[lit-ideas] North Korea

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 09:27:35 -0700

Pay attention to the events around North Korea. It's complicated.

- The neocons are pushing for regime change. They want to topple the NK government. When NK says the US is preparing to attack, well, they're right.

- Everyone else (China, Japan, South Korea) do not want regime change. They want stability. If NK collapses, it will either become like East Germany (and a major disaster for South Korea, which must absorb it and pay for the costs) or it could fracture into a civil war, with out-of-control warlords (very dangerous for all neighbors).

- The neighbors (China, Japan, South Korea) are telling the US to leave NK alone. But the US continues to increase the pressure to drive the issue into a crisis that leaves little room for other solutions.

- This is a repeat of the neocons vs. the others situation. The neocons are idealists who push for regime change based on principles vs. the realists. The neocons are idealistic moralists: "you don't negotiate with an immoral country." The Asian neighbors are political realists: "yes, North Korea is crazy, but don't start a war. Let's use economic incentives to build relationships."

- The Bush neocons could very well drive the region into a war. This may cause China, Japan, and South Korea to politically and strategically decouple from the USA to prevent a war. If that happens, the USA will lose a tremendous amount of prestige and leadership in the region. Power will pass from the USA to an Asian coalition led by China. Japan and South Korea are both too small in comparison to China.

- If a war does happen (and quite conveniently before the elections), the USA will be the loser. The USA is tied down in Iraq and can not fight a land war against North Korea. The USA has 30,000 troops in South Korea. NK has one million soldiers and over 200,000 special forces. North Korea will use suicide waves to devastate South Korea. The USA will lose a major ally.

The USA should work together with NK's neighbors to reduce tensions. However, the neocons reject that. So... the weather forecast is not good.


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