. About twenty years ago under the Bush administration it looked like we could have had a diplomatic solution, but that never came to pass. Now we are stuck with the fallout from that failure. Maybe real fallout.

US options are pretty limited right now. Economic sanctions have not worked. It's not like North Korea was ever tightly connected to the world's economy in the first place. Apparently Kim has even managed to somewhat improve the economy since he came into power.

So what does the US do? We sail a few aircraft carriers off the coast. Some bombers fly around a bit. Sometimes troops and equipment in South Korea get shuffled about, like chess pieces that never threaten the king. After decades of this the North can't take the threat all that seriously, can they? While all this was going on, the North Koreans were testing atomic weapons and mastering missile technology.

It doesn't look like a diplomatic solution is likely. In fact, the Trump administration has cut funding in that area. Trump himself has upped the rhetoric and seems to be cribbing Kim's “Death to all” vocabulary. So that's a change from the past. Where will it lead? Will Kim assume that Trump is just blowing smoke and ignore him? That would make the President look weak.

One option is for Kim to launch an attack on US assets. He's threatened US cities and the US base at Guam. I'm not sure about the North being able to hit US cities, but an attack on Guam is definitely within their capabilities. What happens after that is anyone's guess. However, I don't think it will end with the US taking its lumps and backing off.

That would be just the excuse Trump and the military needs to attack North Korea. The United States could decide that Kim's nukes have to go and attack the nuclear facilities. One handy thing about attacking nuclear weapon production areas, the US could even use tactical nukes and claim the radiation is from the North's nuclear program. Don't tell me they haven't thought of that.

Don't think the US would never attack first. We do it all time. If Trump feels threatened by a possible impeachment, a good little war would be the perfect distraction. One cannot rule out the possibility.

So how does this end? It will be a quick little war and everyone would be home before Christmas. Wait, no, that was WWI. That didn't turn out so well either. China and Russia would not be happy with a nasty little war right on their doorstep. Last time that happened a zillion Chinese “volunteers” swarmed across the border.

South Korea would suffer greatly. Their capital is within heavy artillery range of the North. It doesn't even take high tech weapons to devastate the country. Their military, while smaller than that of the North, is better equipped and trained. Then there is the little issue of US troops on the ground. Our men and women would be involved from day one.

Japan would probably get involved. North Korea threatens them all the time too. They are pretty close geographically, so there would be plenty of opportunity for conflict. In recent years Japan has been strengthening their military and quietly flexing their muscles. The official pacifism of the post WWII years has steadily eroded.

If I had to bet, my guess would be that any sort of military action would quickly or eventually spiral out of control into a greater conflict. Millions would die.

If you are prepper, your very last get out of Dodge moment will be when military action starts. If you are lucky you'll have enough time to leave the cities. However, if the first attack is on a major US city, then forget about it. Transportation out of all major cities would soon gridlock. If you are lucky your warning will be either something like a North Korean attack on Guam, or a US surgical strike on Kim's nukes. That might give you enough of a head start.

One thing for sure is that situation is not going to remain static. Something is going to happen. Cooler heads and diplomacy? Yeah, that would be nice.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. I realize that you've never been a Trump supporter, but I think you're being a little over-cynical to insinuate that he'd start a war as a distraction. That's always been more of a democrat tactic.

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    1. Always the Trump defender. Well, that's your right.

      It's a political tactic, not a Democrat or Republican tactic. Political leaders have often used outside threats to shore up a shaky domestic situation.

      Ronald Regan said the only way to unite the world would be the threat of alien invasion.

      In times of war, citizens tend to fall in line behind the leader.

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    2. George, you fail to remember that Trump is and always has been a Democrat. RIght up till the day he saw the opening of knowing how much middle Americans hated Hillary. Do you really think rich city boy Donald likes or cares about hillbillies ? Hardly lol. Look at his past record and life.

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  2. The possibility of a diplomatic solution ended the moment Quaddafi died. The North Koreans learned from the example of Libya what happens to those who negotiate away their weapons programs.

    I just hope Trump has the sense FDR did and lets the North Koreans be the bad guys by attacking first.

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    1. Good point. Dang. We should have beefed up the diplomatic corp and gone into diplomatic overdrive after the Lybian fiasco. Yes, I call it a fiasco. Just look at the place now, a breeding ground for terrorists.

      I still hope for a solution that does not cause the deaths of millions.

      Good point about FDR. Defense is one thing, offense is another.

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    2. Since this country was formed, how many major wars have been caused by republicans?

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  3. Maby we should give G M. A couple billion and let them move some assamble plants over their.

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    1. Sure, why not? We let US companies help build a modern truck plan in Russia in the 70's during the cold war. So what that those trucks could be used against US troops.

      Big business interests have often gotten more political traction than anything else.

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  4. The only thing that worries me about a war with North Korea is that is likely there are North Koreans already located in the U.S. main land with plans for 'monkey wrenching' here on the home land. The Obama administration made it pretty easy for illegals to come through the border, I would not be surprised for some Bad Guys with bad intentions who are already in place for mayhem.

    North Korea is located in an area with a lot of nearby influences. I doubt that nukes on our side are involved, a lot of potential 'fallout' (pun intended) there. But a tactical surgical drone strike - yeah, I see that.

    Where is NATO and the U.N. in all this ? I hear no one from those agencies stepping up to plate and saying 'No Worries - We Got This'. Situations like this are what the U.N. was created for.

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    1. War never goes as expected. There are always costs few expect to pay.

      Trump did threaten to use nukes. Is he lying again or should we take him at his word?

      N. Korea is a long way from the NATO countries and they want no part of it.

      The UN has imposed more sanctions, for what it's worth. The UN's power will always be limited. Can you imagine the US allowing a UN powerful enough to stop us from doing whatever we want?

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  5. As I recall Pres. Clinton gave NK several billion and a couple of reactors back in 93/94 and that was supposed to insure they would only use the technology for developing the country's power grid. Seems like we got snookered, eh? Makes one wonder if the NK regime can ever be trusted to abide by a "negotiated" agreement.

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    1. There has to be an alternative to turning the country into a parking lot. Our politicians are really failing us here.

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  6. 1. Lil' Kim isn't about to give up his nukes. Ukraine is another example of what happens when a country gives up their nuclear weapons. It's obvious that whatever promises, treaties, etc. are given will be eventually broken.

    2. The Kims have been playing nation blackmail for decades, with positive (neutral at best) results. Give us goodies or Seoul gets it! It's a tradition with them. Lil' Kim has a wider selection of targets to engage in blackmail now, and is wanting a correspondingly bigger payoff.

    3. We can't trust NK. They're even less trustworthy than we are, and that's saying something.

    4. Every president since Truman (and I'd argue that Truman did as well, since hs fired MacArthur instead of going nuclear) has kicked the can down the road. Trump is just the guy that is stuck with us getting blackmailed directly instead of by proxy.

    I really don't see any good outcomes here. Trump putting the screws to China has the advantage of not being an already failed strategy, since they are responsible for the situation in the first place, but I don't expect much from it.

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    1. Do you have a plan if this thing goes hot? I knew some Korean War vets and they probably would not be in a hurry to send our boys back there. Just saying.

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  7. kim launches his 4 missels toward guam .. whether they are hot or test missels doesn't matter... U.S. and Japan THAAD and aegis launched SM-3 ant-missels take them all down (thank you regan's "star wars")...kim gets the message and backs down after declaring a great victory over the evil U.S.

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    1. I could live with that. In fact about 30 million people could live with that.

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