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Solutions to the North Korean nuclear crisis

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by anticitizen13.7, Sep 4, 2017.

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  1. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    The North Korean nuclear crisis seems to have no solution, but I have some thoughts on a possible workaround. First, this is my perception of what the relevant parties want:

    North Korea goals:
    1. Survival as an independent state.
    2. Preserve Kim family regime from being deposed by outside forces or civil unrest.
    China goals:
    1. Maintain peace for economic reasons.
    2. Prevent U.S. troops along its border.
    3. Prevent potential North Korean refugee crisis in Chinese territory if war breaks out.
    U.S. & Allies goals
    1. De-nuclearization of North Korea to end threat of attacks or accidental launch
    2. Prevent potential proliferation
    One possible solution that I haven't seen proposed in the mainstream American press is the possibility of China extending its "nuclear umbrella" over North Korea. In this scenario, China pledges to provide deterrence much like the United States has for its non-nuclear European allies in NATO. The North Koreans could then deactivate their nuclear program without fear of becoming the next Iraq. China would preserve its buffer against the US. The US and its allies would not have to fear North Korean nuclear attack or proliferation risks.

    Would China be willing to pledge defense of North Korea in this way? Does China have the nuclear arsenal to provide a credible deterrent? Would the North Koreans accept this in turn for nuclear disarmament? This last issue could be an unsolvable stumbling block, because the North Korean state policy favors self reliance and autarchy (as part of their Juche political philosophy). More reliance on Beijing is probably not what Kim Jong Un wants.

    It's not clear that the North would hold up their end of the bargain either, given their history of reneging on prior agreements. It might be difficult if not impossible to make sure that North Korea didn't keep building nuclear arms technology as a backup plan should China decide to end any alliance with the North.

    Perhaps a new "mini Cold War" is inevitable, with North Korea and the US/Allies keeping the peace via the principle of Mutual Assured Destruction via nuclear missiles pointed at one another. It would be a frightening time, especially given the risk of mistakes (accidental launches or accidental response to false alarms).

    I'd be especially interested in @Intl Professor 's take.
     
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  2. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    All it is going to take is for one of the North Korean Generals to build up the courage to "do the right thing", and then the "issue" goes completely away. The military leaders there know that should the dear leader actually follow through on his threats, its the end for the North Korean military, and the leader himself. They might even be faced with nuclear annihilation, though I don't recommend that the US or anyone ever does that. Turning the allied conventional forced loose on North Korea could lead to many casualties, though it its not clear to me when faced with that decision, that the Korean generals would go all in.

    Unified democratic Korea rebuilds just like Germany did after East Germany disappeared.

    My $0.02

    RT
     
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  3. Nuclear Fusion

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    Don't worry.
    Trump can solve anything.
    ANYTHING........
     
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  4. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Impeachment seems as good as a solution as any I've heard. This entire situation is a farce to begin with.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  5. iwannam3

    iwannam3 Member

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    For every missile launch or nuclear test add 5% tariff on all Chinese goods imported to US. China controls 90+ of NK imports and exports, they will have to decide which customer they prefer to do business with.
     
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  6. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #6 McRat, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    NK's goal has not changed. There was no official end to the Korean War. It ended in a stalemate.
    Kim wants a re-unified Korea under communist rule just like after WWII when his family was put into power by Stalin.

    Anything short of that is not in NK's best interests. China was their ally in the Korean War as was communist USSR.

    NK knows in order to re-unify they must deal with the USA and to a lesser degree the UN.
    MacArthur was an egomaniac, but he did foresee today's events. He knew it would never end as long as a communist NK exists.

    China is not our ally. I'm not sure why folk keep thinking that. The West wants profits that come from dealing with China, and China has lobbied for decades to the US Congress and President and American corporations for more trade.

    What might appear as China being our 'friend' is just them using our greed against us as a tool. This is why no effective actions against NK have occurred in recent decades while the threat continued to grow. No matter who is in the White House, you are down to 3 possible actions:

    Capitulate - This was effective in Vietnam. Vietnam reunified by force of arms. Everything seems to working OK for now since North Vietnam was never out for expansion in the region, just reunification.

    Start to unwind relations with communist China. Communist China DOES have expansionist goals, and is rapidly building advanced armed forces to help towards expansion.

    Finish the Korean War. This would have been wiser to do BEFORE they finished their first nuclear weapon.

    If Clinton was in office, it probably would have been capitulation via appeasement like when Bill Clinton was in office. It probably will work. However the side effect will be an economic advantage to the Chinese and assist their imperialist goals.

