AS a foreign policy wonk I find the situation between the US and North Korea fascinating….granted most of my experience comes from the Middle East and are by no means an expert on Asia…..so for that reason I spend a lot of time trying to make sense of the situation through massive amounts of research.
We Americans tend to accept the daily analysis given by whichever news organization one aligns with as fact and accurate.
As a student of international relations I can safely say the the way that this situation is being handled is NOT the best way forward.
The battle of threats will accomplish nothing good.
Is it propaganda or is North Korea preparing for the worse?
Nothing like an escalating war of words and fear of nuclear annihilation to boost your country’s military enlistments. That’s the narrative North Korea is now pushing, with state media claiming 4.7 million of its people have volunteered or re-enlisted, USA Today reports. That’s roughly 20% of its population, and of those said to have signed up, more than 1.2 million are women, per the Rodong Sinmun newspaper. This after President Trump promised to “totally destroy” North Korea and other verbal sparring with Kim Jong Un and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. The Yonhap News Agency notes that whenever tensions are ratcheted up between the two countries, North Korea tends to try to spur solidarity with propaganda claims on a boost in military volunteering. It reportedly did the same when the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on Pyongyang in August.
In fact, these claims of nationalists rushing to serve their country have been circulating since at least August, Reuters reported then. The Express notes Kim Jong Un’s “propaganda machine is in full force,” claiming North Koreans are “furious” at the US. A state-controlled website says citizens are even calling for Trump’s “beheading” and that his rhetoric against the North is “unprecedented rude nonsense.” The Daily Star reports that the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, which represents about 1 million of the North’s citizens, is also holding tight with Kim, noting workers are eager to supply “more strategic weapons” and “turn out in the do-or-die battle with the US.” Meanwhile, if war were to break out, a retired Air Force brigadier general says the Pentagon estimates 20,000 would die daily in South Korea, per the Los Angeles Times.
There are lots of opinions floating around the ether….that the war with North Korea is inevitable…..so say some……
Events are unfolding as predicted. The strategic arguments are exhaustively interrogated in the four-part debate between myself and Dr. David Santoro (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). The analysis remains unchanged, except to say that diplomatic avenues look bleak, time is running out, and the cost of war mounts daily as North Korea prepares and fortifies.
This piece focuses on the reasons why deterrence is destined for failure and war on the peninsula is increasingly inevitable. A future piece will discuss the ethics of embarking on second Korean war (and those of advocating it).
But as long as I have gone there……some are more optimistic and see a peaceful end to this international mash-up…..in this case it is that Libertarian, Rand Paul…..
To every problem there exists a solution—even for a problem as vexing as the two Koreas. Recently, the rhetoric has ratcheted up, and I, for one, fervently hope that diplomacy and problem-solving can avoid war.
To solve a problem that seems to stump everyone, it is often necessary to consider what others refuse to consider. To solve the Korean problem, it may take considering options that both sides don’t like and think won’t work. If the problem had easy answers, then someone else would have fixed it by now.
There are as many twists and turns in this situation than a hand-made rope…..
About all we can do right now is pray that calmer minds prevail…..but when we have a leader that cannot have a calmer head then we get more threats like this one…..
Then he added cryptically that “only one thing will work.”
In a pair of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Trump said that past agreements with North Korea have all been violated.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid … hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators,” Trump wrote. “Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
AS long as we openly threaten North Korea then no diplomacy will not work.