North Korea declares war, or something

posted at 8:31 am on March 30, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

So now can we deport Dennis Rodman to Pyongyang? No? Well, you don’t know until you ask.

In case you’d already gone to bed and missed it, (like me) it appears that the latest in the line of vertically challenged Dear Leaders in North Korea has had enough of the United States and South Korea doing… whatever it is we do that annoys them, I guess. Probably all that bothersome food we make sure they get each year. Anyway, they’ve found their casus belli and have decided to declare war.

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea in a continuing escalation of angry rhetoric directed at Seoul and Washington, but the South brushed off the statement as little more than tough talk.

The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for six decades under an armistice that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war.

You can read the full declaration of war issued by Kim Jong-un here, assuming you can make it through the broken sentence structure. Hey, I’m not trying to go all ugly American on you here. I’m sure that if you’re fluent in the language and heard it read aloud in the original version, it’s probably a stirring, patriotic, muscular statement of power and glory. But once it makes it through the discount translator into English for the press conference, it comes off a little more Heckle and Jeckle than Churchill.

The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike…

1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.

I just don’t know what you do about these clowns at this point. Their people are sitting there starving to death in the midst of many other nations which have at least come into the 20th century, if not the 21st, and are enjoying the benefits of living in the real world. I realize that Ed already pointed out that North Korea isn’t entirely a paper tiger and could cause some actual trouble, but the real question over there is whether or not China can get Little Kim back on his leash.

If push came to shove, we could probably destroy their entire military infrastructure – at least the technological part of it – in 48 hours or less, but we’d likely take out a fair portion of their population in the process. And that just turns into a PR nightmare with the rest of Asia, and particularly China. Then again, maybe Kim heard that our re-order money for bunker-busters was, well… you know. Sequestration.

In the end, this is probably just another stunt by the new leader to impress his people with how macho he is and to whip up their patriotic feelings. It’s always better to get your people unified against a perceived foreign threat than to give them too much time to sit around and realize they don’t have anything to eat. It’s just another day in Pyongyang, I guess. But I still think we should send Rodman back, and he can take that little Gangnam Style pop singer with him and drop him off in Seoul on his way.


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I don’t know something doesn’t seem right about this whole thing. I have a feeling like I’m watching the opening act of a larger play.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

But I still think we should send Rodman back, and he can take that little Gangnam Style pop singer with him and drop him off in Seoul on his way.

Oh please take the Gangham dude all the way the Pyongyang. I’m sure little Kim would be pleased.

HotAirian on March 30, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I think they were always at a state of war anyway. Technically, we called it a “police action, ” not war. Maybe I’m wrong, but it never officially ended. Both sides declared a cease fire.

JellyToast on March 30, 2013 at 8:39 AM

heh! dripping with the appropriate level of overdone sarcasm.

ted c on March 30, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Let me help. :)

The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase.

“I’m under pressure to prove myself and solidify my throne.”

Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike…

“I’m under pressure to prove myself and solidify my throne.”

1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

“I’m under pressure to prove myself and solidify my throne.”

The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

“Please don’t kill me. Nothing’s changed. O YES IT HAS!”

2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.

“I’m under pressure to prove myself and solidify my throne.”

– Hope that helps. :)

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM

i.e., “I’m not tiny.”

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 8:43 AM

As laughable as the North Korean threats may seem, there is no choice but to take North Korean threats seriously. Anything less would be irresponsible.

skspls on March 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

vertically challenged AND horizontally acclimated….

ted c on March 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un Barry Obama, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu killing Osama…

Barry has probably ordered Carney to adopt this title in future press releases.

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Jelly: You’re correct. The war was never “done” like WWII. There was no surrender, only a cease fire. Panmunjom is just the stopping point for both armies.
While we should take the threat somewhat seriously, this is not a military capable of defeating the US an South Koreans. It’s a crazy cult of personality.

Look at the photos of Kim and the ridiculous equipment the army thinks is high tech. Also, note the generals. They all have little blue books. These are to write down all the great wisdom that emanates from Kim. These people are in a world of nonsense, however, the bullets are real.

