Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NK bloviation

NB: This mini-rant owes most of its content to thinkers far more knowledgeable than I. This is adapted from an email I just sent my father.


Thanks for your insights re: "Yodok Story." If you're interested in the rise of anti-Americanism here in Korea, please visit the following blog link and download & print out the PDF. The blogger in question, Joshua Stanton, was US Army JAG Corps, 1998-2002, in Korea.


Korea isn't the country you remember, and I say that with some sadness. It still retains most of its natural and cultural beauty, but this is drowned out by the clamor of the young, leftist college students and their misguided leftist idol, President Noh Mu Hyon. President Noh really should be better than this: he was a human rights lawyer, and one of the greatest human rights disasters is sitting right under his stupid nose, across the DMZ. Koreans in general seem heedless of the fact that they've placed their country on a suicide course. Here's what pundits are predicting:

1. NK now has proven its nuclear capability, so Japan's hawkish conservatives will clamor even more loudly for a change in the constitution to allow for remilitarization. The Japanese have remained peaceful by choice up to now: they are a fully sovereign country and the US can't make the Japanese do anything they don't want to do. To be honest, I don't blame the Japanese for being worried about what a nuclear NK might do to it.

2. A rearming Japan is going to alarm China and South Korea.

3. US troop drawdown will continue, which will allow the East Asian countries to think they can start an arms race-- something North Korea is apparently keen on starting. America has kept the peace in this region for decades. Can hotheaded Asian leaders do the same? I'm not sure. Commentators are divided on the question of whether a totally nuclear East Asia would be a bad thing. It might not be.

4. In the meantime, sanctions (or at least the talk of sanctions) will be directed against North Korea. Expect more diplomatic snafus. If we get a liberal Democrat as our next president, you can expect the US to kiss North Korea's butt the way we did in 1994 with the so-called "Agreed Framework," which North Korea was already violating before the ink was even dry. Thank you, Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright (and maybe Jimmy Carter, too) for that useless piece of garbage.

5. I doubt that war will break out here... unless the NK government experiences a sudden collapse, something on the order of what happened in Romania in 1989 (remember Ceaucescu and his wife being stood against a wall and shot?). I doubt the collapse will happen anytime soon. Why? To put it in medical terms: China is North Korea's largest IV drip. We are North Korea's biggest supplier of food aid, but China props the regime up with fuel, extra food, and everything else. As you might imagine, most of the food and fuel are diverted to the party cadres and the military thanks to the shamelessly blatant seon-gun (military first) policy of the Kim dynasty. North Korea makes no secret that it prioritizes its soldiers over the citizenry. South Korea also funnels billions of dollars to the North Korean government through so-called business initiatives. None of this is helping the average North Korean citizen.

6. Expect China to take on the appearance of a hungry wolf as North Korea continues to waste away. China has been annoyed by North Korea's antics for too long. NK defectors keep flooding the Chinese border, creating massive global PR problems for China. China has been looking for reasons to get away from its relationship with NK, a relationship that leads nowhere because NK gives nothing in return for what it gets. It doesn't help matters that Chinese scholars have been talking about the ancient Koguryo Kingdom's territory as being originally (and still) Chinese. This is exactly the sort of language China used before taking over Tibet: "Tibet has always been Chinese! We're simply allowing for a happy reunion!" Alarm bells are going off inside South Korean skulls, but not loudly enough: China is South Korea's largest trading partner. How can you say "no" to that much trade, especially when you're busy acting anti-American and ticking off your other huge trading partner across the Pacific?

You begin to see how immensely complex and volatile the situation is. I know barely anything about the history of the region, but I know enough to realize that we're entering a dangerous phase. North Korea did something that wasn't particularly surprising when it (supposedly) set off its nuke, but in doing so, NK gave Japan permission to start braying louder about remilitarization, which is where I think the dominoes are going to start to fall. South Korea's inevitable overreaction to Japan's bluster will heat things up further... and all this will be happening as America quietly departs the scene.

Please read Joshua Stanton's testimony to see how South Korea is rotting from within. The current generation hates us, and they're all too happy to cruise toward the cliff like lemmings.

OK... that's all for now.



I may repent of this rant later on and take it down, but I'm not in a mood to take it down right now.


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