Korean Hugfest

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FvS
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by FvS » Sun May 13, 2018 6:57 am

Neodoxy wrote:I mean, you would have thought that about the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, too:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Sovi ... m_incident

And there were other false alarms too. There is no such thing as a fool proof human system, that is an illusion, and I definitely don't trust NK to implement necessary failsafes.
So close to nuclear annihilation...

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Tom Rogers
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Tom Rogers » Sun May 13, 2018 12:26 pm

Latest developments on this are claims that North Korea has announced it will be dismantling nuclear testing. I don't believe this in itself is a particularly significant development. It's old news, actually. I heard weeks ago that the North Korea test site collapsed due to testing.

I hold to my position that what we are seeing is the collapse of the United States' Peninsula strategy. The Pollyannish talk of peace, intra-Korean accords and denuclearisation, etc., reflect the naivety of the Western media who don't see the cleverness of the Chinese. I think the Americans have been comprehensively outwitted. This has been caused by a mixture of happenstance and circumstances - North Korea simply cannot sustain a nuclear programme independently - along with a Chinese stratagem that has evolved over decades to manoeuvre the Americans off the Peninsula.

I don't believe Trump can be blamed for this. Trump's only option would have been to launch air strikes against North Korea to force the Peking regime closer to Pyongyang and do everything else possible to turn the Northern regime into a Chinese redoubt, thus maintaining the rationale and pretext of U.S. occupation in the South. This is something that could realistically have worked and was being pushed for by influential voices, but I think what did for the hawkish strategy was the Iraq War from 2003 onward, which has removed any political and moral impetus from pro-active war-making.

The neo-conservatives think that 'liberalising' countries makes them less threatening to the United States. In effect, neo-conservatism can be summarised as the global application of neo-liberalism and its associated political structures for nationally-interested strategic reasons. There is something in this perhaps when it comes to the Middle East, where (other than Syria) Russian influence is minimal, but in the Peninsula, a 'liberal' North Korea - with or without the formality of reunification - can only profit China. The Han Chinese already have a commercial model for this: Hong Kong.

I wonder what others here think about my thesis? I predict that the two Koreas, whether or not unified, may now move towards a more Chinese-oriented position. In other words, a 'nuclear-free' Korean Peninsula puts Korea in the Sinosphere.

For information: John Bolton, a leading neo-conservative, has improbably claimed that a formal de-nuclearisation pact would not bind the United States. I find that difficult to believe, but China will be pushing hard for reunification in that instance.

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Merlin
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Merlin » Sun May 13, 2018 10:53 pm

Tom Rogers wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:26 pm
I wonder what others here think about my thesis? I predict that the two Koreas, whether or not unified, may now move towards a more Chinese-oriented position. In other words, a 'nuclear-free' Korean Peninsula puts Korea in the Sinosphere.
Well, the Japanese-Korean tension will always be there, and holding on to two allies who are so opposed to one-another (another Turkey-Greece scenario) will prove very hard, especially when there are options in the region. Still, China is right there while the US is an ocean away, so if you need to pick a protector, better pick the one further away. I see about equal chances of a unified Korea veering away from the US orbit.

Also, the end of testing does not mean that the north renounces weapons: they now know that they work, and know how to build future warhead reliably, so they sell the end of testing as a concession. Actually renouncing the weapons would be lunacy.

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Tom Rogers
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Tom Rogers » Mon May 14, 2018 8:47 am

Merlin wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:53 pm
Also, the end of testing does not mean that the north renounces weapons: they now know that they work, and know how to build future warhead reliably, so they sell the end of testing as a concession. Actually renouncing the weapons would be lunacy.
Yes, I realise that. I suppose the issue in that specific regard is whether the North will give up its actual nuclear capacity, such as it is, as opposed to simply abandoning testing.

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Merlin
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Merlin » Wed May 16, 2018 10:41 pm

Tom Rogers wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:47 am
I suppose the issue in that specific regard is whether the North will give up its actual nuclear capacity, such as it is, as opposed to simply abandoning testing.
To get those weapons, Kim looked into the abyss and the abyss blinked, so I would be astounded if he decides to give them up now. The fact that the US tore the Iran agreement mere days after the end of Korean testing would seem to clearly indicate that the US in no longer interested in vigorously pursuing this conflict and has low-key blessed the northern nuclear arsenal. Unless it all a ruse to get them drop their guard, of course.

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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Tom Rogers » Fri May 18, 2018 4:45 pm

Merlin wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:41 pm
Tom Rogers wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:47 am
I suppose the issue in that specific regard is whether the North will give up its actual nuclear capacity, such as it is, as opposed to simply abandoning testing.
To get those weapons, Kim looked into the abyss and the abyss blinked, so I would be astounded if he decides to give them up now. The fact that the US tore the Iran agreement mere days after the end of Korean testing would seem to clearly indicate that the US in no longer interested in vigorously pursuing this conflict and has low-key blessed the northern nuclear arsenal. Unless it all a ruse to get them drop their guard, of course.
What Bolton has been saying is starting to interest me: he talks as if North Korea has to hand everything over or the U.S. will invade. He comes across as a shallow-minded loony, but it's clear that there is something deeper behind everything he says. He is a veritable puppet on a string. The timing of his appointment may indicate that certain interests are panicking over North Korea. It's all quite confusing, but I think the bottom line is that the neo-conservatives and those of a similar mind have always wanted to either invade and occupy the North, or failing that, keep North Korea in a box and neutralise its nuclear programmes, civil and military - either being an effective way of containing China. During the Noughties, it became clear that an invasion of the North would not be politically-possible, due to the Iraq fiasco, and the Americans went into strategic drift under Obama as China's power and influence grew and air strikes started to look too risky. Bolton has now been sent in to rally everybody and give a sense of direction. As I see it, it's the tiger's last roar. The Americans are on their way out. All the Chinese have to do is encourage gradual steps towards cross-border integration.

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Merlin
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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Merlin » Sat May 19, 2018 12:00 pm

Tom Rogers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:45 pm
The Americans are on their way out. All the Chinese have to do is encourage gradual steps towards cross-border integration.
Yes, but with extreme care and giving ample (if implicit) guarantees that the US isn’t going to be pushed out of the region, just out of Korea. It would be very, very easy for someone in DC to panic and do something rash to avoid the prospect of a nuclearized, unified Korea without US troops. The Chinese need to think long and hard about ceding what they need to in Japan or elsewhere in the region to sweeten the prospect.

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Re: Korean Hugfest

Post by Tom Rogers » Sun May 27, 2018 8:05 pm

Just as I thought...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kim-jong-u ... 1527334020

The Americans are being squeezed out.

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