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19 April 2017


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different clue


My memory is that USSR actually was in the UN at that time. (China at that time was represented by the KMT government based in Taiwan.)

I remember reading somewhere that the USSR gov had its delegation walk out of the UN meetings some time before for some reason or other. So when the SC was called to vote on that NorKor invaded SouKor resolution, the Soviet delegate was not present to veto it. So it passed. Is that what you mean by "Russia was not in the UN at the time"? That the USSR representative was not in the room at the moment the SC resolution was passed?

Green Zone Café

China could have a friendly government in Pyongyang, just one with sane rulers and without nuclear weapons.

The assassination of Kim's brother by poison in Kuala Lumpur airport was a BIG story in China. The brother was reportedly a friend of China. China would be happy with a change.

I think a deal is coming, the Chinese will help, but can't let a lunatic who kills his family with poisons and anti-aircraft guns get staged thermonuclear warheads on ICBMs.


Let's hope that we never find out which vision is correct.
I have lived in S.K. for little under a year and dislike of American troops is very deep in the countryside.


No, I don't watch N. Korean propaganda

Not at all my intention to suggest that. Quite the opposite, really. More an attempt to tell you that my knowledge about Korea is close, not completely, but close to non-existent.

Thanks, for the feedback.


Pacifica Advocate, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on the realities of North Korea. I have long known that I don't really know anything about what's going on in North Korea. When any country's leader becomes the personification of evil, as well as the country as a whole, that's a clue that information quality is low and highly manipulated.

The anti-NK propaganda is non-stop in our MSM, and the alternative news sources I go to are not much better. But in the latter case, the NK is rarely reported on.

Therefore I appreciate your much more sensible sounding and realistic assessment. Very educational.

Are there any news sites that you know of that do a better job of realistic reporting on North Korea?


"They don't have missile-deliverable nukes by most accounts. They have the missiles but not the miniaturized warheads."

I don't believe that that is so critical.

For a long time many longer range tactical missiles can carry a 500+ kg or so explosive warheads. That is to say that probably they also CAN carry a comparably sized nuke warhead of similar weight.

US and russian missile developments demonstrated that this is possible rather early.

The real challenge for a Noki nuke missiles will probably be more complicate than weight and size. It will be about resistance to missile thrust and the g loads of starting and maneuvering.

The Nokis research on nukes a while. They may just have learned how to keep their big crackers lightweight and smallish. They have an interestet in that. That focus of research would be just for the rockets or missiles and, of course, air dropped bombs.

What else the Nokis still can do, and that doesn't so much depend on the size or on missiles, is to design and use a nuclear mine. To do that, they would just have to bury some even largerish nuke thing with some type of fuze in a place. They could target ... some area to prevent enemy troups from breaking through ... they could try to break or delay a counter attack or try to prevent a circling operation etc. pp.

What else they can do is to simply drop, very conventionally, a nuke from an aircraft. For that all they need is to build a compact drop bomb, prepare aircraft, train pilots and to learn how to not being shot down by the various south korean and US air defences on ground and the air.

Green Zone Café

I usually agree with you 100%, but the threat from NK is real. The Kims have been crazy, evil and reckless. They have small fission yields now. Still very serious, but big difference between 20 kilotons and 20 megatons.

The Iranians are rational. Not pursuing a bomb, and if they had one they would not shoot it off while drunk on Hennessy.

I think a deal is coming with China's pressure, but if they don't curb their weapons program, why not a combined military operation with China, Russia, Japan, SK and ANZUS with an agreed-upon political solution beforehand? Could be good for world peace in the long run for China, Russia and the rest of us to work together on this.


Thanks for your response Colonel.
My fault : it wasn't 2007 but 2008, and after doing some homework, to be more specific, the top brass who seems to have put some restraint on the administration where the admirals Fallon and Muller, the latter saying : "This is a very unstable part of the world and I don't need it to be more unstable.", at a time GW Bush & Cheney used to repeat their usual mantra "all options are on the table".

So, yes, indeed, the last word is in the White House, but it seems there is a real PR "marge de manoeuvre" for the military, to impede some (very) bad moves, isn't it ?

Sam Peralta

Good post!

IMO, the best outcome for the US is to end Pax Americana and focus exclusively on re-building our economy and ensuring that our trade relations with the rest of the world are in our interests.

