Skip to comments.North Korea’s ultimatum to America
Posted on 09/08/2017 9:18:32 AM PDT by pgkdan
The nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea entered a critical phase Sunday with North Koreas conduct of an underground test of a thermonuclear bomb.
If the previous round of this confrontation earlier this summer revolved around Pyongyangs threat to attack the US territory of Guam, Sundays test, together with North Koreas recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental US, was a direct threat to US cities.
In other words, the current confrontation isnt about US superpower status in Asia, and the credibility of US deterrence or the capabilities of US military forces in the Pacific. The confrontation is now about the USs ability to protect the lives of its citizens.
The distinction tells us a number of important things. All of them are alarming.
First, because this is about the lives of Americans, rather than allied populations like Japan and South Korea, the US cannot be diffident in its response to North Koreas provocation. While attenuated during the Obama administration, the USs position has always been that US military forces alone are responsible for guaranteeing the collective security of the American people.
Pyongyang is now directly threatening that security with hydrogen bombs. So if the Trump administration punts North Koreas direct threat to attack US population centers with nuclear weapons to the UN Security Council, it will communicate profound weakness to its allies and adversaries alike.
Obviously, this limits the options that the Trump administration has. But it also clarifies the challenge it faces.
The second implication of North Koreas test of their plutonium-based bomb is that the USs security guarantees, which form the basis of its global power and its alliance system are on the verge of becoming completely discredited.
In an interview Sunday with Fox Newss Trish Regan, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton was asked about the possible repercussions of a US military assault against North Korea for the security of South Korea.
Regan asked, What are we risking though if we say were going to go in with strategic military strength? Are we going to end up with so many peoples lives gone in South Korea, in Seoul because we make that move? Bolton responded with brutal honesty.
Let me ask you this: how do you feel about dead Americans? In other words, Bolton said that under prevailing conditions, the US faces the painful choice between imperiling its own citizens and imperiling the citizens of an allied nation. And things will only get worse. Bolton warned that if North Koreas nuclear threat is left unaddressed, US options will only become more problematic and limited in the years to come.
This then brings us to the third lesson of the current round of confrontation between the US and North Korea.
If you appease an enemy on behalf of an ally then you arent an ally.
And eventually your alliance become empty of all meaning.
For 25 years, three successive US administrations opted to turn a blind eye to North Koreas nuclear program in large part out of concern for South Korea.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all sought to appease North Koreas aggressive nuclear adventurism because they didnt believe they had a credible military option to deal with it.
In the 1980s, North Korea developed and deployed a conventional arsenal of bombs and artillery along the demilitarized zone capable of vaporizing Seoul.
Any US military strike against North Koreas nuclear installation it was and continues to be argued, would cause the destruction of Seoul and the murder of millions of South Koreans.
So US efforts to appease Pyongyang on behalf of Seoul emptied the US-South Korean alliance of meaning. The US can only serve as the protector of its allies, and so assert its great power status in the Pacific and worldwide, if it prevents its allies from being held hostage by its enemies.
And now, not only does the US lack a clear means of defending South Korea, and Japan, America itself is threatened by the criminal regime it demurred from effectively confronting.
Regardless of the means US President Donald Trump decides to use to respond to North Koreas provocative actions and threats to Americas national security, given the nature of the situation, it is clear that the balance of forces on the ground cannot and will not remain as they have been.
If the US strikes North Korea in a credible manner and successfully diminishes its capacity to physically threaten the US, America will have taken the first step towards rebuilding its alliances in Asia.
On the other hand, if the current round of hostilities does not end with a significant reduction of North Koreas offensive capabilities, either against the US or its allies, then the US will be hard pressed to maintain its posture as a Pacific power. So long as Pyongyang has the ability to directly threaten the US and its allies, US strategic credibility in East Asia will be shattered.
This then brings us to China.
China has been the main beneficiary of North Koreas conventional and nuclear aggression and brinksmanship.
This state of affairs was laid bare in a critical way last month.
In mid-August, Trumps then chief strategist Steve Bannon was preparing a speech Trump was set to deliver that would have effectively declared a trade war against China in retaliation for its predatory trade practices against US companies and technology. The speech was placed in the deep freeze and Bannon was forced to resign his position when North Korea threatened to attack the US territory of Guam with nuclear weapons. The US, Trumps other senior advisers argued, couldnt declare a trade war against China when it needed Chinas help to restrain North Korea.
So by enabling North Koreas aggression against the US and its allies, China has created a situation where the US has become neutralized as a strategic competitor.
Rather than advance its bilateral interests like curbing Chinas naval aggression in the South China Sea in its contacts with China, the US is forced into the position of supplicant, begging China to restrain North Korea in order to avert war.
If the US does not act to significantly downgrade North Koreas offensive capabilities now, when its own territory is being threatened, it is difficult to see how the US will be able to develop an effective strategy for coping with Chinas rise as an economic and strategic rival in Asia and beyond. That is, the USs actions now in response to North Koreas threat to its national security will determine whether or not the US will be in a position to develop and implement a wider strategy for maintaining its capacity to project its economic and military power in the Pacific in the near and long term.
Finally, part of the considerations that need to inform US action now involve what North Koreas success in developing a nuclear arsenal under the noses of successive US administrations means for the future of nuclear proliferation.
