Category Archives: North Korea

Is a Second Korean War Possible?

“South Korea has developed into one of Asia’s most affluent countries since partition in 1948. The Communist North has slipped into totalitarianism and poverty.”

– “South Korea country profile: Overview” (8 September 2015), BBC News, United Kingdom.

North Korea keeps testing more and more powerful missiles, and Kim Jong Un claims to be ready to annihilate America and its allies. Pyongyang seems more and more prepared to back those claims if need be. The Trump administration, like its three predecessors, rightly opposes a nuclear North Korea, the chance of a military confrontation or incident is growing.

Meanwhile, America’s strongest ally in the region– China has cut off almost all trade relations with its “client state” North Korea. This new development and stronger sanctions may impair the ability of leaders on both sides to manage the growing crisis of a possible war. Still, an actual war between an American-led coalition and North Korea seems far-fetched: The stakes are too high, and the disputes not severe enough, to prompt leaders of either country to start a conflict outright.

There are two main reasons for this. First, North Korea would never survive a nuclear exchange with the U.S. Second, the survival of his regime is the one thing Kim seems to care about the most.

North Korea seems to be following another more compelling model: Pakistan. As soon as Pakistan gained nuclear weapons in 1975, the world treated Pakistan with more respect.

North Korea has a long history of escalating and de-escalating tensions over the last 60 years. Pyongyang does this game of cat and mouse to broker deals of economic aid and concessions of U.N. sanctions.

This leaves the U.S. and its allies in a tricky position. Most diplomatic situations call for a carrot or stick approach. Unfortunately, with North Korea, neither the aid in the form of a carrot or stick in the form of sanctions has worked in the last decade.

Yet there is danger in complacency about the risk of war between the U.S. and North Korea, owing to the growing likelihood of crises along with advances in threats and rhetoric on both sides of the issue of a nuclear North Korea. These arguments can cause “crisis instability.”

With improved long-range missiles, North Korea can target and strike the United States. In a crisis, the inhibition and danger of war could give way to the impulse for Kim to gain advantage by striking first, even pre-emptively, before being taken down by the U.S. Thus, the real test is not whether barriers against a war with North Korea are strong enough in peacetime but whether those barriers will hold up in time of growing tension and crisis.

Of course, North Korean and American leaders could instantly intervene to stop a conflict before it got out of hand and went nuclear. But here, too, complacency would be a big mistake. Because both North Korea and the U.S. have increasingly potent but vulnerable strike forces. For North Korea, it would be the end of the Kim regime (more important to Kim than his citizens), and for the U.S., it would be the instant death of millions of innocent South Koreans well within strike range of North Korean missiles and artillery. Once war begins there is an motivation to “use ’em or lose ’em.” A war could escalate fast and become even harder to stop.

A recent study done by the RAND Corporation indicates that a significant fraction of U.S. forces involved in a war with North Korea, including aircraft carriers, would destroy North Korean military forces within hours of a spiraling armed conflict. The American response would be like the Iraq invasion of 2003 or the 100-hour war of Desert Storm, except now the weapons are better and American military leaders have extensive combat experience from a decade and a half of war. North Korea would be destroyed, but not without a significant loss of life– millions of innocent North and South Koreans.

How ready is the U.S. for a war with North Korea?

The military balance in the western Pacific favors the U.S., but this is shifting with a growing Chinese presence with its island building campaign in the South China Sea. But for now, the crisis with North Korea has the U.S. and China as allies.

The U.S. does have impressive military capabilities that are far greater than North Korea. North Korea only has to concentrate on missile development and trying to maintain its starving army. The U.S. faces other threats, such as China and Russia, a growing nuclear Iran (all quasi-allies of North Korea) and the ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

A War with North Korea Book Cover

Although North Korea’s military disadvantage is shrinking as its country starves, it would suffer immense harm– much more than the U.S.– in the event of a war. A Second Korean War could harm bilateral trade and damage the world economy. Virtually all of South Korea’s, China’s and Japan’s trade is seaborne, would be disrupted by a U.S.- North Korea war in the Pacific.

The U.S. gross domestic product could fall by 4 to 12 percent in the first year of a Second Korean War, the Pacific (South Korea, Japan, and China) could drop by 25 percent or more. Because Kim’s regime’s legitimacy depends on strong economic performance and a cult of personality, political unrest could follow hardship. Millions of North Korean refugees could flood South Korea (has a 200-mile border with North Korea), China (an 850-mile border with North Korea) and Russia (a 12-mile border with North Korea). This development would be the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

What should American policymakers do about this?

