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. #101
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    Change is driven economically, not in a raw military or dictatorial sense.
    This is true... the problem is that North Korea's government is terrified of change and will do anything in its power to prevent change. I have no problem with offering to fund free zones, but the probability of any such offer being accepted under the current regime is close to nil. The inner circle would see it as the thin end of a wedge designed to ultimately force them out of power, and respond accordingly.

  2. #102
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orange dave View Post
    That's why we need to be thinking in terms of 'dual use.' Policies that would be good in their own right, but could also shape things in this part of the world to our benefit. This, incidentally, would take care of the unilateral part, as we can advertise the first use to our allies.
    I don't think advertising policies to our allies is going to accomplish much. They don't listen to the advertising, they observe the policies and reach their own conclusions. Policies that are "good in their own right" will be those aimed at promoting interests that we have in common with both regional allies and regional rivals. Fortunately, where North Korea is concerned there is a considerable overlap between US interests and those of the immediate region.

    Quote Originally Posted by orange dave View Post
    Are you (or the 6 parties) really going to be willing or able to stop anyone from donating food? NGO's? Anyone else who wants to cultivate their 'good guy, anti-American' image?
    Not many parties have shown much interest, and an NGO couldn't accomplish much more than a token gesture. The key leverage point is likely to be fuel, which is not likely to be provided in sufficient quantity by a "spoiler" power.

    Quote Originally Posted by orange dave View Post
    The first step for North Korea, therefore, would be to fix these agricultural problems. I don't know too much about their source, but letting in foreign experts to survey the problem, and heeding their recommendations - however politically incorrect - may be a good start. These advisors could also confirm that any aid we decide to give them actually makes it to the proper places. NK can't be expected to produce goods for foreign trade when their traditional systems of domestic production are dysfunctional.
    Their primary agricultural problem is very similar to that of the south: not much arable land and a short growing season. The south of course compensates with an industrial economy that is profitable enough to let them buy food from abroad.

    Certainly advisers could be offered, and they could probably offer some good ideas... but again, what makes you think, given the attitude of the current regime, that the offer would be accepted?


    Quote Originally Posted by orange dave View Post
    But that's what the N Koreans can do, and what they will decide on their own time. The bigger question is what we can do, now.
    The answer is not much beyond what we are already doing. It's not a question with any easy answers.

  3. #103
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    The answer is not much beyond what we are already doing. It's not a question with any easy answers.
    I have decied now as age 70 approaches in a few weeks that almost anything is possible if we work at it hard enough, long enough. History and world events were unimaginable which have come to be, both negative but more importantly positively in my lifetime.

    Hydroponics for farming in N. Korea could help make up for the lack of land there, there is plenty of plain old water last time I looked.

    Being a simplistic person myself, the old "beans and bullets" economics courses many of us studied in undergraduate college still is the order of the day for most every nation on the face of our tired globe...which of course includes North Korea.

    Aside, if backward Libya can move as it has away from nukes and terrorism into the mainstream of the world's free enterprise system, then this is proof broadly speaking that "anything" is possible.

    It will take a pragmatic mix of all points of view from all the free world's nation's political parties and leadership, but something better sooner vs. later for North Korea can be done.

    NOTE: I have a "prejudice" to admit here for wanting to see a better way for both Koreas. My late older brother was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War during the early 1950s. A Second Cousin, a West Pointer who chose the Air Force to become a pilot when we had no Air Force Academy, was shot down and killed by a Russian pilot flying a N. Korean MIG in 1950 over North Korea. My late first cousin was wounded as an Army Company Commander in North Korea in the Korean War.

    We can put no more restrains on N. Korea than we have been able to do on Mainland China...and remember that Mainland China is "the bank" for US foreign debt today, no small matter. There is no more room for "if we control this, then we can safely agree to do that" thinking, in my humble view, using the China model.

    Of course N. Korea will never be a China, but given a strong wind at their backs, N. Korea could be someday at least an economic model or "cousin" of S. Korea.