In all likelihood, unless the North Korean nuclear arsenal is obliterated, Pyongyangs nuclear triumphalism will precipitate a spasm of nuclear proliferation in Asia and in the Middle East. The implications of this for the US and its allies will be far reaching.
Not only can Japan and South Korea be reasonably expected to develop nuclear arsenals. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other inherently unstable Arab states can be expected to develop or purchase nuclear arsenals in response to concerns over North Korea and its ally Iran with its nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyangs.
In other words, if the US does not respond in a strategically profound way to Pyongyang now, it will not only lose its alliance system in Asia, it will see the rapid collapse of its alliance system and superpower status in the Middle East.
Israel, for one, will be imperiled by the sudden diffusion of nuclear power.
Monday morning, North Korea followed up its thermonuclear bomb test with a spate of threats to destroy the United States. These threats are deadly even if North Korea doesnt attack the US with its nuclear weapons. If the US does not directly defeat North Korea in a clear-cut way now, its position as a superpower in Asia and worldwide will be destroyed and its ability to defend its own citizens will be called into question with increasing frequency and lethality.
Where's the "ultimatum"?
“Not only can Japan and South Korea be reasonably expected to develop nuclear arsenals. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other inherently unstable Arab states can be expected to develop or purchase nuclear arsenals in response to concerns over North Korea and its ally Iran with its nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyangs.”
Particularly as it applies to Japan and South Korea, should be a wake up call to China, as those prospects cannot seem to China as in their national interest. China should be wanting immensely to work with the U.S. to deter North Korea and avoid further nuclear proliferation in its neighborhood.
We need to take a step back and look at the big picture...
Despite efforts by the United Nations to impose isolating sanctions on North Korea in response to the countrys continued development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, trade between Russia and North Korea soared more than 85 percent in the first four months of the year.
Sept 5, 2017
The US said on Monday it would table a new UN resolution on tougher sanctions in the wake of the latest test of a nuclear bomb by the North on Sunday.
Mr Putin also said that the ramping up of military hysteria could lead to global catastrophe.
He said diplomacy was the only answer.
China, the Norths main ally, has also called for a return to negotiations. ...
From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."
"Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."
Nothing would please me more than to wake up tomorrow morning and find out that Pyongyang had been turned into a glass lined crater. The rest of North Korea could be reunited with the South and the maniac deranged dwarf would be gone.
Does Senator Rand Paul know about this?
If so, shouldn’t he be writing a “Declaration of War” against Korea?
Otherwise, won’t we all have to wait for the “fat boy” to vaporize Silicon Valley?
That way, the world wouldn’t blame us, when we, as clear “victims” of a nuclear attack, “respond”....
Russia and china both want a "unified Korea" as well, only one under their pawn's (communist NK) rule.
>>>Where’s the “ultimatum”?<<<
There isn’t one. It was just a word the author stuck into the headline to see if you and I would be fooled into reading the article.
The conundrum is that we have economic leverage against China that we didn’t have in the 80s, or even early 90s, before China became a large and industrialized economy. However, if we use it, by doing what we ought to do in bilateral trade relations, they may decide they have no incentive to assist us in dealing with North Korea. Squeeze them hard enough and they may even be willing to respond militarily to anything we do with North Korea, as well as in the South China Sea. Then we would be forced to decide whether to wage war with China, which we would most definitely not want to do if it can be avoided.
Your point, about nuclearizing Japan and South Korea, may be the key to getting out of this conundrum. Deals with those countries would have to be approved and in the works. I don’t think China will respond until it is faced with a done deal. At that point, and to avoid the militarization of Japan, who China greatly fears, they might be willing to “allow” us to destroy the North Korea military and take out the Kim dictatorship. Maybe we could strike a deal that lets us do that, maybe even with their assistance, so long as we do not occupy and take away a huge buffer state from them. For that, I think they would go to war. To make NK into a more docile vassal, hopefully not.
exactly - the Norks have given zero reason to believe they will first strike.
bolton is a discredited neo-con whose lies, misinformation, and half-truths are responsible for thousands of ruined American lives.
And while aerial views, suggests a rather modern capital city.
...........and Caroline, I suppose you have the balls to issue an order to the US Military to KILL millions of Korean’s and tens of thousands of American moms and dads sons!
Yes, we may have to, and a nuke or two may hit the US...............but, let’s take a break from saying “next Tuesday morning Trump should kill a few million folks.....”
Time to initiate a trade war. Blockade NK and stop all trade with China until NK capitulates.
Sure. No reason why we shouldn't wait until a nuke hits somewhere.
You know, we are lucky. I bet Kim the Nork fatso could NEVER hit DC with a nuke. Nope, that would show the world his program was really not to be messed with. But its really just beyond his capability.
(Nork agents lurking, yep. Americans laugh at you because we know you could NEVER deliver a nuke to DC. Honest injun, hope to die, thats what we think. We dare you. We double dog dare you...but we know you just cant pull it off)
He may be totally nuts, but one has to know that what he’s doing is almost certainly on the instruction, or at least full (secret) approval of the ChiComs and Russians.
there is so much fake ( neo con ) news going around regarding the Norks these days it’s funny.
The best part are all the chicken little hysterically running around crying the sky is falling, the sky is falling while wetting their pants.
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