Simply letting North Korea gain control over the Sea of Japan with the threat of nuclear weapons is unacceptable because of the vital importance of those waters, some 25 percent of world seaborne trade passes through them in a month. Also, U.S. allies (mainly Japan and South Korea) and in the Pacific would lose confidence if the U.S. doesn’t stand up to a nuclear North Korea.

The U.S. cannot threaten its way out this crisis. An arms race in the western Pacific favors North Korea because of its ability to concentrate on using medium-range missiles to strike allies in the region, and its capabilities can target U.S. forces in the Sea of Japan and South Korea.

But there are steps the U.S. take to reduce the danger. The Pentagon could deploy less vulnerable forces, such as submarines and drone carriers. Of course, this will take years to transform U.S. forces in the western Pacific. The problem with North Korea is urgent and now.

Meanwhile, given how perilous a North Korea-U.S. crisis is, U.S. leaders should continue to engage with their North Korean counterparts in search of a way to satisfy the interests of both powers, and others, especially China. This agenda would be hard, take time and not necessarily succeed, given that North Korea is unwilling to give its nukes.

What must be done now is to ensure that Washington and Pyongyang have a direct and active channel between North Korean and American leaders to defuse a crisis before the logic of striking first kicks in and causes the unthinkable. This direct channel must remain open not only in a crisis but to prevent escalation if hostilities were to erupt.

What are the options?

Ever stronger sanctions. The downfall of the Kim regime or military confrontation risks enormous casualties. Doing nothing is dangerous especially considering Kim’s erratic behavior. Kim has executed top advisors including his own uncle. As long as Kim is in power, North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea faces its greatest crisis since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Kim Jong Un faces the defining choice of the future of his nation: compromise, collapse or possible nuclear war. One way or the other, his time is running out.

Lastly, American and allied leaders should insist that their military commanders have options to respond, if necessary, to early and escalating strikes in the event of a war with North Korea.

North Korea- No Good Options

As the situation with North Korea grows more urgent and intense, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29 that, in theory, could reach Washington D.C. or New York City. This rocket test is a significant milestone for a country that has pledged to annihilate America. There are no indications that Pyongyang is stopping anytime soon.

So what can the U.S. and its allies do?

There are really no good options on the table. Mostly you are choosing from bad to much worse. For over twenty years, the North Korean nuclear problem has bedeviled four U.S. Presidents from both parties.

Now with North Korea ratcheting up the pressure, Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to South Korea in April 2017 said, “the era of strategic patience is over.” There are three main options, but each has a severe downside.

  1. Military Attack on North Korea

The U.S. has used strategic bombing in the past like Kosovo and in Libya. The North Koreans are experts at hiding their artillery and missile launching stations.

An unprecedented, strong show of force in the Western Pacific will do two things:

  1. Putting more troops will continue to put Kim Jong Un on notice. Nothing says you are “committed” to peace like tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the region.
  2. More troops and a stronger military presence continues to put pressure on the Chinese diplomatically and economically to make sure the North Koreans know we are serious.

China continues to play both sides of the fence. They are an unreliable ally when it comes to North Korea.  This pressure would force the Chinese to take action with their “client state.” When it comes to war, the Chinese would not be unaffected with a second Korean War.  A significant American troop commitment in South Korea would make China reign in North Korea.

What about a cyber-threat from North Korea?

Cyber is now the fourth dimension of war after air, sea, and land. Cyber-threats give the North Koreans unlimited range. Using high speed and small signature means, that can cripple America. Imagine a cyber-attack that targets the vulnerable infrastructure of the United States like in the movie “Live Free or Die Hard.” A cyber military strike that takes down the entire U.S. computer and technological structure. This computer hack would disable the economy of the United States (and the world). The North Koreans could inflict casualties similar to a nuclear bomb.

Can we hack North Korea?

If the U.S. attacked North Korea with cyber-attacks, almost nothing would happen. If you look at a satellite image of North Korea and South Korea, there are some big differences. North Korea is almost entirely dark outside of Pyongyang, its capital. South Korea looks like Fifth Avenue on Christmas Eve. North Korea has very limited power structures. Outside of Pyongyang, there would be almost no threat. The ramifications would be small. The North Korea power grid is very limited. North Korean society doesn’t depend on a central infrastructure. North Korea is a very backward country. Most North Koreans don’t have running water or central heating in their homes or businesses. North Korea is mostly rural without power.

North Korea is a primitive, almost third-world country. Most of its technology dates from 20 years ago or later. Most of the weapons that the North Koreans are using don’t need computers or at least very advanced ones to fire their weapons. North Korea’s aircraft and missile guidance systems have the latest technology.

What about a pre-emptive air strike on North Korea?

