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. #221
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Bravely spake, Horatio

    How's things on the bridge?

    I'm sure that your bellicosity is matched by your ardor and at the time of that "low impact strike" (I'm still pondering the dichotomy in that phrase...) you'll present yourself for accession into the Armed forces in some capacity to go help save South Korea. However, your post raises a couple of questions.

    Question 1. Our assistance to South Korea 1950-53 (plus the ongoing continuation), our assistance to South Viet Nam, our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were all low impact efforts. How did they work out for us?

    Question 2. Assume we announce our non acceptance of a nuclear North Korea. In the event no one else joins us and supports that position, how do we enforce our 'non acceptance?'

  2. #222
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    When countries do not hold their population as valuable, and the leadership has proven that they have an erratic decision calculus, our form of deterrence fails.
    So stationing troops in South Korea for the last 50+ years and stationing nukes on South Korean soil for most of that time was all for nothing?

    we cannot allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons.
    Since NK already possesses nuclear weapons how exactly are we accomplish that?
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  3. #223
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default

    This just showed up in my inbox, from Stratfor...

    North Korea and South Korea have reportedly traded artillery fire Nov. 23 across the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea to the west of the peninsula. Though details are still sketchy and unconfirmed, South Korean news reports indicate that around 2:30 p.m. local time, North Korean artillery shells began landing in the waters around Yongpyeongdo, one of the South Korean-controlled islands just south of the NLL. North Korea has reportedly fired as many as 200 rounds, some of which struck the island, injuring at least 10 South Korean soldiers, damaging buildings, and setting fire to a mountainside. South Korea responded by firing some 80 shells of its own toward North Korea, dispatching F-16 fighter jets to the area, and raising the military alert to its highest level.
    Too early to say much. We'll see...

  4. #224
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    Take it easy guys... I remember words like deterent, containment and the like... nothing to worry about... and remember a short time ago a ship got sunk taking 46 lives with it... did nothing to deter them then... now? Its all a bit of a boring joke. Must be a slow news day. I believe things will be more lively when Iran has some nukes. Can't wait.

  5. #225
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Obviously if deterrence and containment are in the picture, there's something to worry about. You deter and contain that which you are worried about, what would be the point otherwise?

    North Korea exists... we all wish it didn't, but it does. So does Iran. The extent to which the US - or anyone else - can tell them what they may or may not do inside their borders is very limited: the US is not in a position to tell them what they are or are not allowed to do. Action outside their borders can be contained and deterred. It's liable to be messy around the edges at times, as these things generally are.

    What's the alternative to deterrence and containment? Do we want to "do regime change" in North Korea, or Iran?

  6. #226
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Obviously if deterrence and containment are in the picture, there's something to worry about. You deter and contain that which you are worried about, what would be the point otherwise?

    North Korea exists... we all wish it didn't, but it does. So does Iran. The extent to which the US - or anyone else - can tell them what they may or may not do inside their borders is very limited: the US is not in a position to tell them what they are or are not allowed to do. Action outside their borders can be contained and deterred. It's liable to be messy around the edges at times, as these things generally are.

    What's the alternative to deterrence and containment? Do we want to "do regime change" in North Korea, or Iran?
    Concur.

    While I believe that containment needs to be retired as the centerpiece to US foreign policy, it certainly has a place for specific situations that are real, containable and tied to US national interests. North Korea is a containable problem.

    As to deterrence, that needs to focus on the few big things we absolutely will not stand for (major missile attacks on Japan, Invasion of South Korea, etc) and can actually do something about. Small things can and will happen and are not a failure of deterrence. Internal actions will occur that we do not like but that are outside of any duty or right of ours to influence. Overreacting in response to the small things within the larger red lines is not particularly productive; nor is the implementation of measures that punish the populace while giving the government a great IO opportunity to shift blame for all their failures onto implementer of those measures.

    There may be opportunities from such incidents. There is no reason why China, Russia, the US, Japan and South Korea cannot come up with clear red lines that all can agree upon in regards to North Korean deterrence, and perhaps this gets people to sit down and sort it out.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  7. #227
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question This of course

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Concur.

