North Korea: A Solution

Posted by DrZarkov99 2 months, 2 weeks ago to Politics
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I would suggest a rational solution to the problem of North Korea is for the U.S. to suggest that we would be happy to see China depose Kim Jong Un and install a government more in line with China. That would eliminate the current problem and also give the Chinese a sense of security, controlling their border state. We could sweeten the pot by offering trade deals to the "new" North Korea that would help offset the Chinese occupation cost. The North Korean people would certainly be better off under a Chinese puppet state. What makes this possible is that North Korea's military forces are aimed almost entirely at the South, with only a border guard at the Chinese border to prevent the escape of its own citizens. The Chinese military should be able to sweep in and disable North Korea's nuclear facilities and missile launch systems before the North Koreans could react. Hopefully I'm not alone in thinking this way.


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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    This idea makes perfect sense to me, although my knowledge of the situation is superficial.
    Pros:
    - Anything's better than the North Korean current gov't.
    - Maybe freed from the harsh controls, in a few years North Koreans would feel more kinship with South Korea and demand their same level of freedoms.
    - It breaks the perceived benefit of having nuclear weapons that no one dare invade a nuclear-armed country.
    Cons:
    - Might China see it as a test run for Taiwan? They think they have a stronger case to invade Taiwan. OTOH, China' probably values stable foreign trade over Taiwan.
    - Might it be hard to plan the attack without North Korean leadership getting wind of it, through spies or someone in the Chinese gov't who thinks the plan is too risky or thinks the result would not be favorable to China?
    - Might expanding China's sphere of influence strengthen China's repressive gov't system?
    - If North Korea succeed in detonating even one low-yield nuclear weapon anywhere (South Korea, China, against invading Chinese troops in North Korea, it would break the 70 year taboo against nuclear weapons. OTOH, that might happen anyway and not at a time of China's, South Korea's, or US's choosing.

    So I think it make a lot of sense.
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    • Posted by gharkness 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      I don't think that the people of North Korea would object to this one bit. Oh, they would weep and wail and scream and cry in the street, to make sure that they are noticed as being on the "right side."

      But as soon as power changed hands, they'd be thrilled. More than thrilled. Just glad to have a chance at being alive.
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      • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Even the NK military might see a China invasion as welcome, and we might see large scale defections. The food situation in NK is dire, with even the military being told to steal food to be ready to fight (I'm not sure who has the food they're supposed to appropriate, though).
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      The Taiwan scenario, I think, is unlikely. Taiwan has invested quite a bit in the mother country, so destroying Taiwanese infrastructure would damage the Chinese economy. A Taiwan-China reconciliation may not be too far off, providing China is willing to loosen the human rights constraints that make Hong Kong an example of the downsides to being subject to China's rule.

      The U.S. would be compelled to react to a Taiwan invasion very negatively, mainly by trade sanctions on China. In past years we might have supported Taiwan militarily, but I believe that era has passed.

      You have a good point about keeping plans secret, which is probably why we haven't heard so much as a whisper of this strategy. Another complication is that Russia also has to be informed, since they too have a border with North Korea, and need to be prepared just in case a paranoid Kim Jong Un lashes out in all directions in response to a Chinese invasion.

      South Korea is probably the biggest worry for spies and leaks, since they are the primary target of North Korea's espionage establishment. They still have to be informed, but if the notice is kept to only the top leadership leaks may be successfully avoided.

      Good comments.
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      • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Maybe China gives up Taiwan, and we give up N Korea officially. Personally I dont know why we are even interested in N Korea. Its far away and kind of worthless in itself.
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        • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I think the example of a peacefully reunited Germany has some appeal that makes us want to see the same for Korea, but at this stage a more pacific, China-lite North Korea would be very acceptable to all concerned.
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Although China wants to control its neighbors, I think they are becoming embarrassed at fat boy's forays into nuclear territory and would love to end that. China has nuclear capabilities, but is quiet about it. Fat boy is looking too much for attention. China would love to take over Korea, but fat boy would NOT.
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  • Posted by wiggys 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    everything nk does with their weapons is for the sake of the middle east customers.
    attack the usa is not going to happen. china shutting them down is not going to happen.
    our government needs to have a problem to keep us citizens jacked up like they did for us after ww2 and the red menace. Russia as rand pointed out was and still is a paper tiger so is nk. so all we really have to be concerned with is when middle east looneys walk into us based shopping malls. then we will see how long if ever our government takes to do what has to be don to the middles east looneys.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    It seems to me that the Trump administration is trying to pursue this approach. The trick is to get China to do it for reasonable accommodations. There is a negotiation going on and power, territory, prestige and economic considerations are involved. China doesn't want a big mess in their backyard but if they can get more out of the deal they will accept reasonable risk.
    There are only three countries that matter in the world, China, Russia and the United States. All the rest are allied with one of these or struggling to be noticed. Behind the scenes the big three need to determine who goes with who and accept responsibility for maintain order in their area of responsibility. It needs to be understood that if they threaten each other it is just words to scare the bit players. War is just a habit left over from Kings distracting the peasants from realizing that they were not rulers but big leaches and unnecessary. It was easier to have our potential revolutionaries knock off our cousins problem children than to create other means to controlling them when the deals they made with the clerics weren't totally effective.
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      The problem would be to get fat boy to agree to this. It would mean the end of his power, and dictators dont seem to be happy with that idea.

