View Poll Results: What is the near-term future of the DPRK

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  • It will fall into chaos as a result of renewed famine and poverty, resulting in military crackdowns.

    3 15.79%
  • There will be a military coup that displaces the current leadership, hopefully soon.

    4 21.05%
  • It will continue to remain a closed society, technologically dormant and otherwise insignificant.

    12 63.16%
  • The leadership will eventually make a misstep, forcing military action from the United States.

    0 0%
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Thread: North Korea: 2012-2016

  1. #381
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default RFP to others, not Dayuhan

    Does it make sense to debate with someone who first asserts something strongly, then in face of historical evidence to the contrary plays the same down and finally proceeds to preventively declare all non-consenting evidence irrelevant for his other assertion?


    It's kinda like debating with a priest about science.*


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  2. #382
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Why not propose that we summon up earthquakes and volcanoes to dispose of our rivals? If anyone points out that you don't have the power to do that, you can easily refute the claim by posting a list of historical earthquakes and eruptions...

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    *: I'm curious if comparing a SWC member with a priest is (also) an offence in the eyes of the mods.[/QUOTE]
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  3. #383
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Insurgency in the Philippines has been going on for 40+ years with no sanctuary and no meaningful external support. Different situations of course, but sanctuary and external support are not absolutely necessary for insurgency to endure.

    Invasion and foreign occupation can be a powerful motivator... though it seems a very moot point, since I don't think anyone is likely to invade the DPRK any time soon.
    Well Dayuhan, I have to admit, you got me. You are right. Sanctuary and external support aren't absolutely needed to keep and insurgency going at such a low level for 40 years that is might well be mistaken for the kind of disorder and banditry that has been going on in and around the various islands of the Philippines for the last (you pick a number) hundred years.

    I agree that nobody is likely to invade the Kim Kingdom. Though (don't get mad at me max161, this is an uneducated guess) if the place does collapse, or when, I don't see the restoration of the said Kim Kingdom being a very powerful motivator.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  4. #384
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Sanctuary and external support aren't absolutely needed to keep and insurgency going at such a low level for 40 years that is might well be mistaken for the kind of disorder and banditry that has been going on in and around the various islands of the Philippines for the last (you pick a number) hundred years.
    From the early 80s through the mid 90s the insurgency was a clear and direct threat to government, with up to 40k men under arms and a presence in virtually every part of the country... without sanctuary or external support. That's a wee bit beyond disorder and banditry.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I agree that nobody is likely to invade the Kim Kingdom. Though (don't get mad at me max161, this is an uneducated guess) if the place does collapse, or when, I don't see the restoration of the said Kim Kingdom being a very powerful motivator.
    I also do not think anyone would be trying to restore the dynastic monarchy, but there might be some serious issues over who gets to succeed that monarchy. Whether or not any outside power will want to get involved in those issues is of course impossible to say, but it would not be something to be undertaken lightly.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  5. #385
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Carl,

    Just curious, by your own reporting, these are an incredibly hardy people used to living on very little in best of times. Just how much "external support" do you think they will need to wage a resistance?

    Now, perhaps, DPRK government takes full responsibility for the hardships of living in North Korea, so that the populace will welcome as liberators any invading foreign military forces. But I suspect that is not the case. I suspect this is a populace that will see foreign military presence as just that, a foreign invasion of their homeland, and they will logically resist.

    We have a bad habit of thinking that what we offer is so good, and that those who we oppose are so bad, that of course their populaces will be immediately grateful for our efforts to remove their government and then occupy their country while we give them new, better government, coupled with development and all manner of modern goodies.

    Yet we caused a resistance insurgency in Iraq that bled us hard for several years. President Obama's plan for curing Afghanistan, as promoted by General Petreaus, has been making the resistance insurgency stronger in Afghanistan with yearly growth numbers he wishes he could replicate in his programs designed for improving our economy at home. Seems it is easier to grow an insurgency than it is to grow an economy. Bottom line is that it is human nature to resist, and North Koreans being human will likely resist as well.