    There may be opportunities from such incidents. There is no reason why China, Russia, the US, Japan and South Korea cannot come up with clear red lines that all can agree upon in regards to North Korean deterrence, and perhaps this gets people to sit down and sort it out.
    Would require that particular meeting also laying exact what if's as to response to anything outside those "red lines"

    Who and how?

    And in the end will it still leave incidents such as this outside of the "defined" parameters?
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

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  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    This just showed up in my inbox, from Stratfor...



    Too early to say much. We'll see...
    Wasn't there an incident back in february(?) where the KPA carried out an artillery live firing exercise with the target zones located out to sea and said it was an exercise? IIRC the ROK responded with artillrey fire of their own. Could this be the same thing gone awry?

  9. #229
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    I'm no expert, but 2 fatalities seems awfully light casualties for an artillery duel lasting an hour and 200 rounds (according to Stratfor anyway). It seems to me that either there wasn't much where they were shooting at or they didn't hit what they were aiming for.

  10. #230
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Default Good point, was thinking the same thing

    Quote Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
    I'm no expert, but 2 fatalities seems awfully light casualties for an artillery duel lasting an hour and 200 rounds (according to Stratfor anyway). It seems to me that either there wasn't much where they were shooting at or they didn't hit what they were aiming for.
    Guess if theres any comfort in this whole deal it knowing that somewhere in NK some arty bubbas having to face the music about suckage, considering that whichever they were aiming at (water or land) quite a few didn't hit what they were aiming for.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

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  11. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    Guess if theres any comfort in this whole deal it knowing that somewhere in NK some arty bubbas having to face the music about suckage, considering that whichever they were aiming at (water or land) quite a few didn't hit what they were aiming for.
    NK told SK to stop the live firing exercise in the disputed border area. SK ignored them. NK fired 200 rounds to make a point. SK fired off 60 in some direction? and then ran to grab hold of Uncle Sam's skirts. This round to NK.

    As to red lines. If torpedoing a naval vessel killing the crew of 46 is not crossing a red line then what is?

    This is the kind of problem the world faces when these rogue regimes obtain/develop nukes.

  12. #232
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This is the kind of problem the world faces when these rogue regimes obtain/develop nukes.
    This problem existed long before the North Koreans got nukes. It's been going on for decades.

    "This round" doesn't really go to the north, or the south, or to anyone. What has changed? The south is still rich and the north is still poor. The north is still nasty and the south is still nice. Everybody still wishes the regime in the north will collapse but nobody's willing to start a war to make it happen. When the winter comes the north will try to bargain off part of the nuclear program for food and fuel. They may or may not get it. The Chinese will continue to give the north just enough aid to keep them existing and useful but not enough to let them be really viable.

    I don't see it changing until the regime in the north falls from the inside, which could take a while.

  13. #233
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    This problem existed long before the North Koreans got nukes. It's been going on for decades.

    "This round" doesn't really go to the north, or the south, or to anyone. What has changed? The south is still rich and the north is still poor. The north is still nasty and the south is still nice. Everybody still wishes the regime in the north will collapse but nobody's willing to start a war to make it happen. When the winter comes the north will try to bargain off part of the nuclear program for food and fuel. They may or may not get it. The Chinese will continue to give the north just enough aid to keep them existing and useful but not enough to let them be really viable.

    I don't see it changing until the regime in the north falls from the inside, which could take a while.
    Indeed. The weaker North does play his games of aggression thinking and hoping that he can rely on the understandable unwillingness of the stronger South to go to war.

    Over the last thirty years the power disadvantages of the North have only grown, possibly with one exception, nuclear power. Their desperate attempts to get functional nuclear missiles shows just how weak they are in pretty much all the other areas.

  14. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    This problem existed long before the North Koreans got nukes. It's been going on for decades.
    Only that the stakes are now higher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    Indeed. The weaker North does play his games of aggression thinking and hoping that he can rely on the understandable unwillingness of the stronger South to go to war.