Russia and China are quasi-allies of North Korea. The Chinese will hold back. The Russians won’t react as long as we don’t threaten them.

If we attack any North Korean targets, it will trigger a war with North Korea immediately attacking South Korea. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is within conventional artillery range of North Korean batteries are just over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Whatever action the U.S. decides to do it has to be done with a great deal of planning. This planning will minimize South Korean casualties.

There are always military options. In this scenario, there are no good options.  Any military action will get an immediate response from North Korea. This also includes limited air strikes on North Korean military facilities.

The North Koreans will answer our attack with a counterattack across the DMZ. The Korean War (officially we are in a “ceasefire’) will fire back up again. Either limited air strikes or an all-out war, the first thing the North Koreans will do is to attack south.

Strategic Map
  1. Economic Sanctions and Pressure

China is the ally with the most sway over North Korea. The majority of food and energy coming into North Korea comes from China. Beijing sees aggressive sanctions as a step towards the eventual collapse of North Korea.

China does want the government in Pyongyang to collapse because it would yield to a massive wave of refugees. Plus, if the two Koreas were reunified, China would end up with a major U.S. ally on its southern border.

Multilateral negotiations helped to curb North Korea obsession of nukes in the past. In 1994, North Korea signed the Agreement Framework that suspended North Korea’s nuclear program for almost a decade.

  1. Direct Diplomacy

Does diplomacy matter? Are Presidential trips, diplomatic visits, and international summit meetings nothing more than pomp and circumstance and feel good measures that signify nothing?

President Richard Nixon’s trip to mainland China, which began on February 21, 1972, tells us something different. This historic visit started the slow process of re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Communist China.

In a world where Americans get their iPods and iPads from China, and the Chinese government regularly buys U.S. Treasury notes, allowing Washington to run up a trillion-dollar deficit, a single presidential trip was called “a week to change the world.” That’s precisely what happened with President Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972.

History is usually the story of epic battles and courageous last stands against overwhelming odds, but diplomacy is just as crucial as sweeping battles. Diplomacy allows the U.S. to deal with diverse countries and complex cultures as in China, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran. Foreign and international relations during the Cold War kept the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. out of World War III.

Wars that are avoided, like in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and treaties that are signed by bitter enemies like the United States and North Vietnam ended the American involvement in Vietnam. New agreements that are forged in friendship with warring nations is the mandate of the United Nations.

What’s the Problem with North Korea?

Diplomacy only works if both sides are willing to have a conversation and an agenda. The North Koreans only want to have a conversation about the world, accepting their status as a nuclear power.

Kim at the control.
Credit: AP News

In 1972, President Richard Nixon made a dramatic step in normalizing relations with China. It was the first step in a slow process of re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Communist China in almost thirty years.  Over the next forty years, that relationship would ebb and flow, but the two countries would remain reluctant allies.

Trump’s trip to China in November 2017, was a brilliant move to drive a wedge between the world’s two last remaining communist powers. Closer diplomatic relations with China can be used as leverage by the U.S. in dealing with North Korea, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons.

Also, a massive U.S. military buildup in the region allows the United States to make use of the Chinese as a counterweight to North Korea. Despite claims of communist solidarity, China and North Korea are, at best, strongly distrustful allies.

President Trump plans is to use China to contain North Korea’s nuclear aggression. China desires another ally in the world with an increasingly tense relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. The U.S. welcomed the possibility of making North Korea more malleable to U.S. policy requests (such as North Korea signing a peace treaty to disarm its nuclear program in exchange for U.N. aid and food).

President Trump scheduled the travel to meet with the region’s leaders to reassure them and the world of the U.S. stance on a nuclear North Korea. The message of the trip was clear- Either they needed to do something to contain the threat of North Korea or the U.S. will.

What does North Korea want?

North Korea wants recognition of its status as a nuclear power. More than anything China, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. want Kim Jong Un to come to his senses.

Kim is obsessed with his regime’s survival. In 2003, Muammar Gaddafi disarmed Libya’s nuclear program. No doubt Kim watched the deposed leader of Libya be captured and killed eight years later. The lesson learned was give up your nukes, and you give up your power. North Korea sees disarmament as an “invasion tactic” of the west.

In the end, a deterrence and containment policy like we had with the Soviet Union during the Cold War maybe out our only option. The job of the international community is to break the logic of Kim and nudge Pyongyang towards rethinking its nuclear goals.

North Korea Building

The Case Against North Korea

“China is the one, the only one, that can control Kim Jong Un, this crazy, fat kid that’s running North Korea.”