The consequence would be that the East Asians and the Europeans and the ME will have to take care of their own security and other interests. Of course that would likely mean that the Chinese will dominate the Asian sphere where they will no doubt throw their weight around. But should that be our problem?


The North Koreans have a "cold start" plan to go to war, that will be activated at the first sign of any military strike. This plan is large and complex, but the first part is very, very simple: Fire all the Nuclear Weapons.

Since North Korea has enough short and medium range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads to reduce Japan & South Korea to ashes, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"

Well, do ya, Trump?



I think all the attempts by the PRC to manipulate the leadership in Pyongyang has been at the root of the awkward relationship between Chinese and NK. Before the assassination of Kim Jongnam, there was the crackdown on Chang and others, who were also deemed to be the pro-PRC faction. It seems that the pro-"independence" faction beat out and killed off the pro-China guys back then and the death of Kim Jongnam basically finished off that prospect, for now.

I always thought of the relationship between NK and China like that between Austria-Hungary and Germany in late 19th century. China may not like the North Korean regime and, whenever possible, would prefer to have them replaced with someone more compliant--but Kim Jong Un and his people would not go quietly just because the Chinese would like them to. If anything, they'd simultaneously cause more trouble while killing off potential Chinese agents among their midst. (somewhat like Ante Pavelic and his faction did vis-a-vis the Nazis, I think: very crazy, even for the Nazis' tastes, but they were the only people the Nazis had in Zagreb because Pavelic killed off all the other alternatives.) In the end, China is forced into a non-choice: put up with a regime that they don't like upping ante to no end, or risk having Americans across a fairly narrow sea from Beijing. The NK provocations, in other words, are a blackmail against China as much as to US, Japan, and SK, but they can get away with it b/c of the rivalry between US and China--as long as China would rather have a crazy regime in NK rather than Americans there. The caveat is that NK leadership has to guard against a pro-China coup, which, for what it is worth, they have been quite good at last few years.
I sure hope that this does not follow the same path as the Autria-Hungary and German relationship circa 1914, though.

Mark Kolmar

North Korea has demonstrated an ability to lob projectiles. Leaders should presume that the North Korean regime is likely, suited, and well-equipped to lash out on its neighbors with maximum spite against any serious attempt to disturb its dominance of the territory and ostensible control of the mindset of the population.

Could the North Korean military spray radiological material on the southern part of the pennininsula, on Japanese islands, or render a plot of China uninhabitable in similar way? I wish I could be more confident that defiance by the N.K. regime, against the ego and wilfulness of Donald Trump or Rex Tillerson, weighs with due moderation against the cost to North Korean people under which their society waits for a more patient solution.


The origins of the Korean war are indeed a bit more complex then "the North invaded for no reason". While they did invade, they could and did claim a number of pretty solid Casus Bellori. South Korea was engaged in pretty massive massacres of their compatriots, it did engage in sizable cross border raids (the North Koreans meanwhile where of course very busy in supporting guerillias and insurgents in the South).
You could kind of compare it with the Vietnamese Casus Belli for invading Khmer Rouge Kampuchea, with the distinction that South Korea was backed by the US and not China, and with the distinction that the Park regime was not quite as bad or as militarily inept as the Khmer Rouge.

The devastation visited upon South Korea by the invading North Koreans did quite a lot to harden the attitudes of everyday South Koreans vis a vis the North. In addition, any former pro Japanese in South Korea could reasonably expect to be either hanged or "reeducated" upon a Northern victory, so these people had to win or die.
The typical South Korean soldier in the 70s, especially if he was in the crack expeditionary forces (the 2 Korean Divisions in Vietnam were not simple conscripts where pretty ideologically hardened, iirc you had to volunteer for these units), typically lost family in the Korean war.

Pyeongyang has exactly one house that got through Korean war 1. It is now a museum. North Korea is quite aware of the USAs destructive capabilities.
They also believe that the only way to forestall their destruction is to deter the USA by imposing high costs.

Given how denuclearisation worked for Ukraine (Both USA and Russia broke their respective pledges of noninterference and protection, and both did so very blatantly), and given that North Korea has a lot more enemies then Ukraine, denuclearizing would basically be stupid.

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