Some undesirable end states for Korea

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Some undesirable end states for Korea

[cap­tion id=“attachment_106736” align=“aligncenter” width=“741”] Image from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/democracychronicles/15933907480[/caption]

I’m ecsta­tic to see that North Korea is not only talk­ing about denu­cleariza­tion, but is also will­ing to con­duct direct nego­ti­a­tions with the U.S. and end the Korean War. In the past, it seemed all we ever got from North Korea was more demands with lit­tle promise of any­thing in return. Sure, it could all be a ruse, but I’m guess­ing that there is at least a lit­tle bit of gen­uine desire for peace.

Most peo­ple in the U.S. are prob­a­bly think­ing of a peace treaty and even­tual reuni­fied Korea, with the accom­pa­ny­ing but­ter­flies and rain­bows. How­ever, there are two darker aspects we should prob­a­bly con­sider:

1. China invades North Korea.
One of the con­di­tions that North Korea stopped insist­ing on was the removal of all U.S. troops from the penin­sula. We have some­thing on the order of ~30,000 troops in the area, and when we’ve gone to reduce or oth­er­wise hand over mil­i­tary duties to South Korea, they have kindly asked for us to stay “just a lit­tle bit longer.” This obvi­ously makes it harder for North Korea to run a lim­ited war on the penin­sula, but it really makes it harder for China to dom­i­nate, and it pro­vides a con­ve­nient excuse to put troops right up near China’s bor­der, not to men­tion their mar­itime access to the Bohai Gulf.

But what if China sim­ply invaded North Korea and deposed Kim Jong Un? Think about it. China could run their own pup­pet gov­ern­ment and unite the penin­sula, and this would alle­vi­ate the need to keep troops there. If the U.S. refused, we’d look pretty dumb. Prob­a­bly the only thing pre­vent­ing China from doing this is the sheer vol­ume of human­i­tar­ian sup­port North Korea will need, how­ever, China may decide this is a small price to pay for it’s ever grow­ing economy.

2. Kim Jong Un demands safety for his fam­ily. All this talk about peace should beg the ques­tion: what to do with Kim Jong Un and his fam­ily when this is over? The man is a true crim­i­nal, hav­ing not only assas­si­nated his own peo­ple, but also defied the United Nations. His coun­try is starv­ing while he grows large. What is Kim Jong Un promises to leave, but demands pro­tec­tion for him and his fam­ily in Switzer­land? Would we tol­er­ate this? Would we be happy allow­ing a war crim­i­nal to even­tu­ally die peace­fully while we dis­cover the hor­rors hid­den inside North Korea?

We should be think­ing about these things now, because both will cloud the peace process.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency.

Did you donate to Da Tech Guy today? For the price of a small cof­fee, you can help keep media free!

Image from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/democracychronicles/15933907480

I’m ecstatic to see that North Korea is not only talking about denuclearization, but is also willing to conduct direct negotiations with the U.S. and end the Korean War. In the past, it seemed all we ever got from North Korea was more demands with little promise of anything in return. Sure, it could all be a ruse, but I’m guessing that there is at least a little bit of genuine desire for peace.

Most people in the U.S. are probably thinking of a peace treaty and eventual reunified Korea, with the accompanying butterflies and rainbows. However, there are two darker aspects we should probably consider:

1. China invades North Korea.
One of the conditions that North Korea stopped insisting on was the removal of all U.S. troops from the peninsula. We have something on the order of ~30,000 troops in the area, and when we’ve gone to reduce or otherwise hand over military duties to South Korea, they have kindly asked for us to stay “just a little bit longer.” This obviously makes it harder for North Korea to run a limited war on the peninsula, but it really makes it harder for China to dominate, and it provides a convenient excuse to put troops right up near China’s border, not to mention their maritime access to the Bohai Gulf.

But what if China simply invaded North Korea and deposed Kim Jong Un? Think about it. China could run their own puppet government and unite the peninsula, and this would alleviate the need to keep troops there. If the U.S. refused, we’d look pretty dumb. Probably the only thing preventing China from doing this is the sheer volume of humanitarian support North Korea will need, however, China may decide this is a small price to pay for it’s ever growing economy.

2. Kim Jong Un demands safety for his family. All this talk about peace should beg the question: what to do with Kim Jong Un and his family when this is over? The man is a true criminal, having not only assassinated his own people, but also defied the United Nations. His country is starving while he grows large. What is Kim Jong Un promises to leave, but demands protection for him and his family in Switzerland? Would we tolerate this? Would we be happy allowing a war criminal to eventually die peacefully while we discover the horrors hidden inside North Korea?

We should be thinking about these things now, because both will cloud the peace process.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Did you donate to Da Tech Guy today? For the price of a small coffee, you can help keep media free!