    As to "sanctuary" that will come from within the very populace that is resisting us. Will we be willing to employ the hard measures such as used by the Germans in WWII to reduce such internal sanctuary? No. I hope not. Instead we will attempt to bribe the support of the populace, and through our very largess will become the primary supporter of the very insurgency we are attempting to quell.

    Likely we will blame China or some ideology for the insurgency, and not be able to realize that it is our very presence that is driving it, or that the very people who smile and accept our aid by day are passing it on to the fighters by night.

    If we have learned anything about insurgency over the past 10 years it should have been that we don't know anything about insurgency. Like most governments faced with some form of insurgency we do not accept our own causal role and instead see the insurgents as somehow distinct from the larger populace they emerge from and blame the fighting elements on malign actors, foreign agitators and radical ideologies. Historically, the best governments at COIN have been those that recognized their causal role and that focused on fixing the broken aspects of governance rather than the "broken" aspects of the populace. The US is not among "the best governments at COIN," at least not in our foreign efforts.

    Any assumption other than the expectation that any regime change forced upon the DPRK will be met with revolution; and that any foreign occupation of the DPRK will be met with resistance is dangerous. There is no earthly reason to ever place an American boot on DPRK soil. This is a mission best left to the ROKs, and even they will find a violent welcome, I suspect. Best we let this sleeping dog lie. Conditions will evolve in time of their own accord, and there is far more risk than gain from any thoughts of rushing that inevitable day along.
    You are right there is no good reason to put any American troops in the northern part of Korea. Who suggested that? That would be a silly thing being as there are so many South Koreans available for that. Besides, they speak the language and some of them are related.

    As far as external support needed to wage a resistance, I'd say a lot was needed. Critical even it be. If Kim Kingdon collapsed and the plucky (and uniformly slim) residents of the northern part of Korea decided to fight for a return of those halcyon days they would need some money from somewhere since they ain't got any. I have noticed that insurgencies, no matter how noble the participants, need money to insurge. If Red China, Russia and South Korea isolated the place nothing much from the outside could get in hence no money. (Though what external player in their right mind would want to bankroll a restoration of the Kim Kingdom?)

    And again if Red China, Russia and South Korea isolated the place there would be no physical sanctuary available for those who would restore the Kim Kingdom or an approximation thereof. I have read that sanctuary is of critical importance to insurgents. They need someplace to go where the enemy can't physically follow. This is important because closets with false walls will only get you so far. Now maybe the thin but plucky residents of the northern area of Korea could pull that off but it would be hard and a bit of a historical anomaly.

    If the Kim Kingdom does eventually fall apart, I suspect there will be a lot, or not a lot, of South Koreans headed north. Whether those thin people will resist them, I don't know. But maybe if they contrived to give the former Kim subjects enough to eat so they won't be so skinny, maybe the chances of a noble resistance will be lessened.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  6. #386
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    From the early 80s through the mid 90s the insurgency was a clear and direct threat to government, with up to 40k men under arms and a presence in virtually every part of the country... without sanctuary or external support. That's a wee bit beyond disorder and banditry.
    By my reckoning, the early 80s through the mid 90s is about 15 years, not 40. And since it is not now what it was, I figure that one of the reasons it isn't is because it didn't have sanctuary and external support. Lack of those two things allowed the gov to suppress/defeat it to the point where it went back to the disorder/banditry stage. Which happened a couple of times before in the last 113 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I also do not think anyone would be trying to restore the dynastic monarchy, but there might be some serious issues over who gets to succeed that monarchy. Whether or not any outside power will want to get involved in those issues is of course impossible to say, but it would not be something to be undertaken lightly.
    That sounds reasonable.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  7. #387
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    As far as external support needed to wage a resistance, I'd say a lot was needed. Critical even it be. If Kim Kingdon collapsed and the plucky (and uniformly slim) residents of the northern part of Korea decided to fight for a return of those halcyon days they would need some money from somewhere since they ain't got any.
    Who ever said anything about fighting to restore the Kim regime? How do you know they wouldn't fight to be able to define the successor to the Kim regime themselves, rather than having it defined by an outside power? Or that various factions who want to take over wouldn't fight with each other and anyone else willing to be on the spot?