    Over the last thirty years the power disadvantages of the North have only grown, possibly with one exception, nuclear power. Their desperate attempts to get functional nuclear missiles shows just how weak they are in pretty much all the other areas.
    The North has less to lose. The South has everything to lose. The US stands to lose thousands of troops and no matter what China won't allow the US to use nukes.

    This is probably another cry for attention from the Hermit Kingdom.

  16. #236
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question Not that I'm disagreeing but

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    The North has less to lose. The South has everything to lose.

    lets just say they (NK) started it and it gets finished the Chinese would do exactly , ?what?


    Especially considering as you so notably pointed out-

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    The US stands to lose thousands of troops
    as to
    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This is probably another cry for attention from the Hermit Kingdom
    Although its not new does it necessarily change the underlying approaches necessary to deal with it?

    These are honest questions, just trying to understand your overarching, things suck so just accept it premise
    (or am I misrepresenting your position?)
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  17. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    lets just say they (NK) started it and it gets finished the Chinese would do exactly , ?what?


    Especially considering as you so notably pointed out-



    as to


    Although its not new does it necessarily change the underlying approaches necessary to deal with it?

    These are honest questions, just trying to understand your overarching, things suck so just accept it premise
    (or am I misrepresenting your position?)
    I'm sure the Chinese have given NK clear parameters within to work when it comes to such "incidents".

    Suddenly this incident (with a handful of dead) becomes the biggest incident since the ceasefire. So what was the sinking of a naval ship with all hands?

    So where is the red line? Is there a red line? Or is it a matter of (as I suspect) that whenever an incident happens the call will be for "restraint" and not to do anything that could lead to an escalation.

    This situation is only manageable if the US/SK do nothing.

  18. #238
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question Well then perhaps the question

    is not so much about red lines and escalation so much as about retribution or lack there of.

    Have any ideas on exactly where the Chinese whom you give such great importance in the what if's see the "too far" bar in relation to their reckless child to the souths hissy fits?

    Seems like important information when determining how best to avoid "accidental" escalations which seems like everyone agrees wouldn't be good for all involved.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

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  19. #239
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Suddenly this incident (with a handful of dead) becomes the biggest incident since the ceasefire. So what was the sinking of a naval ship with all hands?
    Not even. Several have been far more significant. This one gets extra traction because a lot of people have digital cameras or phone that will do video today and the news media is on 24/7 and hungry for any 'bad' news' and goes looking for said pics and videos. We just communicate better (well, with more facility... )and more rapidly than we used to.

    The Tunnels of the 80s were far more significant, the Song-O sub in 1986 was far more significant, the Axe murder in 1976 was more significant. Here's a partlal list of the larger incidents [(LINK) all of which exceeded this one in scope (thus far). Can't believe The Scotsman neglected the tunnels. You are of course correct that the sinking of the Cheonan last May was a greater provocation -- and thus more important...

    There were others that occurred in the 50s and earlier in the 60s. Here's the Wiki with an even longer less including lesser incidents (LINK). This is just business as usual over the last 56 years

    This one is most likely all about nothing more than Kim Jong Un nominally giving the order to establish his credibility as the Supreme Leader designee.

  20. #240
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    Default Bigger incidents, but

    Ken,

    I agree with you, especially since the facts support your argument. There have been many larger incidents over the years to include political assassination attempts, major north Korean SOF infiltrations resulting in more casualties, and state sponsored terrorism by nK, but this was a direct attack on civilians (different) in a democratic ROK (hasn't always been the case), where the government's legitimacy can now be called into play. It is also part III of a "recent" series of events starting with the sinking of the ROK Naval vessel, then the unveiling of their "new" nuclear facility, and now a very overt attack (no denying it like they denied sinking the ship). In the end this may simply pass over, or this could be indictative of significant problems related to the transition of power in the North. We're in a situation where it will be easy for any one side to miscalculate and escalate this into something no one really wants. Every actor thinks he rational, but not all of them are. We're dealing with a nation of wackos to the north who may very well push the ROK to react, and then be forced to react themselves in order to remain their legitimacy. Interesting and dangerous times. I hope next year this is just another minor event in the history of North South relations, but for one I'm going to wait until next year to exhale on this one.

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