Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Why the Korean ‘Crisis’ Is Completely Phony – Original

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2018

Today I read North Korea will participate in the Olympics, for what that is worth.  The sport field and marketplace is where battle should take place.

Maybe peace will break out.

…Ah, but now it seems the panic-mongers just might’ve been wrong: despite the fiery rhetoric coming from both Washington and Pyongyang: the theatrics both Kim and Trump are so fond of succeeded in obscuring the objective reality beneath the brouhaha: the fact that neither the North Koreans nor the Americans have any interest in taking the “crisis” to the melting point. That’s why the Demilitarized Zone has stood there every since the armistice, with only a few brave defectors crossing every once in a while. The North Koreans fought us to a standstill, and the conflict has remained frozen to this day – because neither side has any interest in resuming it.

Yes, yes, I know: both Trump and Kim are supposed to be lunatics bent on death and destruction, and yet somehow they aren’t acting that way. Kim made the overture to Seoul and the South Koreans quickly accepted: the two will meet at Panmunjom “Peace Village,” in the DMZ, a relic of the last “Sunshine Policy” in the Jimmy Carter era, when the two sides seemed on the brink of an actual agreement. This was nixed by the administration of George W. Bush, however, who characterized the North Koreans as a spoke on the “axis of evil,” as then Bush speechwriter David Frum – now a leading opponent of President Trump – put it.

Our clueless Secretary of Defense thinks he’s in charge of the negotiations. The Washington Examiner reports:

“’‘The discussion that’s going to go on here shortly … is about the Olympics only,’ Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday. ‘That is the sum total of subjects that are going to be discussed.’ And if North Korea’s Kim Jong UN thinks that by talking to South Korea while threatening the U.S. he can drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, he’s sadly mistaken, Mattis told reporters at another one of his informal availabilities in the press pen. ‘I will tell you, there is not a one degree of difference on where we stand vis-à-vis the long-term defense of ROK, our ally, about the denuclearization,’ Mattis said. ‘There’s nothing where they can drive a wedge at all.’”

This is nonsense: there is much more than “one degree of difference” between the interests of Seoul and Washington as the game of nuclear brinkmanship plays out on the Korean peninsula. The US and South Korea have different and even colliding interests because, for all Seoul’s kowtowing to Washington, they are separate countries.

Washington’s interest is to contain or eliminate Kim, while maintaining relations with the new South Korean government of liberal President Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on making peace with Pyongyang. Now Moon is following up on his campaign promises, and there isn’t a single thing Tillerson can do about it.

South Korea’s interest is to a) avoid war with the North, and b) restart peace negotiations with Pyongyang and move toward fulfilling the promise of reunification. Both countries have ministries devoted to reunification and there is much political capital to be gained if progress can be made along this path.

The fact is that Washington is the third man out on this date. The Americans have zero cards to play, while Kim has one card of inestimable value: the nuclear card. The United States cannot attack Kim, because the result would be the instant vaporization of Seoul and environs. The 30,000 US troops on the peninsula would share a similar fate.

Nikki Haley is telling the world that “we won’t take any of this seriously,” but the reality is that no one is taking her seriously: President Trump himself has kept up the belligerent tweeting, but has also said “Perhaps something good may come of this – we’ll see!”…


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6


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