Jabez01 on March 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Jelly: You’re correct. The war was never “done” like WWII. There was no surrender, only a cease fire. Panmunjom is just the stopping point for both armies.
While we should take the threat somewhat seriously, this is not a military capable of defeating the US an South Koreans. It’s a crazy cult of personality.
Jabez01 on March 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

china is the wildcard. It was China entering the war in the 50′s that changed it from a victory to a stalemate/ceasefire. With china’s one child policy creating a massive imbalace in the male:female ratio a war would be a “good” way to address that issue. Add in the issues ongoing between China/Japan. china/ Tawain china /phillipines I’m sure one of China’s desires is to lower the USA ‘s footprint in the region. Taking out SK and harming the US bases in Japan will greatly expand China’s influence in the area. A contained conventional war between the client states of NK/SK might be in China’s interests at this time and could explain why NK’s leader feels able to up the tension. this whole thing could be at the behest of China.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

(for the third time)
.

“Hey, Imperial Star Fleet … get ready to suck some Dack …”

.
That’s what would happen under Reagan, or either Bush 1 or 2.

Under our current “Commander In Chief”, however …….

listens2glenn on March 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

As laughable as the North Korean threats may seem, there is no choice but to take North Korean threats seriously. Anything less would be irresponsible.

skspls on March 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

I agree. Kim-Jong-Hong-Kong-Phooey may be nuttier than a Payday candy bar, but he also has access to some rather nasty weapons that he obviously wouldn’t so much as blink at as to consider using them.

pilamaye on March 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Someone needs to send this punk the link to the Saddam Hussein Hanging Video. Maybe it will give him nightmares.

meci on March 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike…

….I think Dennis Rodman wrote this…

KOOLAID2 on March 30, 2013 at 9:23 AM

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

The difference between 1951 and now is that the Soviets had just gotten the A-bomb, China had just gone Red, and the two countries were allies. Mao had just consolidated power and would never allow a hostile military force on China’s border; new dictators are extremely paranoid. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stalin had a say if whether the Norks could cross the border into the south, promising similar retaliation if the US used the nuclear option. Truman wouldn’t allow the use of nukes, but Ike hinted in 1953 he might, which is a possible factor in the armistice happening soon after he became president.

You are correct that China is a wild card. My concern is that Obama is the biggest wild card, because I see him issuing orders to hold a line — play strictly defense — while he chases another Nobel Peace Prize by going through the UN for resolution of the renewed war. China’s motives are unclear, but Obama is the one I don’t trust. He, after all, is supposed to lead the protection of the United States, and his history shows that concept isn’t even on his radar.

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I don’t know something doesn’t seem right about this whole thing. I have a feeling like I’m watching the opening act of a larger play.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Perhaps its bluster, if not………

rob verdi on March 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

fo foot nine with a foty inch raist is not a good look.

tom daschle concerned on March 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I don’t know something doesn’t seem right about this whole thing. I have a feeling like I’m watching the opening act of a larger play.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I get that feeling too.
I have always felt that NoKo was a surrogate antagonist for China against the U.S.
They can use them to test the West and keep our navy occupied while they slowly expand their naval footprint to increase their regional dominance.
They have a submarine fleet only second to the U.S.
All brand new.

NeoKong on March 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Remember this, when Time Mag was trying to scare us that N. Korea was a bigger threat than Saddam? Haha, good times.

thebrokenrattle on March 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

good points. But I doubt China would allow a USA base in NK to this day. China and Russia just concluded a warm friendly meeting between the heads of state and

China and Russia conduct ‘surprise’ military exercises

China’s ‘surprise’ naval exercise in the South China Sea
President Putin orders short-notice ‘rapid response’ exercise
Tensions continue to grow between North Korea and the United States

THE FLEXING of military muscles has spread beyond North Korea, with both Russia and China demonstrating their might to nervous neighbours.

China held a `surprise’ naval exercise in the disputed South China Sea earlier this week as Russia put on a show of its resurgent military strength in the Black Sea.

China’s activity in the disputed region involved some of its most modern warships.

An amphibious assault exercise – where amphibious landing craft deployed troops – was conducted just 80km off the Malaysian coast.

James Shoal, where the exercise took place, is the southern-most island China has laid claim to in the South China Sea, including the contentious Spratly Islands.

Chinese soldiers and marines reportedly conducted a ceremony on the island, vowing to “defend Chinese sovereignty”.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/china-and-russia-conduct-surprise-military-exercises/story-e6frg6n6-1226609334992

So what would China gain if NK goes to war? the SK army will be damaged, the USa bases would take a hit maybe be destoryed. If NK however unlikely succeeds in taking the south then China’s sway over the entire region is complete and it will exert termendous pressure on Japna’s shipping lanes and thus Japan. If NK doesn’t win it will still damage the bases, reduce the USa influence in the region and China would “move in” like in the 50′s to stop the USA/SK from victory in the north and most likely return the borders to the prewar DMZ.