    Note that in 1994 Jimmy Carter "solved" the NK problem we were told by meeting with Kim and negotiating a permanent peace. Har.
     
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  7. Intl Professor

    Intl Professor Active Member

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    #7 Intl Professor, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    Excellent analysis and creative idea for a solution—very nice.

    Gnatnuts additions to your very clear and right-on statements of the situation.

    N. Korea:

    3. Wish to continue modernization of the economy. (Source, NPR report on this. A baby approach in the North toward a mixed economy which has been so successful in other “communist” states.)

    China:

    4. Desire to control situation if there are ‘loose nukes’ due to instability or war. (Source: Charley Rose interview of Michael Morrell.)

    U.S. & Allies:

    You have the correct goals. Trump’s include diversion from domestic scandal(s) by threatening war. I’m sure you agree there is always a gonadal twitch effect for Trump added to Nixon’s invention of the “mad president” idea.

    On your Creative Idea:

    I do not see why the Chinese would not be willing to do so. It enhances their international prestige and local security interests. It would require some really serious guarantees by the U.S. and others, and I think they might take a leaf from Obama Administration’s approach in the Iran case by using the technical guys on each side to work out the details and share their common interest in avoiding nuclear war. I don’t think N.K. scientists want war more than others, but their lives are more at risk if they step on Kim’s toes.

    A less moderate and therefore unrealistic approach: a peace treaty with a nuclear free zone including all within (what?) range with intrusive inspections like the Iran deal. Japanese might do that. When I worked for the feds there was some concern about nuclear proliferation. If the Japanese wanted, they could put together a bomb in a matter of weeks or days. That intelligence should rattle a few cages!

    China certainly has a more credible deterrent than North Korea. If I remember correctly, they have been careful to leave their land based missiles in plain sight and the warheads are ostentatiously kept in plain sight at some remove. (Source: probably Scientific American.) The idea is kind of like the Tsar’s order of partial mobilization as WWI began. (Unfortunately the Russian military had plans for full mobilization only, prompting Kaiser Willy II to remark: “Mein Godt, if grandmother were alive this never would have happened!” Source: Barbara Tuchman. Pardon my German.)

    You’re way ahead of me on the Juche philosophy. Never heard of it. Thanks.

    “ More reliance on Beijing is probably not what Kim Jong Un wants.” We must hope that his concerns for his own life include some compromise on this point.

    I’m not at all sure he exploded a hydrogen bomb, for example, could just be bunch of the normal kind, or a bigger one. (If more than one, we would detect it. So would others. I speak from experience on this.) Plus, one would think based on our history that miniaturization did not come right away, and then there’s the guidance problem, yada, yada. Not a problem for China which has much more experience in space—the key technology for guidance and re-entry.

    Your expectation of the denouement is the most probable. I think the key stumbling block is the shape of Trump’s head. Bush II, the Shrub, had Candy Rice to bring him up to speed on foreign issues during the campaign and as NS Advisor fought Cheney but with little effect. As Secretary of State she did more as it was obvious Bush had learned his mistake. Since our dear leader makes no mistakes he is constantly at war with anyone with the gonads to set him straight. I’m not sure Hillary would have been better and while some Republicans now seem on guard about Trump, assuredly they would be beating the drums of war on this issue with her.

    Sorry, long, as usual. Keep on trucking. Have you thought how this idea might be “sold?” Curt Renz might be helpful. As an amateur on media, off hand it would be nice to arrange this to be Trump’s idea. (My teacher, and his friend, Norman Cousins, tried to arrange the Pope’s first visit to the U.N. through Lady Bird Johnson. They were unsuccessful. Ivanka? Bebe Netanyahu?) No, Bebe fights the Iran deal.

    Now that I think of it, denuclearization in the Middle East is a good idea. Israel fights it because it already has the weapon and can deliver it by cruise missiles from nuclear submarines off our coasts. That buttresses your idea Kim might want the weapon more than peace and is using it against China now. Of course Israel would not do such a thing, but they have tried to sink one of our warships in international waters. Just as in 1964 my students at Santa Barbara did not believe me when I suggested we overthrew the government of Iran in the fifties.

    The principle of symmetry at work again: North Korea and China have the same relationship as Israel and the U.S. We have limited influence on Israel and China the same for North Korea. The cause of that proximity, mixed nationals, is different but it negates the geographic dissimilarity.

    Thanks for teaching me that.
     
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  8. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    Thanks for your insights into this. The question of how the idea might be sold is something I hadn't thought much about. I know only a few people in the federal government, none of whom are political appointees that might have a line to President Trump, Ambassador Haley, or Secretary Tilerson.

