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General North Korea discussion

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Tchuck
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#361

Posted A week ago

 

 I've read some comments implying that Moon would be kidnapped or killed, but if North Korea wants stability on the peninsula, they obviously aren't going to have the South Korean leader killed on their turf. That would basically be suicide for their government.

 

Yeah, if any sort of thing like that were to happen, I'd bet on the US doing it. North Korea knows that any sort of violence to that level would mean its immediate annihilation. They aren't stupid. If you look at the way they've been acting for the past decade or so, you'd see a fairly rational and predictable actor.


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#362

Posted A week ago

The fundamental problem for SK is that unified peninsula or not, a drawdown of US military presence in the area leaves a void that may be filled by China.  They are simply moving from under the US' thumb to under China's thumb, or coarsely-put, choosing between being either subjects of US imperialism or Chinese imperialism.  Not to mention the fact US Armed Forces are more or less the only formidable security force of SK.  So there's a massive financial void that needs to be filled by the taxpayers of SK along with the much-needed manpower commitment for their own defense.  Politically, such commitments are a tough sell to the prosperous and unmolested South Korean public.  Without the US, the SK military is undersized, vulnerable, and frankly at the mercy of Beijing's geopolitical will.

 

 

From a South Korean perspective, the terms of this emerging power dynamic with China will be increasingly less optimistic once the fear of a war recedes back to normal levels and Koreans become less desperate for peace.  SK's vast wealth surely lends them some leverage.  But at this point, a US withdrawal from the peninsula will leave behind a nuclear China, a nuclear NK, and non-nuclear SK to reach an amicable settlement of some sort.  Neither of the former parties will give a sh*t about SK's national interests beyond some mutually beneficial trade activity.  If SK wants peace without US occupation, it will certainly have to pay a price in one way or another.  Sooner or later, the US is also gonna have to accept that it's China's sphere out there and adjust its posture accordingly.  Only time will tell.

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G's Ah's
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#363

Posted A week ago

I don't believe the United States would "draw down" or reduce its personnel strength in Korea, especially when it's advantageous for them to maintain soldiers close to or on China's borders. 


Coin
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#364

Posted A week ago Edited by Coin, A week ago.

The fundamental problem for SK is that unified peninsula or not, a drawdown of US military presence in the area leaves a void that may be filled by China.  They are simply moving from under the US' thumb to under China's thumb, or coarsely-put, choosing between being either subjects of US imperialism or Chinese imperialism.  Not to mention the fact US Armed Forces are more or less the only formidable security force of SK.  So there's a massive financial void that needs to be filled by the taxpayers of SK along with the much-needed manpower commitment for their own defense.  Politically, such commitments are a tough sell to the prosperous and unmolested South Korean public.  Without the US, the SK military is undersized, vulnerable, and frankly at the mercy of Beijing's geopolitical will.

 

I'm not sure you're aware but SK has one of the largest military apparatus in terms of active personnel, in addition to millions of reservists by virtue of compulsory military service. That said, I agree with the general gist here - just seemed odd to downplay SK's own forces.

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G's Ah's
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#365

Posted A week ago

The South Korean military in total only has about 625,000 active personnel and around 3.2 million reservists, but they're largely trained for an invasion from North Korea and don't really have the same power projection capabilities as the Chinese do or even the Japanese. South Korea's main military power is in its land forces. 

 

For what it's worth, the People's Liberation Army has 2.3 million active personnel and 2.3 million reserve personnel. In addition, there is the People's Liberation Army Militia, which has a further three million personnel. 


Tchuck
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#366

Posted A week ago

But the US only has what, 40,000 active personnel in South Korea? 300 or so tanks/armored vehicles. They have a fleet stationed in Japan, but China's fleets could easily overwhelm it if needed. So American backing is not that great in terms of numbers or capability. China and NK's forces combined could overwhelm South Korea without much difficulty, US or no US presence. (Speaking of numbers, only. If you add in Nukes to the equation, then the game changes to a more catastrophic event)

 

China isn't an expansionist state, though. It has no intention in absorbing other states into its empire. It works more on the base of tributaries/client states. So I'd really doubt that China would ever need to exercise military pressure on its neighbours when it can already do so much more efficiently via trading. This potential void is already being filled by China, through their trading and deals with local partners. At least without the US, then the nations here would work for the benefit of the region, and not for the benefit of the US.