    I wouldn't be prepared to bet that the north would simply submit to foreign intervention, or that lack of money or sanctuary would render them unable to insurge. It might happen, but it might not... and if it didn't, the occupying power could find themselves in a quite unpleasant situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    By my reckoning, the early 80s through the mid 90s is about 15 years, not 40. And since it is not now what it was, I figure that one of the reasons it isn't is because it didn't have sanctuary and external support.
    The insurgency has gone on for over 40 years. If you include the Huk rebellion (which is reasonable), it's gone on for well over 60 years... without sanctuary or significant foreign assistance. Of course it's had ups and downs within that time, but even now it's by no means over.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Lack of those two things allowed the gov to suppress/defeat it to the point where it went back to the disorder/banditry stage. Which happened a couple of times before in the last 113 years.
    Not so. The government didn't suppress/defeat the insurgency. The insurgency collapsed to the extent that it has because of the sudden and unexpected loss of the Marcos regime and because of its own inability to adapt to the post-Marcos political landscape, not because of anything government did.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  8. #388
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    Posted by Reed11b
    Anyone ever consider that ENDING sactions against NK would provide the current leadership far more challenge and adversity then maintaining the current sanctions?
    Exactly, and we need more outspoken critics of our excessive and cowardly use of economic sanctions to pursue foreign objectives. This is policy that our State Department embraces because it creates the illusion of effective action while in fact accomplishing little other than strengthening the Regime targeted by the sanctions and undermining their people, the same people that could pressure their regime to change.

    We're stuck in the past because old school self proclaimed experts continue to push ineffective policies and approaches to ahieve those policies. I find it comical to the extreme to see the constant stream of attacks against Department of Defense for not being adaptive, when other calcified government agencies such as State, Justice, etc. get a free ride in the media.

    Human rights is another issue that creates a dilemna for any nation that is part of the globalized economy. Most governments, to include China, can't hide from the various forms of global media (North Korea is currently an exception, but that too appears to be changing), and exposure of human rights violations will in many cases weaken their legitimacy with their
    populace. If the populace is empowered, and empowerment comes through economic engagement and development, not sanctions, over time that government is compelled to modify its behavior.

    There a few lonely nations out there that continue to support authoritarian regimes, China, Iran and Russia, but they do so at considerable risk to their long term interests.

    Posted by Bob's World

    Just how much "external support" do you think they will need to wage a resistance?
    Some level of logistical support is an inescapable fact for sustaining any resistance. They can and most likely will wage a tough resistance if invaded, but it is unlikely it will be able to sustain that effort for years. How much support can the local populace provide the resistance forces? This is one case where I hope the S. Koreans (I have little hope for our capability) could wage an effective PSYOP campaign if we keep the gringo presence out of North Korea (or at least minimize it). China and Russia may find it in their interests to provide support for the resistance, if they do then the argument is mute to begin with.

  9. #389
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    What Fuchs suggests is simply not realistic.
    That of course is merely in your opinion.

    First, it relies on the assumption that the "Great Western Powers" (who he means by that I've no idea, you'd have to ask him) can act secretly and cooperatively toward a common goal without that being patently obvious to anyone who's half paying attention. Second, it assumes that these "Great Western Powers" have sufficient influence to make the Chinese want to do something that they most emphatically don't want to do, have no real reason to want to do and have very real reasons to avoid.
    You can argue persuasively that the Chinese "emphatically don't want to" force any change to the status quo in North Korea? I would be interested to hear such an argument ... if you can make it.

