North Korea – The Problem That Won’t Go Away.

North Korea – Is There A Solution?

The Unites States Government continues to deal with North Korea from a Western Paradigm  based on the Post World War II model.  It’s time to stop.

North Korea Missile Test |

Coming to a city near you.

From The Washington Post 9/14/17.

SEOUL — North Korea fired another missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Friday morning, just a day after Pyongyang threatened that the four main Japanese islands “should be sunken into the sea” by its nuclear bomb.

This was the second time in less than three weeks that North Korea sent a projectile over Japan, and the missile firing immediately sparked angry reactions in Tokyo and Seoul.

The missile launched from the Sunan airfield just north of Pyongyang about 6:30 a.m. local time, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. It flew for 17 minutes, passing over Hokkaido and landing some 1,200 miles to the east in the Pacific Ocean.

The launch immediately triggered emergency alerts in Japan, with text messages and loud speakers telling residents along the missile’s potential flight path to seek shelter.

The Post-war method of dealing with nations suffers from several presumptions that simply do not apply.

Presumption 1: Everyone Is A Rational Actor.

The Post-WWII Marshall Plan method of doing business does not work with nations and militant groups that have options. This should be apparent after 70 years of futility. Industrialized Warfare – brought forth by the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century – formed the framework of how the United States did business on the world state.

Marshaling our industrialized might against the adversary.  Obtaining an unconditional surrender from a skeleton government.   Set about rebuilding the defeated nation’s infrastructure.   The United States, benevolent and magnanimous.  Fulfilling expectations.

Defeated Germany and defeated Japan – nations made up of rational people, and rational people made for rational governments. Enemies can become friends, because it is in the mutual best interest to do so. This logical course when all the actors are rational and everyone is reading out of the same rulebook.

Presumption 2: Everyone Shares The Same Moral Perspective.

What does Islam and The Unification Church have in common? They both teach that it’s OK to lie to outsiders. In Islam, breaking contracts with non-Muslims bears no moral consequences.

When faced with famine on an apocalyptic scale in 1945, Japan chose to surrender. The Government of North Korea on the other hand sees no moral conflict between thousands of its citizen perishing for want of a full belly and staying in power.

Granted, we see a lot of this in our own Country. Congressmen and senators, caught dead-to-rights in corruption and perversion will use every ounce of power lent to their office and every legal maneuver to remain in their position.

Presumption 3: Deep Down, Everyone Wants To Co-Exist.

No, they don’t. This is a silly notion.  Time to be done with it once and for all.  Some people just like to watch the world burn.  Palestinians obsess over the existence of Jews.  Liberals shriek at the happiness and fulfillment of others.  The there’s Anti-Fa Panty-Fa.  People who will literally try to kick you to death for holding a different opinion.

So how do we deal with North Korea? First we accept and internalize that the course we’ve been following since the Eisenhower Administration has failed and doing more of the same will lead to more failure.

Next, accept that North Korea 1. Decidedly is not a rational actor, 2. Definitely does not share our moral perspective, and 3. Co-existence with the West isn’t even on their RADAR, much less a priority with them.

Finally, we pick from a list of truly horrific options. The solutions for North Korea are a menu filled with poison.  The one upside? The inevitable is no longer postponed.

1. The Ripley Option.

No, and the only reason I’m even mentioning it is because you’re thinking it. Unleashing a nuclear bombardment on Pyongyang and North Korea’s other Urban Centers is monstrous.

2. The LeMay Option.

Air Force General Curtis LeMay did not come up with the phrase, “bomb them back to the Stone-age,” but he made it famous. Yes, it’s horrific, but the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have had ample time – over 60 years – to come up with a government that does not seek to suicide bomb the rest of the world. As I firmly believe that people get the kind of government they deserve, I find myself unsympathetic to North Korea’s population. But this is still less than optimal. Reducing their cities to rubble through conventional means holds very little appeal for me, but I won’t be tempted to burn my old uniforms over it. There is also significant precedence: Chongqing, Tokyo, Coventry, Hamburg, and Dresden for example.

3. The Flavius Option

Seige Warfare.  If done right, the victors merely have to wait. The objectives are simple in concept, complicated in the execution: eliminate every crossing across the Yalu and Tumen Rivers. Place a carrier group in the Yellow Sea and a carrier group in the Sea of Japan-East. Turn North Korea’s borders with China and Russia into no-fly zones. Will China and Russia have something to say about it? Probably.

Siege of Carthage |

Artist’s dedication of the Siege of Carthage. In reality Sieges are extremely boring affairs where the primary weapon employed was starvation.

I estimate that this will require stationing division level ground troops along both rivers.  This is a high-risk high-reward gamble and counts on both the Chinese and Russian doing nothing.

Will doing nothing and merely hoping the problem goes away work?  It hasn’t so far.  Real solutions are hard to come by.  The problem only increases when one doesn’t understand it.  Many claim to understand North Korea.  I’m not sure I do.

The Reality.

The discussion of how to solve the North Korea problem continues.  The people of the United States are tired.  Toxic wars abroad and toxic politicians at home actively working for the defeat of their own nation will do that.  Can we open up another front?  Even with the survival of our nation at stake?  My preferred yet horrible option, that of laying siege to North Korea means yet another protracted conflict. One for which the American people likely don’t have the stomach.


About Phil Christensen

The trail behind me is littered with failure. The trail before me remains to be seen.
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3 Responses to North Korea – The Problem That Won’t Go Away.

  1. Ken Yeasky says:

    Well said Phil – pretty good article on our northern dilemma

  2. Wolfie says:

    The only problem I see with “siege warfare” against North Korea is that if the siege doesn’t completely surround the country, then it is ineffective.

    In the past, when an army besieged a city, it was surrounded. Nothing could get out, and nothing could get in. The siege lasted until the enemy either sortied out for battle, or gave in to disease and hunger. Rarely was an attack on the city authorized or necessary.

    However, China is continuing their trade with North Korea, despite their protestations to the contrary. Also, Russia is supplying North Korea with food and fuel. If the besieged “city” has a source of supply, then it will not fall without an assault.

    What is likely to happen is that North Korea will take an action that goes beyond Western patience. Japan has already threatened to nuclearise their country. There’s always the possibility that … in the event of a provocation … the US could launch a conventional airstrike using bombers, fighters, and Tomahawk cruise missiles, and take out North Korea’s nuclear testing and missile testing and manufacturing centers. But in this case, Kim Jong-un should be targeted, himself. Not too many people would mourn his passing.

    And then, there is “the problem”. Seoul, South Korea, with its 28 million people within range of the North’s tens of thousands of artillery tubes.

    There are no good solutions to North Korea, as long as China and Russia continue their support.

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