G's Ah's
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#367

Posted A week ago

China wouldn't be interested in sending in soldiers into a conflict on the Korean peninsular unless it felt that it was directly threatened. It already had contingency plans for the removal of the top echelons of the North Korean state, presumably because a war would present itself as an opportunity to establish a proper buffer state in Korea without having to try and pull leverage on the Kim regime.

 

North Korea on the other hand has about 5.7 million people under arms at any given time, which largely means that based on numbers alone it is larger than South Korea's forces. However, North Korea is also not interesting in attacking because of a few things. One is that attacking would not garner it support from anyone and it would therefore be alone in its endeavours. Two, the only thing the Korean People's Army has going for it is size. It's equipment is hideously outdated and its capacity to fight is pretty much nil. It is slowly modernising but has to rely on clandestine methods to acquire new technologies. In the event of a conflict it would lose out due to a loss of air superiority from better aircraft in the US and South Korean air forces. Three, North Korea is planning for a defensive war, because it has limited power projection and it has virtually no way to sustain any offensive operations. Hence why it is trying to make itself look as reckless and as scary as possible, as well as developing nuclear weapons. It's all part of North Korea's deterrent. The military brass know it can't win a war and so it's best defence is deterrent. Four, and finally, war would mean the loss of the gravy train for the privileged few in Pyongyang. And they, like anyone else in positions of power, want to retain that control and that wealth. 

 

You are right in saying that China is not an expansionist state, but that doesn't mean it wants to exert influence over or control territory elsewhere which it believes is important. That's why there's division over who owns what in the South China Sea. It's why China is calling itself a "near-Arctic state" in order to try and claim some legitimacy for when it sticks its nose into the grab for territory in the Arctic. It's why China is investing heavily in the developing world. Because it wants control, and the best way to do that is to try to establish some control over natural resources. As for military pressure, China will continue to act belligerently with its military not because it believes it can succeed but because it wants countries like the US and others to take it seriously as a military power. That's why it shows of its new carriers or new submarines or makes boasts about leaps in defence technologies: because it wants to be given that prestige that comes from being a global power. 

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Tchuck
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#368

Posted A week ago

 

It's why China is investing heavily in the developing world. Because it wants control, and the best way to do that is to try to establish some control over natural resources. 

 

Yep. And that's why they will win the spot for top dog in the world soon enough. They own a lot of land in Latin America, in Africa, in other Asian countries. They have extraction rights on a lot of resources around the globe, they are industrializing like mad and improving their own standards for quality. sh*t, They built their first high speed rail line for the Beijing Olympics. A 110 km line. 10 years later, they're at over 25000 km in high speed rail networks, to break the 40000 km mark in another decade or so, with even better quality. And now taking steps to be greener as well, going on massive solar development, massive reforestation efforts, massive curbing of pollution. All of this happened quietly under America's nose as they bullied and bombed countries that didn't comply with them. 

 

Thus why I believe there'll be no conflict in the Korean peninsula, unless the US makes it happen. NK doesn't want it, China doesn't want it, SK doesn't want it. US doesn't give a sh*t who dies, as long as it's not Americans. 

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Typhus
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#369

Posted A day ago

An interesting, if worrying, article:

https://www.theguard...-on-north-korea

Given the diplomatic success of the Winter Olympics for both North and South Korea, I can't see Trump launching a pre-emptive strike. He would have absolutely no way of justifying it.

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Tchuck
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#370

Posted A day ago Edited by Tchuck, A day ago.

Sigh. 

 

 

Speculation about such a strike grew last month when Georgetown University professor Victor Cha was dropped from consideration to be the US ambassador to South Korea. In an op-ed, Cha said some administration officials had suggested a preventive military strike aimed at showing American strength – but he had warned of the dangers of triggering a wider war. The administration denies the strategy.

 

Because why listen to specialists who are telling you it is a terrible idea. A bloody nose strategy would be the second most idiotic thing the US could do in the region; the first most idiotic would be dropping a nuke, which Trump seems hellbent in wanting to do so he can get the complete "presidential" experience.

 

Anyone with any knowledge about the situation in the region know that America striking first is the worst idea. Unless they manage to neutralize NK's fighting potential in one strike, the retaliation over Seoul will be devastating. And they can't neutralize it all. NK learned from the Korean War: go underground. They have very extensive networks of tunnels linking up their arsenal, hidden from the satellites and the bombs.

 

Most aggravating is all this right after a wonderful Winter Olympics, which showed the two Koreas acting in a more friendly, peaceful way, showing that collaboration between the two nations is completely possible.

 

But of course the imperialists can't allow that. Not under their watch. Peace on their own terms, or not at all.

 

Perhaps this has something to do with it...





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