– U.S. Senator John McCain

North Korea has fired 23 missiles in 16 tests since February, including its most advanced weapon so far- an intercontinental missile that is said to be capable of reaching the mainland of the U.S. The last test was done on Nov. 29.

This latest act of aggression by North Korea is the most powerful case to date that Kim Jong Un’s outlaw regime stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions. Kim has no intention of revealing or surrendering his nuclear capability. Kim’s threats against the United States and its allies with his weapons of mass destruction presents a very clear and present danger to America and its allies.

The crisis with the North Koreans goes back to the 1950s. North Korea has never acknowledged and doesn’t believe that the Korean War (1950-1953) has ended. Pyongyang views the United States and South Korea as active combatants in a continuing war, a war which North Korea continues to escalate tensions.

As American military forces in the region build, President Trump needs to let diplomacy work before a fateful showdown with a nuclear North Korea. But diplomacy only works when both parties can agree on an agenda. The U.S. wields great power, and its military might would crush North Korea in the span of a few days. North Korea would never survive a nuclear exchange with the U.S.– this is the worst possible outcome with millions of innocent North and South Koreans dead.

The most convincing evidence against Kim is his continue testing of missiles despite international pressure to stop him. This is the “smoking gun” of the intent of Pyongyang– to annihilate America.

North Korea has again been designated a state sponsor of terrorism because it sells rocket technology to enemies of the United States. Also, Pyongyang is suspected of assassinations on foreign soil, including Kim’s own half-brother in Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia in April, 2017.

Foreign ministers around the world are calling for the extending and strengthening restraint against North Korea. President Trump has kept faith with his commitment to work through the United Nations, and U.S. allies like Japan and China, to resolve the crisis. As tensions continue to build, he has taken every possible effort to let the U.N. Security Council take the lead in dealing with Pyongyang. North Korea still has a chance to change course.

North Korea is a seemingly impossible challenge for U.S. policymakers. Kim runs an outlaw regime that is dangerous and very petty. The heightened tensions seem like an almost unsolvable crisis.

The tragedy of Otto Warmbier, an American citizen who died on June 19, 2017, is just one example of how North Korea treats people it doesn’t like. The North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 is another.

North Korea is a dangerous player. On March 26, 2010, the North Koreans sunk a South Korean ship, killing 46 South Korean sailors. Later that same year on November 23, North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island with artillery and killed almost a dozen innocent people. The biggest alarm for the administration’s case against North Korea is Kim’s defiance before the is his continuing testing of missiles to threaten America.

The following reasons are why North Korea is a serious threat to U.S.:

  1. North Korea does have the capability of a direct nuclear attack on the mainland United States.
  2. North Korea has provided direct weapons and technology to other nations (Syria and Iran) that wishes to harm Americans and U.S. national interests.
  3. North Korea has a record of supporting terrorist groups with “global reach.” North Korea, Iran, and Syria have all worked together on their nuclear capabilities. Iran and Syria train terrorist groups to kill Americans.
  4. North Korea has test-fired two dozen missiles over or at U.S. allies. North Korea represents a threat to U.S. and other U.S. allies in the region.

President Trump and his team have placed squarely before the Security Council the fateful questions of how it should respond. Kim Jong Un is a tyrant and liar who controls some very dangerous weapons. Kim has failed to cooperate with the U.N. in the past and has actively sought to thwart and deceive them.

In the past “strategic patience” was essentially doing nothing about a nuclear North Korea. Negotiations with North Korea simply does not work. For the past fifty years, we have given them fuel, food, and aid, and the Pyongyang usually promises to play nice at the last minute.

Almost immediately and routinely North Korea breaks their word. A U.N. Resolution passed against North Korea with fifteen to nothing. That voted included China and Russia, traditionally North Korea allies. Over the years as North Korea has acted out, no action was taken. The response of the West has always been a weak reaction that leads to negotiation.

America is very good at using military power to project its foreign policy goals. The problem with using military force is that you sometimes make mistakes and you create enemies, and you get bogged into another quagmire. The best example is the 2003 U.S.–led invasion of Iraq. We are still dealing with ISIS almost 15 years later.

The problem with North Korea is that there is no magic bullet. The best way to prevent a nuclear North Korea is to prevent Kim from turning his missile tests into an area of strength. That needs to be done on the diplomatic end. So, we need to keep doing that until all other options have been exhausted.

A War with North Korea Book Cover

Keeping strategic priorities focused on containing a North Korean nuclear threat first. Then, if necessary, you go after Kim Jung Un or his weapons of mass destruction capability. It’s high time that we force Kim Jung Un to comply with U.N. Security Council Resolutions. But, in doing that, as always, the use of force should be a last resort.