    "Secrecy" in some matters can never be guaranteed. To claim it to be a critical success factor is a poor attempt to bolster a weak argument.

    These assumptions seem pulled out of thin air and no basis for them is presented.
    The same can be said for your increasingly desperate need for just doing nothing.

    I've no objection to trying it:
    You? Where do you come into the equation? You don't really think the "Great Western Powers" give a hoot what you think, do you.

    ... unlike some plans we've seen that are based on fixed assumptions about what can be done and how others will react to proposed actions, the consequences of its failure would not be terribly inconvenient. It won't work, of course, but at least it probably wouldn't blow up in anyone's face. Even when the whole "secret" plot inevitably ends up all over the Internet it would only seem mildly silly.
    So that means everyone should just sit back and do nothing? LOL

  10. #390
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Exactly, and we need more outspoken critics of our excessive and cowardly use of economic sanctions to pursue foreign objectives. This is policy that our State Department embraces because it creates the illusion of effective action while in fact accomplishing little other than strengthening the Regime targeted by the sanctions and undermining their people, the same people that could pressure their regime to change.
    This is largely true, but I can also understand that the people at State have a limited menu to choose from when the politicians ring up asking for something they can do that will make them look like they are doing something without actually having to do anything. In many cases I suspect that sanctions are adopted less for their impact on the country being sanctioned than to give politicians an opportunity to look as if they're engaged and taking a stand without having to run risks. I can understand the desire to avoid risk, especially when there's little gain to be had, but the resulting pile of sanctions, which often drag on long after any marginal utility they might have had is gone, is not helping anything.

    Sanctions targeting specific individuals and entities do IMO have a place in the repertoire, but have to be used carefully. The nation-wide variant are an overused and largely ineffective device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Human rights is another issue that creates a dilemna for any nation that is part of the globalized economy. Most governments, to include China, can't hide from the various forms of global media (North Korea is currently an exception, but that too appears to be changing), and exposure of human rights violations will in many cases weaken their legitimacy with their populace. If the populace is empowered, and empowerment comes through economic engagement and development, not sanctions, over time that government is compelled to modify its behavior.
    I'm not sure I follow this. China's disregard for human rights and open sponsorship of others who disregard human rights is blatant, open, and widely discussed in media... has that created any dilemma for the Chinese?

    It's true that China's economic development has significantly empowered much of the populace, and that the empowerment may at some point in the future compel China to modify its behaviour toward its own citizenry, but that hardly seems imminent. China's support for North Korea doesn't seem to be imposing any negative economic or other consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Some level of logistical support is an inescapable fact for sustaining any resistance. They can and most likely will wage a tough resistance if invaded, but it is unlikely it will be able to sustain that effort for years. How much support can the local populace provide the resistance forces? This is one case where I hope the S. Koreans (I have little hope for our capability) could wage an effective PSYOP campaign if we keep the gringo presence out of North Korea (or at least minimize it). China and Russia may find it in their interests to provide support for the resistance, if they do then the argument is mute to begin with.
    Maybe I'm not following something, but all this talk of resistance insurgency seems very hypothetical. Who would want to invade the DPRK in the first place? If the place collapsed into complete disarray there might be calls for somebody to go in and stabilize the place, but I'd guess that would be one of those things that everybody thinks somebody else ought to do but nobody wants to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    That of course is merely in your opinion.
    Of course. Everything anyone says here is their opinion, unless otherwise stated and appropriately referenced. I don't think it's an unreasonable opinion: the idea that any combination of Western powers can induce a 180 degree policy shift by the Chinese simply by manipulating media does seem... improbable at best, does it not?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    You can argue persuasively that the Chinese "emphatically don't want to" force any change to the status quo in North Korea? I would be interested to hear such an argument ... if you can make it.
    Looking at the way China has managed relations with the DPRK over the last few decades, what other conclusion is possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    "Secrecy" in some matters can never be guaranteed. To claim it to be a critical success factor is a poor attempt to bolster a weak argument.
    Agreed. It was Fuchs who pointed out that transparency would have to be avoided. I simply pointed out that avoiding transparency is easier said than done. Of course it's difficult to manipulate people when they know you're trying to manipulate them, and of course the Chinese would know. So would everybody else.

