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Would North Korea attack?

In a recent DOD press release, General Peter Pace is quoted on the North Korean threat:

“What is not knowable is the intent of the leadership in North Korea to use or not use that power at any given time, And applying Western logic to the leadership in Korea is not something that I would personally want to bet my future on.”

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12 comments to Would North Korea attack?

  • Dale

    The situation reminds me a bit of what happened in 1941 after FDR cut off Japan’s supply of US oil. They only had enough for about another year of war against China, Their Navy would be useless without fuel oil.

    They chose to attack.

    If China has cut off or seriously reduced the Nork supply of oil, they may not have enough to keep their so called economy going. Combined with the increasingly effective financial sanctions which have even convinced the shady banks in Macau that they are better off not doing business with the Kim Jong Il regime they may be in the kind of deep kim chee that would lead them to doi something really stupid.

    Also in the most recent Av Week there is a good article explaining why the nuclear test was most likely a failure. Kim’s military power is probably a depreciating asset. Time to go on alert.

  • Uain

    Good points Taylor, but with the South Koreans missing in action here, I suspect that the SoKo’s will bail his sorry arse out and we will have the Pot-Bellied Dog Eating Dear Leader around for some time. Add to this the towering expertise of the NY Times advising us on how we must give him mucho dinaro because he just wants to feel important, and I believe the shake down of the west could be carried for some time, especially if the demo’s capture the USA.

  • K

    NK leadership is boxed. If they continue nuclear tests and missile tests they alienate China even more. China has utterly nothing to gain from NK foolishness.

    And NK cannot invade and win in South Korea without Chinese military support. They can make a mess but they cannot win. And again, China has nothing to gain from helping NK fight.

    But NK cannot sit still either. The economy is simply too weak. Therefore they will limp along with help from nations like Iran. They will get just enough to keep going – Iran is pleased when NK aggravates the US.

    So my guess is that NK will bluster but do little for at least another year.

  • veryretired

    I predict the “Dear Leader” gets the flu.

  • guy herbert

    Where would they attack, Taylor? What resources are there to seize, with a half-starved army and feeble logistics? North Korea’s blackmail since China (re)joined the world has been based on threatening to hurt South Korea really badly, or its own people worse.

    There’s nowhere to go if it actually carries out any threat, and one has to wonder whether the most likely reaction to Kim trying to press the button wouldn’t be a military coup.

  • Squaddie

    Where would they attack, Taylor?

    At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, South Korea!

  • Guy

    Except for what happen to the democratic but corrupt government in Thailand there has not been a sucessful coup any where in the world for decades. Dictators have learned how to ‘coup-proof’ their regimes.

    The Nork Army has long been poised to invade the south , it is dug in very near the cease fire line and ready to go. It has a mass of artillery and rockets that are ready to hit Seoul.

    The best units in the army are not half starved, but they may become so within a year if China cuts off their fuel and food.

    But you are right to bring up other possibilities, In 1941 the Japanese could habe just attacked the British and Dutch in Maylaya and Indonesia, which would have created a major political problem for FDR. Or they could have attacked the USSR. Instead they chose to attack the Brits the Dutch AND the US. mmmmm ?

  • I predict the “Dear Leader” gets the flu.

    I second this prediction. More accurately, I predict the “Dear Leader” get a mysterious stomach condition.

  • Michiganny

    It is reasonable to expect changes in North Korea at the current time. But there are more apt comparisons than the one made to expansionist Imperial Japan. After all, they don’t need resources because they are invading someone. They need resources just to get by.

    That difference is a fundamental one. The Japanese were so strong that they began filling the power vacuum in China. The North Koreans are so weakened that families fear their sons joining the army, whose advantage in food distribution is an article of faith in the West, because of the shortages in some units. Today’s military power vacuum is north of Panmunjon.

    Is a better comparison all the other communist dictatorships/oligarchies that have faded away since the late 1980s? It is not too great a stretch that the North Koreans will come pouring over the DMZ. But neither is the thought that they may come as the Asian equivalent of the Polish plumbers who keep French politicians up nights.

  • But there are more apt comparisons than the one made to expansionist Imperial Japan. After all, they don’t need resources because they are invading someone. They need resources just to get by.

    I agree, and I think this is an important point. Japan was aggressive and expansionist long before the Great Depression (Japanese politicians today are fond of blaming the Depression for Japan’s incursion into China, but this is of course nonsense). North Korea is not at all expansionist. They have no imperial ambitions (except possibly uniting Korea, but that’s not the same thing at all, and there’s good reason to believe they don’t even want that). They’re not even looking to spread Juche. They’re just trying to hold their failed system together, defy economic gravity as long as they can. This is indeed quite different from what motivated Japan.

    But neither is the thought that they may come as the Asian equivalent of the Polish plumbers who keep French politicians up nights.

    I think a coup is coming, and I think China will end up holding most of the chips in the new government. I don’t think North Korea will be opening its borders any time soon, in other words. If the North Koreans are going to be the Polish plumbers of Asia, that is surely several decades in the future.

  • I think the US should do something. We can’t allow this regim mocking us in the West. I’m for tough sancions, I want to see this regime crushed. They are more nuts than Iran and the Talibans in my opinion. Read more on my blog…

  • Bob Maris

    There are no easy options here. Even if you want to go down the soft appeasement route, N Korea’s economy is so ramshackle and its leadership so paranoid that there is no guarantee the nukes won’t go off accidentally or in response to a wrongly perceived threat.