The Korean War- An Introduction

“In the simplest of terms, what we are doing in Korea is this: We are trying to prevent a third world war.”
– President Harry S. Truman, April 16, 1951

What was the Korean War?

The Korean War is often dismissed as America’s “Forgotten War.” Unlike World War II, it did not capture the nation’s attention. There were no dramatic events like the Pearl Harbor bombing to threaten the United States’ national security. The Korean conflict did not arouse the divisive controversy of the war in Vietnam.

In the 1950s, the American people were not inclined to demonstrate against the government. Instead, they mostly ignored the Korean War while it was being fought. The Korean War was not an insignificant conflict.

The brutality of the three-year world had long-lasting military and political ramifications. Unfortunately, the lessons of the Korean War seemed virtually ignored as the United States entered Vietnam a decade later.

For hundreds of years, Korea was dominated by China, its giant neighbor to the north. By the end of the 19th century, the Chinese empire had lost much of its military power. The jutting peninsula would then become the target of Russian expansion. By the turn of the 20th century, imperial Japan had reached across the Sea of Japan to gain control of Korea.

In August 1945, the United States dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The surrender of Japan to the U.S. and its allies seemed inevitable. Almost simultaneously the Soviet Union also declared war on Japan and sought to coordinate an invasion of the Korean Peninsula with American forces. The Soviets entered Korea from the north, and the U.S. invaded from the south.

With the Japanese subdued, it was agreed that Korea would be divided temporarily along the 38th parallel line for military and administrative purposes during the waning months of World War II. The United States occupied the south, the Soviet Union the north. Initially, both the Soviets and the Americans intended to leave Korea. Both sides presumed that elections would be held to establish a single, unifying government.

The Korean Peninsula

However, each side also wanted to leave behind a nation that was favorable to their beliefs and particular ideology. The Soviets sought a communist Korea, while the United States wished for a democratic Korea.

In the years following World War II, a brooding Cold War dilemma planted the seeds of a conflict yet to surface. Unable to resolve their differences, two rigidly distinct states emerged on the Korean Peninsula.

In the north, the Soviets aided Kim Il Sung, a product of the Soviet military machine, to become its leading political figure. In the south, an aging patriot named Syngman Rhee ascended to power.

Although the U.S. did not particularly like him, Rhee offered a strong anti-communist stance and was committed to maintaining civil order. Although the two political governments existed in Korea in 1947, they were still only provisional governments. This gave the Korean people hope for a negotiated unification. Unfortunately, the negotiations eventually reached an impasse.

The frustrated United States presented the problem before the United Nations. The U.S. asked that a general election be held to resolve the issue. At the time, the United Nations was only a five-year-old organization established in the waning days of World War II. The chief goal of the U.N. was to promote world peace.

The suspicious Soviet Union refused to allow the election to be held in North Korea. Meanwhile, South Korea’s elections legitimized Rhee’s government to the western world. In a separate election, North Korea declared Kim Il Sung the President of the new Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Soviet Union and other communist countries recognized this election and the creation of North Korea as a country. The separate election of 1948 only served to set the stage for an almost certain civil war.

By 1950, both North and South Korea sensed the inevitable. Not only were their armies preparing for war, but both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il Sung declared on several occasions that military force would be necessary to unify Korea.

In the United States, the drama began to unfurl on June 24, 1950.  The American Secretary of State Dean Acheson telephoned President Harry S. Truman. Truman was visiting his home in Independence, Missouri. Acheson said, “Mr. President, I have very serious news. The North Koreans have invaded South Korea.”

New North Korean Missile Capability

Well, Rocket Man Kim is at it again. After a two-month-long hiatus, North Korea tested another missile on Wednesday. This new long-range missile North Korea boasted could hit “the whole mainland of the U.S.” We know that North Korea has made substantial progress in its nuclear program, but the rogue regime is known for exaggeration.

What do we know? What should we believe?

Can a North Korean missile hit the U.S. East Coast?

At this point, probably. North Korea’s missile test on Wednesday shows that North Korea has made considerable strides in extending the range of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. Now it looks North Korea may be able to reach targets on the East Coast of the U.S.A. easily.

Based on the test missile’s trajectory and time of flight, experts say that Wednesday’s launch could travel 8,100 miles. That is a significant development because Washington and New York City are 6,800 miles from Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.

During past tests, North Korean missiles have gone high into the atmosphere. This measures the possible range of a rocket into space. Up to this point, all the test missiles have landed harmlessly in the sea. The North Koreans have avoided hitting any real targets thousands of miles away.