    Of course it's easy to declare that you know exactly how to reverse the Chinese perception of self-interest and give a generic list of devices that you say will "pull it off". Actually doing it would be another thing altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    You? Where do you come into the equation? You don't really think the "Great Western Powers" give a hoot what you think, do you.
    Of course not. Neither do they give a hoot what Fuchs thinks, or anyone else here. All of these discussions are purely hypothetical. Surely you don't think that anyone's paying attention. Even if we all agreed that Fuchs' Jedi mind trick hypothesis could actually make the Chinese want to "fix" the DPRK, it still wouldn't happen and it still wouldn't work. We're just a few guys yakking on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    So that means everyone should just sit back and do nothing? LOL
    In the absence of a clear, concrete, limited and achievable objective and a realistic, practical strategy for achieving that objective, what would you want anyone to do? Contain, manage, and wait for an internal shift isn't "doing nothing", it's acceptance of the reality that the situation is not amenable to control, influence is limited, and any attempt to significantly alter the status quo is likely to make things worse for everyone concerned. Should someone simply "do something" for the sake of doing something, even without a clear goal or a realistic strategy? Why? What do you think should be done, and by whom?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  11. #391
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    A few points to consider:

    1. A resistance insurgency is not an effort by the people to restore the government that was defeated, a resistance is an effort by the people to remove a foreign influence/presence that they believe has no right to be there. This is a critical point we for some reason refuse to understand, and that refusal led us to believe that neither the Iraqi nor the Afghan people would resist our efforts to "free them from oppression." We look to what happened in Germany and Japan post WWII and draw the wrong conclusions. Both those populaces were subjected to long, sustained warfare prior to the defeat of their respective militarize and governments. In Japan we wisely sustained the Emperor, viewed as the core of "legitimacy" or we would have likely faced a major insurgency there. Also, with with China (under natioanalist or communist rule) so near and full of reasonable motivation to exact revenge on a war weakened Japan, we were the lesser of two evils. In Germany all Germans well appreciated that it was far better to subject themselves to the Allies than to be subjected to the Soviets. We were not accepted because we were better than Hitler, but because we were better than Stalin.

    If the DPRK attacks and is then pushed back forcing a regime change, or if the current regime collapses and foreigners move in to "build a nation" and "bring democracy" etc it will not be going into a populace that has been subjected to years of warfare, nor will it be going into a populace that perceives this help as the lesser of two evils. By any logical assessment and reasonable understanding of resistance insurgency, the people would resist. Hard.

    2. Given the Western programs of "COIN" and our refusal to appreciate that the fighting force of the insurgency is just the tip of a much larger populace iceberg of discontent, we, the Western or even Chinese society going in to mold things in their image, would become the primary supplier of the insurgency through our aid to the populace writ large. China would probably be more effective at this than we would, and US interests would not suffer if the PRC had the lead on dealing with any kind of governmental collapse in the DPRK.

    3. We still have a hard time balancing what we WANT with what we NEED. Interests are (should) be based on needs. We have a lot of "wants" in our current national policy. We "wanted" to make Iraq and Afghanistan democracies shaped and valued in our image. We needed those countries not to grant formal sanctuary to terrorist NSAs or to attack our interests and allies. There is a massive gap between those wants and those needs. Attempting to bridge that gap is indeed, a bridge too far.