As long as China doesn’t take an active hand it loses nothing while gaining a great deal.

IMO when the balance tilts to China gaining more than losing if NK goes to war “regardless of the outcome of said war” then NK will go to war not before. My worry is that balance is fast approaching and is the reason for the increased tension.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

They have a submarine fleet only second to the U.S.
All brand new.

NeoKong on March 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

yeap it was only a couple years ago:

Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast

A mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast was caught by CBS affiliate KCBS’s cameras Monday night, and officials are staying tight-lipped over the nature of the projectile.

CBS station KFMB put in calls to the Navy and Air Force Monday night about the striking launch off the coast of Los Angeles, which was easily visible from the coast, but the military has said nothing about the launch.

KFMB showed video of the apparent missile to former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Robert Ellsworth, who is also a former Deputy Secretary of Defense, to get his thoughts.

Scroll down for KFMB video showing the launch.

“It’s spectacular… It takes people’s breath away,” said Ellsworth, calling the projectile, “a big missile”.

Magnificent images were captured by the KCBS news helicopter in L.A. around sunset Monday evening. The location of the missile was about 35 miles out to sea, west of L.A. and north of Catalina Island.

A Navy spokesperson told KFMB it wasn’t their missile. He said there was no Navy activity reported in the area Monday evening.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Next up:

“Now we firepower amazing applied to irresponsible targets! Ha!”

“Are you serious?”

“We tell you beforehand through engravable diplomatic pipe”

“What?”

“Your decadent mouthpieces are inability to hear correctly!”

“What?”

this whole thing could be at the behest of China.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

I can’t know, so consider this arguing back here really weak resistance. But I think you are over-thinking it. Even if NK is a China sock-puppet, it can’t work that way internally; the last thing the micro-king can do is look like a China sock-puppet behind his desk. He has to at least “chafe” in front of the right people.

. . . I think this probably isn’t about China beyond the length of the leash.

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

All that seems plausible, because China is flexing its muscles to attain regional dominance. Sort of sounds like what the US did in the 19th Century on this continent. Monroe issued his famous Doctrine even before the US had any capability to enforce it.

It’s possible, too, China wouldn’t be trying anything you postulated had we a different president. We have 50,000 troops in Japan, while in Korea the number is about 28,000. The question for me is, “What will Obama do if the balloon goes up?”

The Norks can’t fight a sustained war. If our forces start heading north in a counter-offensive, I can see China sending in troops to hold a line inside NK and telling us we’re not getting past them. Then another armistice, and eventual withdrawl back to the 38th parallel. But with Obama, I wouldn’t expect anything other than a defensive posture while he goes on another glory hunt.

China has many options, I agree. I think that’s only because Obama is Commander in Chief. If it wasn’t some left-wing narcissist in charge, we might have more options than right now. That’s why I consider him the biggest wild card in this whole dangerous affair; we have the capability but I’m not sure this joker has the will to do anything other than to destroy American prestige and all else he can crash.

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM

yeap it was only a couple years ago:

Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast

A mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast was caught by CBS affiliate KCBS’s cameras Monday night, and officials are staying tight-lipped over the nature of the projectile.

CBS station KFMB put in calls to the Navy and Air Force Monday night about the striking launch off the coast of Los Angeles, which was easily visible from the coast, but the military has said nothing about the launch.

KFMB showed video of the apparent missile to former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Robert Ellsworth, who is also a former Deputy Secretary of Defense, to get his thoughts.

Scroll down for KFMB video showing the launch.

“It’s spectacular… It takes people’s breath away,” said Ellsworth, calling the projectile, “a big missile”.

Magnificent images were captured by the KCBS news helicopter in L.A. around sunset Monday evening. The location of the missile was about 35 miles out to sea, west of L.A. and north of Catalina Island.

A Navy spokesperson told KFMB it wasn’t their missile. He said there was no Navy activity reported in the area Monday evening.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Not Chinese missile, US Navy lied.

SWalker on March 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

A contained conventional war between the client states of NK/SK might be in China’s interests at this time and could explain why NK’s leader feels able to up the tension. this whole thing could be at the behest of China.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

It is worth considering but for what little my opinion is worth, I think it is unlikely; the reason being, in brief, that the risks incurred by the NK leadership and Chinese leadership would seem to be much greater than any possible advantages.