Wednesday’s test reached an altitude of 2,800 miles and covered a distance of about 600 miles, the highest yet. North Korea can now fire a missile on a flatter and lower trajectory around the earth’s surface and reach a much further target during a missile attack. The test on Wednesday has convinced scientists that North Korean missiles are now within range of Washington D.C.

Can North Korea place a nuclear warhead on their long-range missiles?

Best news yet is the obstacle of re-entry for their missiles. A nuclear warhead has to withstand heat, intense pressure, and vibrations as the “re-entry” vehicle coming back through the earth’s atmosphere. Most experts believe, right now,  that North Korea does not have this capability. So far, North Korean missile tests have failed at this. A North Korean nuclear payload probably could not withstand the rigors of a long flight to the United States.

Can the U.S. defend against a North Korean missile attack?

America can defend itself against a single North Korean missile attack launched at mainland U.S.A. The challenge would be trying to defend against multiple missiles at the same time.

Right now, the U.S. military has 36 ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska to defend the U.S. mainland. The Pentagon has plans to add eight more interceptors. The interceptors have proven very effective in tests. Added to this impressive defense grid, the U.S. has missile defense systems in Asia. This defense grid has ship-based radar, interceptors, and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems. This defense system is deployed in South Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam. After Wednesday’s test, the Pentagon is looking for new ways to beef up its missile defense.

Kim at the control.
Credit: AP News

Will Kim Jong Un abandon his nuclear program?

Experts are wary. The North Korean dictator believes that he needs a nuclear-strike capability to be taken seriously. He states having nukes deters any U.S. efforts to topple his regime. In short, nukes keep him power and keeps the U.S. in check.

The North Koreans believe that they stand alone in the world. After the fall of Communism and the collapse of its main support the U.S.S.R. in 1991, North Korea has struggled as a nation. Despite the fact millions of North Korean citizens have died as a result of starvation and widespread famine, Kim and his father have squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on getting nukes.

A North Korean nuclear program is a point of great national pride to a brainwashed almost third-world nation. A nuclear-strike ability allows the tiny Hermit Kingdom to enter the exclusive club of a nuclear superpower. South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the U.S. all treat North Korea with respect, fear and as an equal, all things Kim wants. Why would a man who lusts for power and legitimacy ever give that up?

Dom’s New Book- “A War With North Korea”

Here is the introduction of my new book. The book is free to Amazon Prime members. Please tell me what you think.

Introduction to “A War With North Korea”

If the U.S. goes to war with North Korea, there are many questions that the American people have. What follows is a potential unfolding of events, a few scenarios out of many. I did my best to paint a picture of the current tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. I hope there never is a war with North Korea. It would be a great pity.

An all-out hot war on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic. Conservative estimates of casualties of past conflicts have guessed that millions of people, mostly North and South Korean civilians, would die in such a costly war.

War may be the only thing that will force North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to understand clearly that his pursuit of nuclear missiles is useless. This awful fact is something Kim and his military leaders refuse to comprehend. Unfortunately, war and the end of Kim’s regime may be the only option left. Nothing else has seemed to work since 1994 when North Korea started its nuclear program.

President Trump’s decision to go to war with North Korea may be the least awful of all the options available to him a Commander-in-Chief.  Hopefully, in retrospect, twenty plus years later, far removed from the pressures President Trump faces today in December 2017, his critics will see he had few other options that would be better and less costly in casualties than a war with North Korea.

The judgment is clear and decided. A nuclear North Korea cannot happen and cannot exist. A short and decisive war with North Korea will stop the threat of a North Korean invasion into South Korea, and will potentially save countless of lives, both American and North Korean. Finally, an American President will end a nuclear North Korea’s brutalization and blackmail of the people of Asia. Going to war may be the right and only decision. This short e-book attempts to answer all the questions that may arise out that decision.

A War with North Korea Book Cover

Finally, this e-book is not to be taken as an official war manual. It was written to inform and engage. The information should be treated that way. This book is intended for information purposes only.

God bless America and God bless the brave people of South Korea.

Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077T2FTTX/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1511950562&sr=1-6&keywords=War+with+north+korea

 

Why did President Trump visit Asia?

In an amazing turn of events, President Donald Trump took a dramatic first step toward trying to contain the threat of North Korea by traveling to Asia for 12 days for a series of talks. President Trump’s historic visit to Beijing and other countries in the region began the process of showing the world the seriousness of the situation between the United States and North Korea.

North Korea Building

The relationship with the North Korea and the United States is mired in frustration and confusion that goes back over 70 years.

What’s the history of North Korea and the U.S.?

