I’m trying to make sense of the news coming from North Korea these past few days.  It’s all very confusing to me.

Among the things I wonder is why Kim Jong Un wants nuclear-armed ICBM’s in the first place.  The United States isn’t likely to attack North Korea with even a limited strike now for the same reason it never has before.  We don’t want to see a million-plus dead South Koreans and tens of thousands of US troops from conventional artillery and other arms launched from the north.

Maybe Kim thinks that the US will be unwilling to get involved if he decides to invade South Korea if we’re concerned about a nuclear attack.  Even then, it doesn’t make sense.  North Korea’s very possession of ICBM-capable nukes makes a first strike by the US fair game.  Even if he does manage to nuke, say, Los Angeles, it would be the end of North Korea as dozens of nuclear warheads would rain down all over his head.  He would lose everything.  What’s the point of nuclear war?

You might say, “Well, he’s just crazy.  Crazy people do crazy things.”  Is it really that simple?  I’m not so sure.

Meanwhile, Trump has sent a carrier strike force into the region to do I-don’t-know-what.  People might be inclined to think that it’s not a bluff after the Shayrat airbase and MOAB bombings.  They think that Trump really is ready to carry out at least a limited attack against Kim.  It has definitely worked on me, but I can’t speak for Kim, the Chinese, or the Russians.

I don’t understand what the point of moving these forces in and ramping up tensions is.  Let’s say Kim’s missile launch had not been a failure (whether US cyber forces caused it to fail is a whole other set of questions).  Was the plan to launch an airstrike against the launch facility or something else?

Again: If we do this, there will be a lot of dead South Koreans followed by a bloody and unpopular war that may end with significant loss of American life.  It’s hard for me to see what anybody gets from this.  Nobody would benefit from a war on the Korean Peninsula, the Koreans least of all.

It’s that Trump is clearly willing to use devastating military force, even when it doesn’t appear to be related to our vital strategic interests, that has me on edge.  I expect the North Koreans to do bizarre stunts.  They’ve been at it for seventy years.

Seeing this sort of the bluster from the White House, though, is a new experience for me and I don’t like being unable to even guess what’s next.

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Given that it was only one carried group., I wasn’t to worried. North Korea despite its backwardness has a massive arsenal desgined for defence. We would need a lot more in terms of carried air power and. Air force bombers to make a penetration raid on high value targets.

It’s certainly not as simple as “crazy people do crazy things”, but there’s some truth to that idea. North Korea is a paranoid, isolated dictatorship saturated in an pseudo-religious ideology in which the U.S. is the great satan. You know how paranoid, egotistical individuals think the world revolves around themselves? North Korea is the nation-state equivalent that views global events in a very self-centered way. Sorry Kim, not everything the U.S. does has to do with you. That said, arming itself with a credible nuclear deterrent is most definitely in its self-interest. U.S. military actions over the past couple decades… Read more »

Mini Me always throws temper tantrums whenever he feels ignored. Well, we’re not ignoring him now. NK is basically a giant cult compound.

CMNZ

This is the guy people voted for. It’s astounding that anyone is surprised or disappointed.

Judge dredd, pro se

So the only true silver lining about going to school that had a 70 percent South Korean student population during the bush years was a vicarious crash course on north korea’s ambitions. Many of the guys I attended school with were vets by conscription and very open about then Kim Jong il. In a nutshell, the perspective I was given on this is North Korea wants something and we’ve never really said no to them for their outbursts. Anytime the dictator needs food or money or whatever he tests missiles or raises the tension level with the south. We can’t… Read more »

Judge dredd, pro se

Seriously, no one should be surprised by this. I mentioned early and often that my reasoning for not voting for trump is I didn’t believe he’d have the ability to place the interest of the American public above his own personal interests. And he can’t.

His biggest motivator to date for any of his actions has either been his family or to affect how he is viewed in the press. It’s truly amateur hour.

mashav

My favorite part of this story is that we didn’t actually send the armada. We just said we did.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/18/524560773/that-armada-heading-to-north-korea-actually-it-sailed-south
I think this is a more embarrassing fail for us than the missile blowing up is for Kim. After all, the latter is kind of expected and can be blamed on ‘the cyber.’

Judge dredd, pro se

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-19/trump-mulls-military-options-for-north-korea-they-re-all-grim

Sorry guys, I guess my cadre of South Korean classmates were right. We should probably pay more attention to k-pop stars getting married like the South Korean press is doing because this goes nowhere but really bad.

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