    @Curt Renz , any idea on how to pass this along to somebody in the Executive branch to consider it?

    I don't care about credit or recognition. I'm also not the first person to think up the concept of a Chinese Nuclear umbrella coverage for North Korea (although I did think this up independently). I googled around to see if anyone else had advocated the same strategy. The idea had appeared in 2013 in the Chinese publication "Huanqiu Shibao", described as a foreign policy tabloid of the People's Daily. Translated here: http://sinonk.com/2013/01/16/cooling-the-nuclear-hotspot-advocating-a-prc-nuclear-umbrella-for-north-korea/

    The Chinese article does not explicitly mention N Korea:

    "Some bordering countries are developing nuclear weapons in the hopes of guaranteeing their country’s security in the face of foreign military threats. If China can provide a reliable nuclear umbrella, this will improve the legitimacy of the international non-proliferation regime, be beneficial towards inducing the relevant countries to abandon their nuclear plans and thus cool the nuclear hotspot on China’s periphery."

    Burt it is an obvious if indirect reference to the North.
     
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  9. Intl Professor

    Intl Professor Active Member

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    You might consider getting Trump to fire you.:rolleyes:
     
  10. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    So how do you talk NK out of reunification?

    How do you stop China's move towards imperialist expansion in the region that started 10 years ago?

    NK keeps the US occupied so they will spend less time hampering China's annexation of the South China Sea, the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

    Does Kim have a secret agreement with China to harrass SK, US, and Japan so China can accelerate their expansion? Kim does need the money, and the timing is perfect. All this crap started at about the same time, and the US ignored it. How China's Foreign Policy Threatens The Globe

    China does not have a good record of living up to their signed documents with the West, but does have a better record with secret agreements with regional countries.
     
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  11. Nuclear Fusion

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    "We won. Get over it"
    etc, etc, etc.......

    FMD.
     
  12. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #12 McRat, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    It's a little late. This started >10 years ago when NK lit off a nuke and built an ICBM. Is there a statute of limitations on impeachments?

    How did ignoring the issue improve things? NK sinks ships in international waters, lights off more nukes, improves their missiles, and apparently are very close to true ICBM attacks.

    So, heck, let's impeach the 2017 President! I'm sure NK will stop nuclear proliferation and unprovoked attacks finally, and make friends with SK and the US. :confused:

    I hate to say it, but there is a significant number of folk (Hillary? Pelosi? Watters?) who would love for Kim to land an ICBM in Anchorage, Alaska just to make a politic speech afterwards about all the poor souls killed by the President. Even though they were the ones in a position to stop it and refused at the time.
     
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  13. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Member

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    Ah, punish the poor Americans who don't have a choice in purchasing cheap Chinese goods.
     
  14. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Member

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    Are you suggesting that Israeli submarines are tooling around American waters, ready to launch nukes on the US?

    Cites, please.
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    How about... China invades NK and puts in a puppet government. NK's guns are pointed the wrong way - oops. USA secretly agrees in advance, makes tisk-tisk noises officially but does nothing.

    China keeps their buffer against US troops on their border, and risk of instability is gone. US gets rid of NK threat. Koreans don't reunite but North is freer and less impoverished under Chinese rule.

    Not going to happen but possibly less bad than other options.
     
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  16. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    This would have been feasible perhaps 10 years ago, before North Korea had a small nuclear arsenal. Beijing is roughly 800km from Pyongyang. Much, if not most of China is within range of North Korea's intermediate range missiles, some of which North Korea claims are nuclear capable.

    I don't believe that the Chinese would risk an invasion that could possibly result in North Korean missiles being fired at major population centers in China. It's a lot easier for Kim Jong Un to cause havoc in China than the US, should China pose an existential threat to the Kim family's hold over North Korea.
     
  17. Intl Professor

    Intl Professor Active Member

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    #17 Intl Professor, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    Only that they have tested such weapons, in the open literature. Do you dispute the Liberty episode?

    Just as we watch the capabilities of the North Koreans, and our planners try to adduce motives from them, surely our military planners do the same for our allies. Prudence requires looking out for possibilities whether a current direct challenge or not. That is called the Colonel's perspective in strategic planning literature rather than a "minister's" which is a more birds-eye view. Lyndon Johnson took no serious punitive action against Israel over the Liberty. He obviously had a wider view of things although the Liberty captain is now making some waves. That is also why professionals in the intelligence business do not like raw intelligence released to the public. Vetted intelligence is another matter which presidents and those authorized to do so use that privilege wisely. I don't think our President has the prudence required for protecting sources, as he has already been criticized for in his first meeting with the Russian foreign minister and his ambassador.