From the NK perspective, their military and political leadership must be aware that their is no possibility of them gaining anything from a war that they cannot win. If China was pushing for a conflict and blackmailing the NK leadership with threats of Human Rights trials and executions, it would make more sense for the NK leadership to throw themselves on the mercy of SK or some other country.

From the China perspective, any war in the region could have major social and economic repercussions within China. Moreover if China backs a loser, the Chinese leaders will lose face. Worse, if NK is reconciled with SK China loses influence and will have yet another powerful nation right on its border. If as a result of the reconciliation it becomes apparent that China was backing atrocities with NK then that too will stir-up trouble in China.

So, all in all, I’m struggling to see how it is in China’s interest to let this boil over.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM

If, and I do mean if, China and Russia are getting cozy under the covers, then NK is no longer required by China.

Just a random thought.

OldEnglish on March 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Not Chinese missile, US Navy lied.

SWalker on March 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

the government tried to say it was an optical illusion:

There has been much speculation that the mysterious contrail may have been caused by a missile, a plane or an optical illusion of a plane’s contrails.

Defense Department officials say that though there is nothing conclusive, it appears that a plane may have caused the mysterious contrail.

A defense official says the Pentagon has determined there were no scheduled or inadvertent missile launches off the California coast last night and that U.S. Northern Command has confirmed that there was no foreign military launch off the coast.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mystery-missile-launched-missile-off-california-coast/story?id=12097155

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:20 AM

This all looks like a show for internal consumption. A lot of people in NK are very unhappy, the leadership feels a bit threatened internally, and so a war footing show is put on to explain hard times, crack down on any hint of dissension and play for unity. Standard autocratic procedure. Shortly before Stalin died he started a ruse about a Jewish doctor’s conspiracy. When he died it was quickly forgotten – everyone in power understood the game.

Not that military readiness should be neglected but I doubt if any of our generals are really very worried.

Chessplayer on March 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

You’re both partly right. The real issue here is what China wants, but the real “wild card” is Russia.

The PRC would love to see the Republic of Korea (ROK, aka “the South”) united with the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, aka “Mini-Kim”), under Communist rule. Because that would remove ROK both as a U.S. ally, a backstop to Japan, and as a competitor for export markets. Right now, ROK is a bigger problem for the PRC than Japan is in that department, because Japan’s min exports (cars, etc.) don’t hit the same “consumer points” as China’s (toys, arms, etc)- but South Korea’s do.

I don’t see the People’s Liberation Army storming across the Yalu this time however. Mainly due to the real wild card, which is Russia.

Putin’s mindset figures into this to a degree seldom considered here in the West. Whether a would-be restorer of the USSR (unlikely, even allowing for his KGB background) or a Russian nationalist (more likely based on his actual record), Putin sees Russia in a very traditional way. That is, beset by potential enemies on all sides.

To the west, he see Europe in the throes of another attempt at “collective action”, this time led by a bunch of apparatchik-wannabees in Brussels. The last five times that was an issue for Russia, the leaders were; Germany (Frederick the Great), France (Napoleon), Germany (Bismarck), Germany (Kaiser Wilhelm), and Germany (Herr Schickelgruber). Right now, Putin is most likely wondering if its going to be Merkel, Hollande, or one or the others’ successor who “unifies” Europe again, followed by saying, “Achtung, panzer. Aufrollen“. Pointed east.

No, individually, the Euro countries don’t have big armies. But put together, as NATO was supposed to do, they are a force that present-day Russia would have problems dealing with; roughly equal in manpower and armor, with a decided superiority in airpower. You can find the raw numbers at

http://www.globalfirepower.com/

And they don’t look too good from the Russian POV.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Putin has two other problems. First, he has ongoing Islamic revolutionary activity on his southwestern flank, from Georgia and Chechnya on around to the “Stans” next door to Iran, Afghanistan, etc. This is definable as a sustained low-order war (not to be confused with a “low-intensity conflict”). His military forces have to keep control of this lot, due to the area being critical from a resource standpoint (mainly oil- an army, like an economy, pretty much runs on POL).

Second, he has the PRC. Sitting south of the Amur River, with an army about four times as big as anything he can come up with right now, and looking north into Siberia with covetous eyes. I earlier said that the “economic agreement” to sell Russian oil and gas to China looked like a replay of the Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact, and I still believe it is. Putin is hoping to either buy China off, or at least buy himself time to deal with the other two major problems on his western and southwestern sides, before he has to figure out how to defend Siberia from a real-life Tom Clancy Bear and the Dragon scenario.