  4. #104
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    George,

    I completely agree that North Korea could and should adopt the course you outline, or something like it. Whether or not they will is another question altogether. Certainly I don't think it likely that the US or any other outside influence can persuade or compel them to change their economic policy.

    It is slightly deceptive, I think, to view North Korea as a communist state. To me it looks more like a dynastic absolute monarchy in the old l'etat, c'est moi mold, dressed up in a thin veneer of communist ideology. I do believe there will come a breaking point, most likely triggered by internal events. This could happen in a number of ways: a dynastic successor could be more open to reform, or could be overturned by other internal parties (most likely the military), or the current leader could be incapacitated or overthrown. I don't know nearly enough about the internal politics to say which of these is most likely. In the meantime, I don't see what we can do but deter, contain, manage, and wait for an opening.

    I suspect that when an opening comes it would be most effectively exploited by action from the South or from China: there's just too much historical baggage for the US or Japan to play a leading role.

  5. #105
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default N. Korea can be led by consortium free enterprise offers

    Your summery overview thoughts and observations are of course darn good.

    I worked the "Korea Scenario" as a chief of J4 computerized wargamming (as a reservist doing only IDTs and ADTs, some TDYs) for first old US Readiness Command, which morphed into US Special Operations Command. We used Star Wars funding as there was so much of it out there at that time with few knowing how to use it all!!!Thus, I have some 1980s into the 1990s focused Korean "awareness."

    My take is that China is the key, always has been, as it was China which drove the Korean War, my view, as much as Russia. *Russia and China competed heavily to be "the one" to guide/control old N. Korea...today a modernizing China is the item, my view at least.

    WHERE I DISAGREE is that I think China can or could form a consortium with the same folks involved in the "talks" with N. Korea, and that group can be added to by any all nations who want to in effect "invest" in to be developed or to expand on and improve existing N. Korean industries...TV sets comes to mind.

    I am a stubborn Irishman and am convinced that no matter who is in charge that the chance to have a more diversified manufacturing economy, with help to train up workers to do technology related production, and compounded by helping them with on the ground and hydrophonic agriculture is something that "has" to appeal to N. Korean from the top down as well as from the bottom up.

    Attention creates "fondness" a lot more than just waitng to see what comes next. Business is still the best and most creative vehicle to find a better way for them and us all, my stubborn free enterprise system view.

    GREED has damn near wrecked the entire free world with crooked securitized mortgage derivatives and this sort of b.s. has to really be stopped...as the same crooks under new "banners" are already trying to jump start such cheap criminal rip offs again as fast as they can.

    This remark comes from me with over 14 current, consecutive years as a real estate broker, one who never did a dirty deal, but who certainly "felt", which was proved by our damned near total banking/financial sector collapse, we just couldn't be doing so well as the phoney, trumped up securitized mortgage paperwork told us we were doing. Wordy, I admit!
    Last edited by George L. Singleton; 08-16-2009 at 02:28 AM.

  6. #106
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    WHERE I DISAGREE is that I think China can or could form a consortium with the same folks involved in the "talks" with N. Korea, and that group can be added to by any all nations who want to in effect "invest" in to be developed or to expand on and improve existing N. Korean industries...TV sets comes to mind.

    I am a stubborn Irishman and am convinced that no matter who is in charge that the chance to have a more diversified manufacturing economy, with help to train up workers to do technology related production, and compounded by helping them with on the ground and hydrophonic agriculture is something that "has" to appeal to N. Korean from the top down as well as from the bottom up.

    Attention creates "fondness" a lot more than just waitng to see what comes next. Business is still the best and most creative vehicle to find a better way for them and us all, my stubborn free enterprise system view.
    I agree that business is the ideal vehicle and China the most practical conduit.

    I also agree that there has to be some inherent appeal to the idea of a more functional economy, both industrial and agricultural. So far, though, this appeal has been canceled out by an obsession with self-reliance and an hyper-exaggerated fear of external influence. Up to now the fear seems stronger than the desire.