    I was somewhat distressed when I learned several years ago that private satellite mapping services were stopped from taking pictures over Israel, presumably in the region of the Dimona complex. I think that is not considered a problem now. Surely you also know we have been the subject of spying by Israel, cf. the Pollard incident. I also know from experience that I cannot detail without violating the law that many aspects of Israeli security have been kept secure from our government's knowledge. Without going through Aviation Week and Space Technology back issues one can find that improvements in F-16 aircraft made by Israel have not been shared with our government, even though their purchase was financed by it.

    Sorry I can't verify the implication with a citation; always a good criticism. When I do I shall notify the appropriate authorities, but if this were Chile under Pinochet or Iran under the Shah, I might be killed for it. I don't mean to imply Mossad might do it though Israel's critics have been assassinated in other countries. Just Google that or watch the movie.:D
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    While I admire your "outside the box" thinking (seriously) I find such a scenario highly unlikely because I do not believe that North Korea has that much confidence in any guarantees China might provide. While China might be North Korea's only "friend", the relationship is tenuous and there is little trust between the two countries.

    Nor do I think China would want to take on the status of protector of North Korea. As it is, China barely tolerates North Korea's bad behavior.

    There is no military "solution" to North Korea that does not involve a horrific loss of life on the Korean Peninsula (extending possibly to Japan and maybe China) and a massive disruption in the global economy.

    The only possible solution I see is for the US to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea that includes withdrawing US forces from South Korea in exchange for a freeze on the North's nuclear program that would be verified by international inspections. Ideally the North would give up its nuclear weapons but I am not suggesting that as part of the negotiation because I do not think that Kim will ever do that. Though that could be an opening position in the negotiation.

    I am not saying that approach is likely to succeed. It very well may not. But I think it has to be attempted because the alternatives are far worse.

    I am very concerned that the #lyinglunatic will launch a massive military strike on North Korea this year and that it will include tactical nuclear weapons. I put the odds at 50/50.
     
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  19. Intl Professor

    Intl Professor Active Member

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    #19 Intl Professor, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    A gnatnut nitpick:

    An attack is certainly a possibility. I think the use of tactical nukes low and unnecessary. That surely must be stopped by our military and would put S. Korea or Japan, especially, in an awkward situation if planes were launched from their soil. Although there is this:

    South Korea’s defense minister suggests bringing back tactical U.S. nuclear weapons

    This is a serious escalation in words. Action will be worse and escalators like this have a habit of leading to war. The big boys need to COOL IT!

    Bravo to the rest of your post.
     
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  20. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    Hence the nuclear development in the face of Chinese exhortation to stop. Kim#3 was likely hand-picked by Kim#2's close family who had a direct line to China. The fact that Kim#3 killed them all is a testament to how much he wants to be his own "man".

    Oh, and the fact he killed his half brother--who was under CHINESE protection is a total affront to China. Add in the fact that he Never visited China, when he was supposed to (there was an episode of a N.Korean women singing troupe that preceded him, and they were called back, and Kim never went). Interesting thing is that China probably has better relations right now with SKorea than NKorea.

    IMHO, Kim#3 is in complete fear of China. His bluster directed toward the US is a direct signal to China. China keeps the oil flowing to maintain relations to the NKorean army. China has been building up troops on the NKorean border all throughout the summer--obstensibly to support NKorea, should the US invade--but IMHO, to prepare for possible regime change themselves.

    As you pointed out his intermediate missiles are all within striking distance of most major Chinese cities. Before the nukes, he only had conventional weapons to attack China. With each iteration of nuclear capablity, he now has major means to destroy nearby Chinese cities should HE want to.

    Ultimately it is a move to keep himself in power. China cannot turn off the oil, as it would alienate the NKorean ARMY from China. IMHO, Kim is desperate to cut off the NKorean ARMY from China (by killing anyone who had been connected to China) or use Nukes to provide himself an alternative, should the Army not listen to him. I am sure the nuclear forces are now his handpicked cadre, the elite of the elite at this point--his Praetorian Guard. The missile launches and bluster are likely to help cement loyalty to himself within his army.

    IMHO, NKorea never had any need to worry about a US & Allied invasion/attempt at regime change. They've ALWAYS had China to back them up... until now. As Kim#3 alienates himself from China, he is seriously setting himself up for potential regime change, from China.

    At this point, both the US and China would likely be happy with a new Chinese puppet NKorean government.

    IIRC, it was @neroden who had pointed out that there had been historical precedent for conflict between erstwhile allies China and NKorea. Can't recall the details.
     
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