Where the ROK/DPRK situation figures in is this; Look at a map. Russia shares a common border with North Korea, east-southeast of Manchuria, and uncomfortably close (by Russian reckoning) to Vladivostok, Russia’s main port and main naval base on the Pacific. (In fact, it’s Russia’s only “blue-water” port that’s open year round; the rest are iced in from about September to April. The Black Sea ports don’t count, due to the Dardanelles.)

Putin is worried (and justifiably so) that while Mini-Kim might not be able to hit LA with a nuclear-tipped missile, he could certainly deliver one to Vladivostok any number of ways. Setting off a confrontation in the Far East that, right now, Russia is ill-equipped to handle. Short of going all the way, whistling up a boomer, and proceeding to glass Pyongyang, that is.

And how would the old men in Beijing react to that?

The one factor that doesn’t figure in here, is the U.S. Simply put, all the other players are convinced that Obama will do exactly jack. The PRC figures he’s into them deep enough in debt that he will “bark as his masters bid him”, namely them. The ROK government long ago figured out that Obama wants a unified Korean peninsula, run by a suitably mystical and “authentic” regime’, which they are betting doesn’t include them. And Putin has taken Obama’s measure, and determined that he is neither a formidable enemy or a reliable ally, to Russia in general or him personally.

No matter how much throw-weight we have in-country, and it’s a lot, it means nothing if the President orders our forces to “hold in place”, restricts their ROE, and pressures the ROKs to do the same while he tries to “negotiate” Mini-Kim into being a nice guy. And that is exactly what all concerned expect him to do.

Right now, all we can do is sit tight and wait for the incoming.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

. . . I think this probably isn’t about China beyond the length of the leash.

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

maybe…and like you stated we don’t really know. We do know that at the same time of very high tensions between China and their nieghbors like Japan, NK suddenly starts up this crap. It could be a coincidence or not. And I agree Kim would have to look like its his doing and not at the beck and call of China but isn’t that what it looks like. china’s fingerprints aren’t been seen at all on this. So if we in the West aren’t seeing a big connection those in NK under gov media sure won’t see it.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM

I agree Obama at the helm causes more of a chance for people to go further then what they wouold have before.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM

So, all in all, I’m struggling to see how it is in China’s interest to let this boil over.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM

what if NK wins or gets a stalemate?

China is seen as the “peacemaker” in a stalemate. If NK wins China gains control over the Sea. Even with a massive loss china can be seen as the peacemaker as they come in to “stop” the war before the USA/SK can get complete victory.

NK’s gain is more dicey. but if its a choice between war and total collapse then maybe the leaders decide to throw the dice.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

So if we in the West aren’t seeing a big connection those in NK under gov media sure won’t see it.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

You are saying it could look like I’m describing it and still be what you are describing. :) You’re right, it could.

I can’t get past the fact that all tyrants earn their bones. He has to do something. If there were no China, I would still expect him to pick a fight somewhere, somehow. Been kinda waiting for this. Until he’s victorious in battle (deliberately Klingon there), he’s not really his father’s son.

Meh.

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Radioactive kimchi.
Mmm…mmm…mmm.

justltl on March 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Right now, all we can do is sit tight and wait for the incoming.

eon on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

nice summation.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Okay, what is this round six of hand wringing over north Korea…this week?

unseen, there was a time when I considered you hadn’t gone around the bend so much you couldn’t be brought back. Now, not so much.

Mysterious missile launch off the west coast could have been Nork? What fantasy land are you living in?

Its no secret that China, and to a lesser extent Russia, has been continuing to support the Norks to keep the US off balance and the South Koreans docile. It has in a large part backfired on the Chinese. Heck, much more of this and japan and South Korea might finally repair their relationship. The entire area has cooperated like never before to stem the Chinese threat.

South Korea has ended its policy of sunshine (appeasement) with the north. This is the first bad year, under a new leader, the north has had since the end of that appeasement. The sanctions are working like never before, the people of the north are getting information like never before, and Jung Un is more unstable than his ancestors.

The north is starving and broke. Their wonder weapons are as fictional as those of the Iranians. Yet, give them a headline and people freak out every time.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM

You are correct that China is a wild card. My concern is that Obama is the biggest wild card, because I see him issuing orders to hold a line — play strictly defense — while he chases another Nobel Peace Prize by going through the UN for resolution of the renewed war. China’s motives are unclear, but Obama is the one I don’t trust. He, after all, is supposed to lead the protection of the United States, and his history shows that concept isn’t even on his radar.