    We should ask sincerely, what do we "need" in terms of the DPRK and our interests, and do our policies and plans reflect those needs, or some much fluffier concept of "wants."
    Last edited by Bob's World; 09-05-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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  12. #392
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    I am mystified that no one is talking about the elephant in the room which is of course Korean Reunification. We all talk about various aspects of the Korean problem (or the Korea Question as stated in paragraph 60 of the Armistice Agreement) without regard to what is established Alliance Policy as per the June 2009 Joint Vision Statement. Whether north Korea attacks or the regime collapse the ultimate end state that everyone should be discussing is Korean Reunification and how to help South Korea achieve it.

    The other point is we continue to talk about the Korean Problem with little regard for Korea. Again, many of the comments in this string are seemingly made in the spirit of big brother knowing how to solve all and again with little understanding of Korean culture, politics, tradition, history (and emotions)of the Korean people. I cannot emphasize enough how many of these comments sound just like discussions of Afghanistan by those who knew nothing of the culture, politics, tradition history (and emotions) of the Afghan people. And we see how things have turned out for us in Afghanistan.

    We need to understand the process of Korean Reunification and how the Koreans are going to achieve it. And as counter-intuitive as it will seem to many of you, although the Chinese desperately want to maintain the status quo (their policy is the three "no's": no war, no collapse, and no nukes) they are prepared to allow South Korea to shoulder the burden of Korean Reunification following war or collapse. They do not want the burden of a collapsed north Korea and they believe that by allowing South Korea to reunify the Peninsula they can achieve their major Northeast Asian regional aim and that is to get US troops off the Peninsula. You can see the Chinese hedging strategy playing out with its 50 and 100 year leases of vast tracts of mineral deposits which provides currency to the regime (helping to keep it afloat and thus prevent collapse and possibly war) and ensures their long term access even after reunification (they will exploit the provisions in the South Korean Constitution that says that all Koreans are citizens of the Republic of Korea and they will claim they made deals with Koreans that should be honored by Koreans) Furthermore, they will intervene with troops not to fight South Koreans or even Americans but to prevent north Koreans from coming across the border (and also likely to try to police up all evidence of their complicity in the north's nuclear programs). But they will use the fact that China and South Korea have good relations (and that China is South Korea's number one trading partner) and that China has no interest in preventing reunification and in fact is willing to withdraw its troops from the Korean Peninsula and to press South Korea as it reunifies to have no foreign troops on the Korean Peninsula. With post-collapse or post-conflict and the path to reunification many (including some in the US) can argue there is no reason for US troops on the Peninsula. Ironically though, China could not only live with but would tacitly support US troops remaining in Japan as this is believed to reduce the chances of Japan remilitarizing which is the fear of Chinese and Koreans alike.

    But I would urge everyone wanting to make policy and strategy recommendations to please do so from an understanding of the Korean situation and all its history, culture, customs, and politics.
    David S. Maxwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by max161 View Post
    Again, many of the comments in this string are seemingly made in the spirit of big brother knowing how to solve all and again with little understanding of Korean culture, politics, tradition, history (and emotions)of the Korean people.
    That's because we were discussing how big brother could pursue his interests. The discussion hasn't been about North Korean people's interests.


    they are prepared to allow South Korea to shoulder the burden of Korean Reunification following war or collapse. They do not want the burden of a collapsed north Korea
    ...and South Koreans visiting reunified Germany haven't exactly expressed their enthusiasm for Korean unification.

  14. #394
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    Mr. Fuchs,

    I would respectfully submit that the considerations of the Korean people (north and South) are pretty important in the equation for analyzing how to achieve one's interests.