In 1945, the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula ended. Soviet troops occupied the north, and U.S. troops the south. The country was divided at the 38th Parallel. In 1946, a Soviet-backed, Red Army-trained Kim Il Sung, leader of the Korean Worker’s Party, was inaugurated. In 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was proclaimed. Kim Il Sung was installed as leader of North Korea.

When South Korea declared its independence in 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War (1950-1953). The bloody war ended in a stalemate and cost over 33,650 American lives.

President George W. Bush made North Korea a charter member of his “Axis of Evil” in 2002 after the announcement by North Korea of its uranium program. Later in 2008, Pyongyang was taken off that list by the Bush administration to ease nuclear deal negotiations. Fifteen years later things haven’t gotten any better with a younger and more insane dictator at the helm.

President Trump surprised the American people by announcing a planned trip to Asia. His 12-day Asia tour had stops scheduled in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Over the years, China and the United States have been bitter enemies. The U.S. had never stopped formally recognizing the People’s Republic of China even after Mao Ze Dong’s successful communist takeover in 1949.

The Korean War was the first major conflict of the Cold War. The war pitted the communist North, supported by China and the Soviet Union, against South Korea. The South was supported by a U.S.-led- U.N. coalition. China lost an estimated 500,000 soldiers fighting after rushing to aid North Korea in 1950, during the war.

During the Vietnam War in the late-1960s and early 1970s, Chinese aid and military advisors supported North Vietnam in its war against the United States. The United States failed to save its ally, South Vietnam, from a communist takeover by North Vietnam in 1975.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon made a dramatic step in normalizing relations with China. It was the first step in a slow process of re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and communist China in almost thirty years.  Over the next forty years, that relationship would ebb and flow but the two countries would remain reluctant allies.

Trump’s trip to China, was a brilliant move to drive a wedge between the world’s two last remaining communist powers. Closer diplomatic relations with China can be used as leverage by the U.S. in dealing with North Korea, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons.

Also, a massive U.S. military buildup in the region allows the United States to make use of the Chinese as a counterweight to North Korea. Despite claims of communist solidarity, China and North Korea are, at best, strongly distrustful allies.

North Korea

President Trump’s plan was to use China to contain North Korea nuclear aggression. China desires another ally in the world with an increasingly tense relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. The U.S. welcomed the possibility of making North Korea more malleable to U.S. policy requests (such as North Korea signing a peace treaty to disarm its nuclear program in exchange for U.N. aid and food).

President Trump scheduled the travel to meet with the region’s leaders to reassure them and the world of the U.S. stance on a nuclear North Korea. The message of the trip was clear- Either they needed to do something to contain the threat of North Korea or the U.S. will.

How dangerous is North Korea, really?

Is North Korea Dangerous- or Desperate? Both. How Kim Jung Un has backed Western leaders into a corner.

Yesterday President Donald Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism because of the rogue regime’s repeated support of terror and continued nuclear threats. The three other nations on the list are Iran, Sudan, and Syria.

In the past, North Korea is a country that Americans love to hate, with good reason.

A United Nations Force led by the Americans fought a costly war on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea troops poured over across the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea.

North Korea

The Korean War (1950-1953) ended in a stalemate and cost over 33,650 American lives.

President George W. Bush made North Korea a charter member of his “Axis of Evil” in 2002. Later in 2008, Pyongyang was taken off that list by the George W. Bush administration to ease nuclear deal negotiations. Fifteen years later things haven’t gotten any better with a younger and more insane dictator at the helm.

North Korea is a secretive police state led by an “unreasonable” dictator. Now it’s believed to possess chemical and biological weapons, along with nuclear missiles capable of hitting America’s West Coast.

President Trump’s extravagant fears would appear to have some basis in fact.

The United States military is certainly acting as if North Korea were an imminent threat, a massive show of American firepower has three carriers in the waters around Korea. This impressive display of military might includes fighter jets, nuclear submarines, cruisers, and destroyers. There is a hint that a military strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities may be coming sooner rather later if Kim doesn’t stop with the nuclear threats.

The reality is that North Korea right now is more desperate than dangerous. Its economy is collapsing under the weight of brutal, but justified U.N. sanctions. Its principal ally, China, seems to be backing away from North Korea amid growing U.S. pressure.

What is the deal with North Korea?

North Korea is the worst and weirdest place on earth. North Korea is a place that is a constant source of frustration, fear, and amusement to the United States.

North Korea is a convoluted place. It makes you cringe in disgust, yell in frustration look at with bewilderment and laugh-out-loud with its singular vision as a Communist paradise. North Korea is a country that suffers from its own internal contradictions.

North Korea is anything but a utopia. It’s one of the cruelest, most controlled and isolated countries on earth. North Korea is ruled by a violent, repressive regime.