    There might be some advantage to be gained in making initiatives in this direction, even knowing that they would be rejected: there is at least a chance that at some level somebody might begin to ask (very privately) why such advantageous moves are so frightening. Even if that starts at a fairly junior level, this has to be seen as a long term initiative, and junior will someday be senior. The mid-level military and government bureaucracy has to be aware of the success that South Korea and China have achieved without compromising their independence. Thought control cannot be total, and the older generation will die off.

    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    GREED has damn near wrecked the entire free world with crooked securitized mortgage derivatives and this sort of b.s. has to really be stopped...as the same crooks under new "banners" are already trying to jump start such cheap criminal rip offs again as fast as they can.

    This remark comes from me with over 14 current, consecutive years as a real estate broker, one who never did a dirty deal, but who certainly "felt", which was proved by our damned near total banking/financial sector collapse, we just couldn't be doing so well as the phoney, trumped up securitized mortgage paperwork told us we were doing. Wordy, I admit!
    Having spent some years in the financial writing and editing world, I've a thought or two myself on the evolution of the risk-intensive mentality and the various consequences thereof. I wouldn't by any means exonerate the financial speculators, but I think far too little attention is paid to the role that bad government policies piled on top of other bad government policies had in creating an incentive structure that actively promoted excessive risk. Blaming the traders exclusively for what happened is in my view a lot like leaving a few kilos of ground sirloin in your dog kennel and then spanking the bad doggies for eating it...

    But this was about North Korea, and I digress (not for the first time).

  7. #107
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    This Chinese model is undoubtedly a viable way for NK to get out of their current mess. I would just caution though that just because China is right next door, and has some cultural heritage in common with them (which both countries' Communists of course reject) not to assume that this is the most obvious thing for them. When I was in North Korea, my guides couldn't care less that the Olympics were going on only several hundred miles away - they didn't find any ideological validation from that, the way China did so enthusiastically.

    Another model for resisting a more powerful foe, which I think the North Koreans will see as equally valid, would be the Islamist one. Create roadblocks for everyone, and let yourself be guided by a moderately coherent set of demands which will never come to pass. Though Islam isn't universalist like Soviet Communism, Chinese Communism isn't either, so the two are on equal ground on this point.

    Korean culture seems to take very well to religion, compared to other East Asian cultures - at least South Korean culture is that way, and I would assume there's something universally Korean about that. I've been reading recently about how prone North Koreans are, on a personal level, to infighting over nothing. (This is the sort of basic intelligence which is crucial to understanding a country, and Western culture in general tends to focus too much on the government, without understanding its total role in society.) Perhaps the North Korean authorities might see fit to address this problem, linking it to official corruption, under the guise of political reform. This could be through some sort of Confucian revival. Political Islam shows them how they can do this without taking the edge off of their anti-Americanism. So while they might appear to lose their Communist ideology, the only change in their foreign policy might be some degree of economic power to use behind their threats. China recently has been thinking about returning to its Confucian roots (for instance, Confucius institutes overseas) so this may turn into fad. This wouldn't necessarily put the US in any better of a position.

    I think it therefore is important not to appear to be giving too much attention to problems in the Middle East, in order to make that model of politics look less viable - these things are all connected as parts of the same system. From this perspective, it's not so important that there be a peace settlement, just that the US not have its hands on whatever happens. I suspect that giving the various ME actors more ownership over the peace process will actually be beneficial in the long run. More practically, the anti-American and anti-Israeli sectors of political Islam aren't necessarily one and the same, and I think it is possible to talk about splitting the two. This is what I mean by a dual-use policy: it's not duplicity, just putting a higher priority on something that should have been done anyway.
    The Sage King does not take pleasure in using the army. He mobilizes it to execute the violently perverse and punish the rebellious. Using righteousness to execute unrighteous is like releasing the pent-up river to douse a torch, or pushing a person teetering at the edge of a cliff. Success if inevitable. War is not a good thing: it damages many things, and it is something Heaven cannot accommodate. It should only be a last resort, and only then will it accord with Heaven.

    -Huang Shi Gong

  8. #108
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Hyuandi reopens plant talk in/with N. Korea

    Has anyone noticed in today's world news that South Korea's Hyuandai has reopened talks for plant/production inside N. Korea?

