There have been wild reports that the United States is considering a “bloody nose” preemptive attack of some sort on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Such rumors are unlikely to prove true. Preemptive attacks usually are based on the idea that things will so worsen that hitting first is the only chance to decapitate a regime before it can do greater damage.
But in the struggle between Pyongyang and Washington, who really has gotten the upper hand?
With its false happy face in the current Winter Olympics, North Korea thinks it is winning the war of nerves. Yet its new nuclear missile strategy is pretty transparent. It wants to separate South Korea’s strategic interests from those of the United States, with boasts—backed by occasional missile nuclear tests—that it can take out West Coast cities.
Pyongyang could then warn its new frenemy, Seoul, that the United States would never risk its own homeland to keep protecting South Korea. Thus it would supposedly be wiser for Koreans themselves, in the spirit of Olympic brotherhood, to settle their own differences. A failed but nuclear North Korea ultimately would dictate the terms of the relationship to a successful but non-nuclear South Korea.
North Korea might even insincerely offer to dismantle some of its nuclear assets if the United States would just pull out its forces from the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel. This strategy would also send the message to the United States that it should have little interest risking a nuclear exchange over a distant and largely internal Korean matter.
The playbook is that of the old Soviet Union during the Cold War, when it habitually tried to separate Europe from the United States. Moscow warned neighboring Europeans that America would never risk its cities to keep the Red Army out of Germany. At the same time, it advised the United States simply to let Europe go and not risk its homeland for such ankle-biting ingrates.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s patron, China, also thinks time is on the communist side. Beijing still believes that if Pyongyang can tone down the rhetoric a bit and cut back on the missile testing, things can return to the nuclear status quo of the last decade, which serves China’s interest.
North Korea can continue to be a passive-aggressive Chinese pit bull that diverts American time, attention and military assets. China can still offer plausible deniability that it has any control over the rogue North Korean government.
Time, however, may actually be on the American side. The situation in 2018 will certainly be better than it was in 2016. Under the prior policy of “strategic patience,” Washington apparently accepted having North Korean missiles pointed at the West Coast. But things are changing in several ways.
First, Japan, South Korea, and the United States are rushing to expand several missile-defense systems that may soon not just end North Korea’s first-strike capability, but China’s as well.
Second, there is serious talk in Japan about developing nuclear weapons. Obviously, Japanese missiles would be pointed at North Korea and China, not the United States. The world has assumed over the last 20 years that unstable regimes such as North Korea, Iran and Pakistan would go nuclear and threaten Western democracies. The next round of proliferation is more likely to be among Western democracies themselves. A nuclear Japan (or South Korea or Taiwan) would not be in China’s interest.
Third, there is evidence that tough new sanctions are eroding an already anemic North Korea. The U.S. economy is booming; North Korea’s is collapsing. China already is preparing for a flood of refugees across the Chinese-North Korean border.
Fourth, the United States has an array of ways to ratchet up pressure on China to force North Korea to denuclearize—ranging from tougher trade sanctions to denying visas to thousands of Chinese students and property holders.
Fifth, Donald Trump’s approval ratings are up somewhat. And with an improving economy, the Trump administration is gaining clout at home and abroad. On foreign matters, Trump is letting subordinates such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo do the talking. And they are lining up the world against North Korea.
It would be a mistake at this time to stage a preemptive attack on North Korea. Bombing the North Koreans would trigger a wider war and disrupt the world economy. But most importantly, it would be an act of desperation, not an act of confidence.
In the current nuclear standoff, the United States is insidiously gaining the upper hand while North Korea becomes even poorer and more isolated. The world may not recognize it, but the United States is slowly winning.
(C) 2018 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
What would you think if an Asian country all of a sudden decided that it was “too Asian” and that it had to bring in millions of non-Asians to make itself less Asian?
Would that make any sense? And what if people who objected to this were condemned as “racists” and fired from their jobs? Could you imagine any Asian country doing that to itself?
Diversity and multiculturalism are foisted on ALL White countries and ONLY on White countries. They are codewords for White genocide.
Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.
Off-topic comment that has no place in this discussion.
The “false happy face” at the Olympics may have more significance than you think. The obvious solution to the Korean problem is a unified, non-nuclear, neutral Korea. The Trump administration may well understand this, and be working behind the scenes to bring it about.
The Chinese like having North Korea as a buffer between US and Chinese spheres of influence, but Kim’s ankle-biter teeth are getting too long and unpredictable. A unified, neutral Korea would solve a multitude of problems: keep a buffer (of sorts) for China, remove the nuclear missiles from the North and heal its unremitting poverty, eliminate the threat of war, and enable a unified Korea to continue to serve the booming markets of both the West and the East.
There is an enormous amount to be gained, and no one loses except Kim—but he and his family can be easily placated with a nice villa in Switzerland.
/L. E. Joiner (WalkingCreekWorld.wordpress.com)
But why?? Why is North Korea a problem and for what purpose and for whose benefit does antagonizing and provoking North Korea serve?? North Korea does not recognize the state of Israel and North Korea recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over all territory held by Israel, excluding the Golan Heights which North Korea recognizes as Syrian territory. Is American Greatness serving Jews and Jew interests?? Are the Jews what made America great or was it Christ?
Why did you kill Christ Jew??
If it has to be explained, you won’t understand it.