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

All the REB cares about is elections in 2014/16 and his domestic programs. If it all goes sideways in Korea he will go for a quick loss and blame it on Republicans and sequestration. The old media will go along as usual.

slickwillie2001 on March 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I can’t get past the fact that all tyrants earn their bones. He has to do something.

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Last year, the Cheonan sinking and outer island shelling.

That’s the best they could do without encountering the wrath of a mightier foe.

And, it was announced by the south, and US, that they wouldn’t get away with anything like that again.

It might have been just words from the US, but the south is out of patience.

They want this ended before the north gets tiny nukes.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

what if NK wins or gets a stalemate?

China is seen as the “peacemaker” in a stalemate.

If they wanted to be seen as the “peacemaker” they could do that right now, before the shooting begins.

If NK wins China gains control over the Sea.

If NK wins then China’s neighbour will be just as belligerent, less dependent on China and more powerful (perhaps not immediately). Moreover a NK win is so unlikely that the Chinese leaders would be fools to expect it.

NK’s gain is more dicey. but if its a choice between war and total collapse then maybe the leaders decide to throw the dice.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Yes. Given that an internal revolution is likely to involve gallows, I can see that the NK leadership might be in the mood to take some chances. However if an internal revolution were in the offing it would be sensible to co-operate with SK to expand trade.

Therein, I suppose, is the problem: Sensible leaders who are able to see beyond their preconceptions are in short supply the world over, so it would be unfair to pick on the NKs just for being ideologically blind and somewhat stupid.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

what if NK wins or gets a stalemate?

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

In what alternate universe?

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

eon on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Thoughtful and thought-provoking contribution. Thank you.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

While much of the discussion looked back at the historic clash with President Nixon, I was struck by a different question: Who actually won? From unilateral military actions to warrantless surveillance that were key parts of the basis for Nixon’s impending impeachment, the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be.

J_Crater on March 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM

In what alternate universe?

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The universe where our weakling of a President caves. Both China and NK know he’s a 6-foot jellyfish.

MelonCollie on March 30, 2013 at 11:10 AM

MelonCollie on March 30, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Doesn’t matter. South Korea isn’t what it used to be and treaty obligations will force 0bama’s hand.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Doesn’t matter. South Korea isn’t what it used to be and treaty obligations will force 0bama’s hand.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

The same way the Constitution will supposedly restrain liberals from gun-grabbing? Please. Words on paper will hold back a liberal when pigs are flying in Blue Angel squadrons.

MelonCollie on March 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

erase erase erase

Last year, the Cheonan sinking and outer island shelling.

That’s the best they could do without encountering the wrath of a mightier foe.

. . . possibly not enough.

And, it was announced by the south, and US, that they wouldn’t get away with anything like that again.

. . . possibly makes it worse.

It might have been just words from the US, but the south is out of patience.

I’m not sure what to do with this. I need Dyer. It gets too complicated. We’re not weak, we’re not reliable, they aren’t weak, they don’t want it, they know we aren’t (currently) reliable . . .

They want this ended before the north gets tiny nukes.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Skipping inappropriate tiny nuke joke. :)

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

This Kim bluster is for home consumption.

Since they have nothing else to consume.

profitsbeard on March 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I’m sick of all this, Kim. Pi** or get off the pot.

Tom Servo on March 30, 2013 at 11:23 AM

In what alternate universe?

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

underestimating your enemy is the quickest way to defeat. Or didn’t Bush teach you that in Iraq and the ten year unwinable war.?

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM

If they wanted to be seen as the “peacemaker” they could do that right now, before the shooting begins.</blockquote

true but then they don't get the extra benefit of damaged bases..

Therein, I suppose, is the problem: Sensible leaders who are able to see beyond their preconceptions are in short supply the world over, so it would be unfair to pick on the NKs just for being ideologically blind and somewhat stupid.

YiZhangZhe on March 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

No sensible leader would go to war except for self defense. Yet we have wars all the time.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I see you still can’t read. the subs we were talking about was China’s.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Let’s say every time you drive to work you see this lunatic standing on the side of the road screaming incoherently to an invisible foe.

One day, you look and see that the lunatic has a stick of dynamite in one hand and a lighter in the other. The dynamite doesn’t care that it is being set off by a nut.

You have to be concerned and you can’t just dismiss the threat.

kurtzz3 on March 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I’m not sure what to do with this. I need Dyer.