    I was formerly unaware that Hyuandai already had a foothold inside N. Korea.

    Interesting!

  9. #109
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    The Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group, 20 May 10: Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS "Cheonan"
    ......Based on all such relevant facts and classified analysis, we have reached the clear conclusion that ROKS "Cheonan" was sunk as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in North Korea. The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine. There is no other plausible explanation.

  10. #110
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asi...c/10160204.stm

    Only of interest and relevance if one wants to believe that Regular Warfare is a thing of the past.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Default 2005 war game still has relevance...

    ...The Atlantic (Online)conducted a war-game, Pentagon style, in 2005 investigating and testing various hypotheses over how to deal militarily (and diplomatically) with the DPRK;

    North Korea: The War Game

  12. #112
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    How might a shooting war start? Defense analysts and military sources in Seoul and Washington agree that an outright, all-out attack by either side is unlikely. Even a nuclear armed North, a Seoul-based defense analyst says, "would not risk an all-out war because it would be the end of the regime. Period, full stop." But there are ways in which smaller skirmishes could break out, and if they aren't contained, they could conceivably lead to disaster. Here are three that are uppermost in defense planners' minds:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2010052...08599199192800
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  13. #113
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Even a nuclear armed North, a Seoul-based defense analyst says, "would not risk an all-out war because it would be the end of the regime. Period, full stop."
    Someone can tell the future and see into the mind of of North Korean Leadership! Wow...
    Telling people what they want to hear is not useful in this case.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  14. #114
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    Default Veteran DPRK analyst/watcher Joseph Bermudez ...

    ...reveals shifts in the DPRK's intelligence activities and organisation in

    A New Emphasis on Operations Against South Korea

    and

    Jeffrey Lewis askes whether North Korea can actually build a H-Bomb

    These and more at the informative 38 North website

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asi...c/10160204.stm

    Only of interest and relevance if one wants to believe that Regular Warfare is a thing of the past.
    Maybe the North is crying out for a war so as to have something to blame/excuse their situation on. Want to go out in a blaze of glory rather than die of starvation? It time for Uncle Sam to do the right thing... where will the wind blow the fallout?

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asi...c/10160204.stm

    Only of interest and relevance if one wants to believe that Regular Warfare is a thing of the past.
    I welcome comment from someone who understands the (North) Korean mind/psyche. (Yes I say this is a novel concept for the like pf the Brit Foreign Office and the US State department.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Yes I say this is a novel concept for the like of the Brit Foreign Office and the US State department.
    Which means what, exactly?
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    It time for Uncle Sam to do the right thing... where will the wind blow the fallout?
    Sir, apart from the amazing flippant (bordering on offensive) tone of many of your posts I shall address myself to the above comment alone.

    Yes. Uncle Sam should indeed do the right thing......sign a peace treaty ending the state of war between the North and the South/US (UN). It takes two to tango.

    For a good summary of the issues up to 2004 see; U.S-North Korean Relations, Asian Perspectives, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2004
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 06-18-2010 at 02:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Which means what, exactly?
    I suggest for background you read this article 10 lessons on empire before moving on to the big one The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 and then for the gluttons for punishment this one Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power

    Certainly Brendon's book should be required reading for all British officers if only to balance the input indoctrination and propaganda over their lifetime.

    Surely it can be understood that the use of the "end justifies the means" can work both ways? One can't really be taken seriously when with a shocking record of skulduggery one cries fouls when the boot is on the other foot?

    There is no longer any guarantee that the Brit nation will blindly follow their government nor believe without question what it tells them... and not a moment too soon.

    The British people must live with the consequences of their voting in democratic elections but the permanent thread running through British foreign policy is an unelected clique of foreign office staff of very dubious ethical and moral character. Time for a clean out?
    Last edited by JMA; 06-18-2010 at 11:48 PM.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Surely it can be understood that the use of the "end justifies the means" can work both ways? One can't really be taken seriously when with a shocking record of skulduggery one cries fouls when the boot is on the other foot?
    I remain at a bit of a loss how any of this relates to understanding of the North Korean mind/psyche (the subject of your original post)...
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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