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The Chinese maintain a foreign policy of off setting powers and were infamous during the later days of the cold war for playing the Americans off the Soviets and vis versa thus effectively keeping both from wielding too much influence over the Sino-Pacific arena. An invasion by China is largely unthinkable, the Chinese are very loathe to invade anywhere and believe that any part of China from history that does not belong to China today should be reclaimed (Taiwan, the Doku Islands, Manchuria, Outer Mongolia, etc.) but have practically no interest in occupation of countries they view as not historically Chinese. However, they likewise view an American invasion as an encroachment on the Chinese sphere of influence and would see the US influence in North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, etc. as 'encirclement' by American forces. Since the Chinese diplomacy rests heavily on the ability to play one neighbor off the next, the greatest threat to Chinese security in the mind of the Chinese is to be encircled by one power, and thus have only one neighbor with no counter force to play the threat off against.
Thus the American's see the cost of invasion as too high since their allies in South Korea would likely suffer, perhaps very greatly, and relations with China would become troublesome at best, hostile at worst. The Chinese likewise see an invasion of North Korea as a more or less wasteful extension of resources toward a land they have no interest in governing. On top of this, while China's relation with its neighbor become ever more frosty, China still views North Korea as a useful tool in checking the re-pivoting of American military and political power toward the Pacific. China expends minimal international resources on North Korea, as long as the US is caught up in negotiations and surveillance of North Korea it has that much less resources to expend elsewhere in the region.
In my opinion that is more or less why the situation in North Korea remains such as it is.
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What you write is quite interesting and seems quite credible in the way you describe it but it also has a great deal implication for China.MazerRackhem wrote:I think one of the things to consider when we speak of North Korea which is different than other countries of similar global standard is that they posses nuclear warheads capable of targeting South Korea and Japan. I think this is largely why the global powers are loathe to engage them directly. The threat of devastating reprisal against our close allies is very real. Secondly there is the problem of diplomacy with China, the Chinese have historically viewed the world from a rather different paradigm than western civilizations. The Chinese have historically been very preoccupied with 'encirclement.' Although they clearly are no great lover of the North Korean dictatorship they view the region as a check on western aggression and see any US influence in the region as 'encroachment' on the sino-sphere of influence.
For one thing, if China wants to control its so called sphere of influence it has to manage maverick countries like North Korea lest the Americans are forced to further interfere in that region. As for the North Koreans, in spite of not getting along too well with big brother they know that China will veto every action against them and may even expect China to protect them, or join in the fray against the West if there is a conflict not out of love but self interest.
In short, the Chinese game of playing off one power against the other as you mentioned is one the North Koreans are also playing in creating a chess board of American and Chinese players. Though definitely a major concern, I think this more than any nuclear capability of the N.K is what is keeping Americans restrained...at least for now.
In any case, that's my uninformed geopolitical comment.
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I'm going to take a different stance, and say that, no, I do not think North Korea will be the catalyst for the next World War. Why not? Well first of all, the economic, societial, and cultural factors in both Koreas are different than those in the Western world to the point that analyzing this from the traditional western perspective is flawed. If France sank an Itlalian vessel or if Italy shelled Corscia, then yes, the fears of general war would perhaps be well-founded. But while such events would represent a drastic evalation of force elsewhere, this is pretty much status-quo for the pennisula. Since this kind of saber-rattling is the norm, both societies are built with this sort of brink of destruction attitude as the core. It's quite simply in the leaders' best interests (especially for the North) to continue to play the game, in the short run it keeps the populace united, and in the long run it keeps the country prepared in case the other side actually does do something drastic.
Most military thinkers, Sun Tzu and Clausewitz especially, believe that if a side views a war as inevitable then they ought to take action to initate the war on the most favorable terms possible. I.e. American Civil War, most countries' entry in WWII, and US 2003 Iraq. North Korea has had more favorable moments than this in the past sixty years, heck they've had better chances over the past six. Diplomatically speaking, the odd "state of war" that exsists in Korea would theoretically favor a North invasion, since it could be interpreted by China/Russia/whoever else wants to side with N.Korea as not an outright unprovoked invasion, but a nessecary resumption of hostilities. But they won't do that, because a conventional war will bog down into trench slaughter, with no winner, a nuclear war would be assured destruction, and in either case, they're better off just rattling the saber than actually using it.
Bottom line, is a major North Korean military action would be in response to a world wide conflict, rather than the opening salvos of it. If I had to go further and guess when we will see an end to the present state of affairs, the answer is that a unified Korea will occur only when the balance of power shifts to the point where a unified Korea is not unpalatable to any of the major players in the region. I.e., not anytime soon!
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How do you solve a problem like Korea?
When president Trump uses similar rhetoric to Kim Jong Un, with the fire and the fury, is it just his way of speaking Kim's language?
When Trump said: "We’ll handle North Korea. We’ll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything." and when it was said that he would not tolerate a North Korea that could threaten the US, does this mean that a second Korean War is being planned as we speak from a New Jersey golf course?
Are we ok with this?
-- Updated Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:53 pm to add the following --
I guess I should acknowledge that the first Korean War (the M*A*S*H one) never officially ended. So I suppose it will just be part 2, after a 60 year interlude.
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Trump's "fire and fury" message was for China to hear because China is constructing a war with India for control of Bhutan. India wants to become a greater economic powerhouse by striking hydro deals with it's ally Bhutan. China feels threatened and would like to take Bhutan for itself. It has tried to construct roads in the Himalayas for military movements which Indian military has so far thwarted.
North Korea is a sideshow.
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Yes, and then the question comes what has led N.Korea to build a warhead in the first place? Is it because they have been continually threatened by the US who have already invaded most of the middle east region? Did they US do this in the name of "humanity"? I don't think so.Xris wrote:China as an emerging economic power has no interest in military activity. Korea is just as much as problem for them as it is for America.
The pattern is continually the same with US foreign policy. Divide and conquer. They are the ones who fund foreign bodies to overthrow and assassinate leaders (or just go right in and do it themselves.) The purpose is to destabilse foreign nations so they stay on top.
When a US official was told about 500,000 children dying in Iraq war she said she thought "it was worth it". The kind of people who start these conflicts suffer from the same mindset.
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This tells us something important about reality. While we humans have long flirted with concepts such as merit and morality, unfortunately the world still operates on the basis that might is right.Gertie wrote:Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are ridiculous man babies, determined to prove the banality of evil.
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Oh, I see. So Trump created all this?Gertie wrote:Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are ridiculous man babies, determined to prove the banality of evil.