Axe on March 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Me too.

FAS and Stratpage are good, but Dyer puts it together well. Been checking her place daily, nothing yet.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Overestimating them gives in to bluster.

Let history, instead of ignorance, be your guide.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

So now can we deport Dennis Rodman to Pyongyang? No? Well, you don’t know until you ask.

Deportation for treason?

I’ll give Rodman the benefit of the doubt though and say he hasn’t actually done the full Jane Fonda yet since we aren’t in an actual war with North Korea.

NotCoach on March 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

treaty obligations will force 0bama’s hand.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Treaty?

You mean how the NATO treaty forced Obama’s hand in Syria?

Turkey to push NATO to consider Syria’s downing of Turkish jet as attack on military alliance

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/06/25/syria-fires-at-second-turkish-plane-deputy-prime-minister-says/#ixzz2P2PP6eVC

Turkey said Monday it would push NATO to consider Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet as an attack on the whole military alliance.

The announcement came on the eve of a meeting by NATO’s governing body to discuss the incident. Despite deep frustration among many NATO countries over the conflict in Syria, where the opposition says President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on an increasingly armed popular uprising has killed 14,000 people, it’s highly unlikely the military alliance will take armed action against the Arab state.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

I see you still can’t read. the subs we were talking about was China’s.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM

And?

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Overestimating them gives in to bluster.

Let history, instead of ignorance, be your guide.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

history?

History is full of countries underestimating their enemies and sufferring defeats. there isn’t one instance that I can think of where a country overestimated their enemy and lost.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Treaty?

You mean how the NATO treaty forced Obama’s hand in Syria?

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

No, apples and oranges.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

and?
cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

If you can’t follow along with the debate I don’t have time to teach you how.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

You have got to be kidding…

The last 60 plus years on the Korean peninsula.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

If push came to shove, we could probably destroy their entire military infrastructure – at least the technological part of it – in 48 hours or less, but we’d likely take out a fair portion of their population in the process. And that just turns into a PR nightmare with the rest of Asia, and particularly China.

At a certain point one needs to deal with a pain in the ass and tell the others “patience is not infinite.”

dogsoldier on March 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

If you can’t follow along with the debate I don’t have time to teach you how.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Its hard to follow your logic direction debate rant when you pull it out of your nether regions.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM

No, apples and oranges.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

sure:

SEOUL, South Korea — The United States military said Monday that it had signed an agreement with South Korea on how to counter provocations from North Korea.

The deal, struck on Friday, defines the role that United States forces would play in dealing with what South Korean military officials called local clashes and skirmishes, like the shelling of an island near the border in 2010 by the North, which killed four South Koreans.

The two allies described the new contingency plans developed after that episode as “South Korean-led, U.S.-supported.” They lay out various types of provocations and a joint South Korean-American response for each type, South Korean officials said. Putting those commitments down on paper will help deter provocations, they said.

The two allies refused to disclose specifics about how far the United States would go in its supporting role, especially at what point American troops would directly join a South Korean counterattack against a North Korean provocation….

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/world/asia/us-and-south-korea-sign-plan-to-counter-north.html?_r=0

…..The new contingency plan comes at a delicate time in the 60-year-old military alliance. The wartime operational control of the South Korean military, which has belonged to an American general since the beginning of the 1950-53 Korean War, is scheduled to return to South Korea in 2015.

An annual military drill that ended last week was led for the first time by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

seems like the new treaty has a lot of get out of jail cards to be played by Obama. It isn’t the old you attack the south we attack you type.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The last 60 plus years on the Korean peninsula.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

and not once in those 60 years has the USA and SK underestimated the threat posed by NK.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Hey, this better than the Falklands War. We only had two weeks advance notice on that one.

Hucklebuck on March 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Because the south is strong enough to take control of their own destiny, and wanted to.

unseen on March 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

BS

1950 – original invasion and Chinese direct intervention

1968 – USS Pueblo

1976 – Poplar tree incident

2010 – ROKS Cheonan

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Hucklebuck on March 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

If by better you mean faster and much bloodier, then you will have it.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Anyone remember the Monty Python fish-slapping dance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhJQp-q1Y1s

merlich on March 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

As laughable as the North Korean Benghazi threats may seem, there is no choice but to take North Korean these radical Islamic threats seriously. Anything less would be irresponsible.

skspls on March 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

~ Christopher Stevens to Hillary Clinton and the State Dept.