Its internal politics seem to be fractured. Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed by a highly toxic nerve agent in Malaysia in February 2017. Investigators suspect Kim killed his brother to remove him as a possible threat.

Kim Jong Un drawing

North Korea’s attempts to cause mayhem in the world- by test-firing long-range missiles into the Sea of Japan and threatening the West with nuclear annihilation.

Sandwiched between China, Japan and bordered by South Korea, North Korea lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. Ineptitude and failure have marked North Korea’s nuclear program. Some outside observers see the North Korean nuclear program as a pathetic cry for help for a nation on the brink of starvation with a nuclear threat as its own bargaining tool.

The American-led coalition is justifiably intimidated by North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities.

North Korea’s nuclear project has been severely compromised over the years by an ongoing, joint U.S. – U.N. blocking effort with sanctions banning imports of coal, minerals, and seafood.

The North Koreans have rebuffed President Trump’s effort to negotiate with the rogue regime. The failed negotiations served a larger purpose: it made it clear to the Europeans, Russians and most important to the Chinese that North Korean’s leadership was inflexible. This made Chinese and Russian cooperation on U.N. sanctions possible.

Now North Korea is nearly isolated. Pyongyang is extremely unpopular in the world, but its nuclear rhetoric has not ebbed. The martyrdom of the Hermit Kingdom is reinforced as it stands alone in the world.

There are signs that even North Korea’s long-time ally China is growing impatient with Kim.This is augmented by America’s heavy military presence in the region, as Kim continues to issue threats. Kim Jong Un has backed the West into a corner.

Kim’s only reasonable option is to negotiate with the West. But as his erratic behavior has shown, Kim Jong Un is not a reasonable man.

A year ago the UN Security Council passed sanctions that cut North Korea’s main export by 60 per cent.

Every day Monday through Saturday, more than 24 million people work to maintain the communist machine of North Korea. North Korea is a unique political experiment that has been running for almost 70 years. It’s all at the expense of an isolated and subjugated people. The North Koreans see themselves as being protected from the outside world by the Dear Leader.

Kim Jong Un’s exact age is a mystery even to North Koreans. Like his father and grandfather before him, the young general is head of state in a country at war with the outside world. The country is exhausted and decimated by four million deaths suffered from earthquakes, famine, and starvation in the 1980s and 1990s.

North Korea is obsessed with what happened to the Soviet Union in 1991. Pyongyang believes that if you compromise with the West, you collapse. Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather never compromised. From this example, Kim is unrelenting and unengageable.

In April 2017, President Trump started working with China to deter Pyongyang from developing more nuclear weapons. That same month the U.S. installed a missile defense in South Korea. The Chinese hate having the system’s capabilities in their backyard.

China is North Korea’s only significant trade partner. China has suspended its coal purchases from North Korea. China is reluctant to push too hard because it doesn’t want a collapse of the North Korea government. Meanwhile both South and North Korea have hundreds of thousands of troops on either side of the border.

President Trump’s visit to China last week was an attempt to thaw the chilly relations with North Korea. President’s Trump’s trip was a calculated move to drive a deep wedge between the world’s two remaining communist powers.

Closer diplomatic relations with China is significant leverage to deal with North Korea, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons. Despite claims of solidarity, North Korea, and China are, at best, strongly suspicious allies due to the aligning of China with the West.

President Trump plan is to use China to contain North Korea. Diplomatic overtures to the Chinese might make stubborn North Korea more malleable to U.S. policy requests. China might be able to pressure Pyongyang to sign a peace treaty and de-escalate their nuclear threat.

North Korea seems to be following another more compelling model: Pakistan. As soon as Pakistan gained nuclear weapons in 1975, the world treated Pakistan with more respect. North Korea is getting clobbered by sanctions. Its economy may collapse before any concessions can be reached.

North Korea has a long history of escalating and deescalating tensions over the last 60 years. Pyongyang does this game of cat and mouse to broker deals of economic and concessions of U.N. sanctions.

This leaves the U.S. and its allies in a tricky position. Most diplomatic situations call for a carrot or stick approach. Unfortunately, for NK, neither the aid in the form of a carrot or stick in the form of sanctions has worked in the last decade.

What are the options?

Ever stronger sanctions. The downfall of the Kim regime or military confrontation that risks enormous casualties. Doing nothing is dangerous especially considering Kim’s erratic behavior. Kim has executed top advisors including his own uncle. As long as Kim is in power, North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea faces its greatest crisis since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Kim Jong Un faces the defining choice of the future of his nation: compromise, collapse or possible nuclear war. One way or the other, his time is running out.