    I think the Ministry of Reunification in the ROK might have a different view than your sample size of Koreans visiting Germany. Sure the South Korean people are conflicted and even more so because President Lee has been very vocal in discussing the reality of potential costs and even put forth a proposal for a reunification tax to save money for the enormous costs. But I would submit that there will be no long term solution to the Korea problem until reunification can be achieved. And I think German and Korean reunification will be nearly an apples and oranges comparison - there are a lot of lessons to be applied but the conditions that exist on the Peninsula are vastly different between Korea and Germany.
    David S. Maxwell
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    Default No one is talking about the elephant in the room

    David and others,

    Your comment:
    I am mystified that no one is talking about the elephant in the room which is of course Korean Reunification.
    this would fit many other topical threads where the exchange goes in completely unpredictable directions and prefers to take an understandably remote view, invariably from within the USA. Some threads raise issues that are uncomfortable, even if some "top brass" read SWC & SWJ that does not mean posting is protected. Even more so as national elections loom.

    There is one SWC thread for example that has had a significant local "boots on the ground" input, where the USA has little knowledge. I refer to Kingjaja on the Nigeria thread.

    Perhaps you can help by getting a Korean aboard to add their views?
    davidbfpo

  16. #396
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max161 View Post
    Whether north Korea attacks or the regime collapse the ultimate end state that everyone should be discussing is Korean Reunification and how to help South Korea achieve it....

    ...We need to understand the process of Korean Reunification and how the Koreans are going to achieve it.
    Completely agree that reunification on southern terms is a desirable long term goal, and that it's probably inevitable. At this point, though, I'm not sure that even Koreans have a clear idea of how or when this will happen. I agree that as this process begins it would be a good thing to help it along, but I'd be concerned that a decision to "help" that process could too easily creep into an effort to initiate, accelerate, or control that process, which I suspect would be a very dangerous thing.

    When Koreans are ready to move into a reunification process, they should have any help they need. If anyone who's not Korean wants to try to initiate or control that process, I'd be very wary. Just an opinion, of course.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Council Member max161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    When Koreans are ready to move into a reunification process, they should have any help they need. If anyone who's not Korean wants to try to initiate or control that process, I'd be very wary. Just an opinion, of course.
    Dayuhan - exactly. I could not agree more with your opinion.
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max161 View Post
    I think the Ministry of Reunification in the ROK might have a different view than your sample size of Koreans visiting Germany.
    I would be surprised if not, bureaucratic self-interest is quite universally strong.

    They might build a Ministry of Non-Reunification next to it and the people there would be fierce about their bureaucratic self-interest (and survival) as well.

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    Council Member max161's Avatar
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    Mr. Fuchs,

    I will ask the Minister of Unification when I attend a meeting with him in two weeks when he is here visiting the states.
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

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    I received this important comment (and very succinct analysis) in response to the article below from a Korea Hand which should be studied by anyone who wants to understand north Korea. He is one of the most well qualified to make this statement particularly because he is fluent in Korean and has extensive experience communicating face to face with north Koreans as well as reading north Korean primary source documents so when he gives us the north Korean translation and differentiates between policy and politics we should pay attention. I am personally guilty of using military-first policy when it should be military first politics. I will pay more attention to my "kiyosunim" (most learned professor).

    This treatment of outsiders trying to invest is nothing new...it is consistent with past practices for the last 30 years under Kim Jong-il influence. Hatred of foreigners and encouragement and reward for xenophobia has been a very successful tool for Kim Jong-il's rule. Chinese reforms always started with decentralization, giving local administrators a chance to develop as they could as long as they were loyal to the party. Nothing of the kind is possible in the NK political system where centralization is absolute and reward for rejecting all outside influence is one of the keys to leadership. Songun chongchi does not mean "military-first policy." It means "military-first politics" and the Kim Regime has never, ever, used the term military-first policy – songun chongchaek. That is an international media misrepresentation that our government has adopted. However, there has been a defacto military first policy since 1964 with the introduction of the four military lines. And military-first means everything outside NK is the enemy...everything. .. because the regime’s strategy is to project everything is the enemy except the regime. Half of its own people are projected as the enemy.
    September 5, 2012

    North Korea Launches Barbed Attack on Chinese Investor
    By REUTERS
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/...gewanted=print
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-05-2012 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Fix quote
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

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