Rovin on March 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Meanwhile we fly two B2 bombers over and back, and call it diplomacy. Is this a signal to the Chinese that we’re backing off our dominance of the waters around the Korean peninsula? Is this a signal that we are no longer ready to commit to conventional warfare, but would resort to a nuclear strike, and would we really resort to a nuclear strike? I’m afraid that Obama will do for our Far East policy what he’s done for our Middle East policy —turn it into a losing muddle of weakness and prevarication.

claudius on March 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM

All of this predicate on our President having the stones to take any action, let alone any decisive military action.

The whole reason their ruffling thief feathers is they know the real paper tiger is Obama.

This worries me a lot more than it should for that reason alone.

catmman on March 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

All of this predicate on our President having the stones to take any action, let alone any decisive military action.

First, you have to assume our president doesn’t agree with the Norks.

Thats the first hoop you have to get through.

BobMbx on March 30, 2013 at 1:16 PM

This all looks like a show for internal consumption. A lot of people in NK United States are very unhappy, the leadership feels a bit threatened internally, and so a war footing show is put on to explain hard times, crack down on any hint of dissension and play for unity. Standard autocratic procedure…

Chessplayer on March 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

I can see this playing in Obama’s favor, too. I don’t believe he is orchestrating the circumstances, but the crisis could be another opportunity not to waste.

Pazman on March 30, 2013 at 1:16 PM

When we surrender can we give them New York and California?

MaiDee on March 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Doesn’t matter. South Korea isn’t what it used to be and treaty obligations will force 0bama’s hand.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Like treaty obligations forced Ford’s and the Democrat Congress’s regarding Vietnam.

chemman on March 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Like treaty obligations forced Ford’s and the Democrat Congress’s regarding Vietnam.

chemman on March 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

What treaty would that be?

There were secret promises Nixon made to help the south with air power, but he wasn’t in office to keep them.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

You are correct that China is a wild card. My concern is that Obama is the biggest wild card, because I see him issuing orders to hold a line — play strictly defense — while he chases another Nobel Peace Prize by going through the UN for resolution of the renewed war. China’s motives are unclear, but Obama is the one I don’t trust. He, after all, is supposed to lead the protection of the United States, and his history shows that concept isn’t even on his radar.

Liam on March 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

It is MY estimation that 0bama is the bigger threat to our National Sovereignty and security than the NORKS will ever be.

long_cat on March 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Like I always told my boys: when some shrimp dares you to punch him, do so.

Akzed on March 30, 2013 at 2:29 PM

There were secret promises Nixon made to help the south with air power, but he wasn’t in office to keep them. cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Dem-controlled congress voted to cut off aid to SV, NV invaded, end of story.

Akzed on March 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Like I always told my boys: when some shrimp dares you to punch him, do so.

Akzed on March 30, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Thing is that nukes are a two-edged sword: they allow nations like Israel to give serious pause to Arabland, but they also allow wrecks like NK to post a serious threat.

Frankly I think humanity might actually benefit if they all vanished or an easily-deployable counter was found to nuclear weapons. Because instead of having to put up or shut up in conventional wars, tension builds up until mushroom clouds sprout and a country (if not a continent) glows for 1000 years. Sometimes equality really is not a good thing, and not just socially speaking.

MelonCollie on March 30, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Akzed on March 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I know that, and you know that.

There are plenty of people spreading all kinds of crap to further their own agenda.

There was no treaty to defend South Vietnam after the peace accords other than “secret” pacts made from one president to another.

cozmo on March 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

eon on March 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Well done. Sind Sie ein militärische Mann?

El Salsero on March 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

it comes off a little more Heckle and Jeckle…

Boy! THAT sure sounds racist. And a bit gay.

Solaratov on March 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM

the dear respected Marshal Barry Obama, brilliant commander of killing Osama…

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Kim Jong O

PortlandJon on March 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I thought about why NoKo would be doing this now.
The only thing I could come up with is that Iran must be on a “hair trigger.” Clearly NoKo and Iran want to test the “two war” scenario figuring that with the sequester hamstringing US defenses, they could play tag-team and make Obama blink.

J_Crater on March 30, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Well done. Sind Sie ein militärische Mann?

El Salsero on March 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Nein, nur ein Ex-Polizei-Verbrechen Laboranten Geschichte Mutter aus einer militärischen Familie.

;-)

cheers

eon

eon on March 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Anyone remember the Monty Python fish-slapping dance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhJQp-q1Y1s

merlich on March 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Why yes, yes I do.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 30, 2013 at 11:05 PM