      China could play hardball and withdraw its oil and support. The offer for China to control N Korea (which as I remember was what THEY wanted in the 50's and which was what started the Korean war) would appeal to China, but probably NOT to fat boy. Tough road.
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      • Posted by coaldigger 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        The Chinese would not be shy about throttling Fat Boy. The international community should sanction his path to join his brother.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I say that because the Chinese HAVENT throttled him in spite of his embarrassing the Chinese. They have said that they will not act against the US if N Korea attacks us first. If N Korea attacked S Korea, I think the Chinese would welcome that actually. As fat boy took over the wealth of S Korea, his power would grow and the power of the USA woudl diminish.
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          • Posted by coaldigger 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            The Chinese are bigger control freaks than even we are. They don't want him to be stronger but let Fat Boy annoy us so we will pay them to "off" him. Sooner or later they will do it anyway. The problem is that he could nuke someone first.
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            • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
              I dont think fat boy is stupid at all. He knows that if he nukes someone, that is the END of his regime and N Korea for the next 100 years while the radioactivity dies down. He is playing with us. Note that he DIDN"T send a missile over Guam. He knew that the accuracy isnt that good, and what would happen if it fell short and actually landed IN Guam by mistake. That would be taken as an act of war against the USA, and China already said they would stand idly by if the USA retaliated.
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              • Posted by coaldigger 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                NK is not self sustaining and will collapse on its own but like all tyrants he is betting it will not happen in his lifetime and is milking it as long as he can. Keeping his people ignorant and afraid of the evil USA is his gift to them for enduring starvation, disease and a worthless existence.
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                • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                  He is being supported by the same China that tried to take over all of korea n the 1950's. Fat boy is going a bit too far and is a bit too arrogant for the Chinese. That said, the Chinese like the idea of a buffer between them and pro western S Korea, and wont give that up. All we have to do is set up a mutually assured destruction scenario between japan, s korea, and n korea at this point, and stop feeding fat boy's ego by paying attention to him.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      You're right about the issue of area of influence/responsibility. The U.S. has had trouble accepting the concept, as we seem to have had a missionary drive to "free" the world and make every country completely independent. Often Soviet forays beyond their immediate neighbors were more in response to American actions than their own motivations.

      Russia has always been paranoid about having what it perceives as not entirely friendly neighbors. Given the country's history of hundreds of invaders over the centuries, this is understandable. Likewise, China lost its sense of comfort with the opium wars and destructive invasion by other nations. We need to be aware of these concerns, and be willing to constrain the itch to "make things right." Our lack of understanding of an obstinate Middle East culture is part of what's gotten us into the longest war in our history there.
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  • Posted by Casebier 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    All this assumes China doesn't like North Korea just like it is - a huge irritant and potential nuclear foe to the United States. I don't see China being terribly upset if North Korea nuked the US. What would be our response, that is if we could mount one? Nuke China? Don't think so. Nuke North Korea? Do we really have the stomach for killing off millions of North Koreans, most of whom have relatives in South Korea? Do we really think we could nuke North Korea without the fallout also killing thousands of South Koreans? The damage to the South would be far worse in a nuclear retaliation than it would be if we attacked North Korea with conventional weapons now before they figure how to put a fission warhead on an ICBM and detonate it high in the atmosphere between New York and Chicago, shutting down with an EMP the electrical grid on the eastern seaboard for weeks or months or maybe even years. You'd see people drinking water out of lakes and rivers and cannibalizing each other before they could get electricity restored. Millions would die of starvation, and if attacked in the middle of winter millions more would freeze to death. The solution is to do something now with or without China, most likely without. Or do as Trump has suggested, shut down trade with China until they come around. That could be done incrementally. All Trump has to do is announce a 5% import tariff on all China goods to start in 2 weeks, and tell them it's going up an additional 5% for each week that passes after that until they solve the problem. Remember, China is as, or more, dependent on us for their economy as we are of them. We can do without their products, especially in the short run. You lay off millions of Chinese and they have an explosive problem of their own and much worse than a few million North Koreans fleeing their country into China.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      The U.S. is the biggest market for Chinese goods. That alone is a reason why they wouldn't want to see the U.S. the target of a nuclear attack by North Korea. KJU is not a rational actor, so the option of allowing the little creep to acquire a robust arsenal of weapons he's eager to show off doesn't make much sense. Without the China solution, it will be inevitable that we will have to bite the bullet and go with a conventional attack on the NK military infrastructure.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    I have been thinking for a while now that it would be a good thing and might encourage China to take a more active role if a NK missile accidentally landed in China...then you'd see some action.

    I think your on the money here...pass it on to Tillerson.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    I applaud the inventive nature of this solution.

    Reasons it could work:
    1. China has been tethered to North Korea since the end of WW II and the Communist takeover. They were the backing of North Korea in the Korean War. Without their assistance in military hardware and ammunition, North Korea would never have attacked. They have continued to supply military assistance for 60+ years since, but that was under Kim Jong Un's grandfather and father, who were still tyrants but less spoiled. China is no doubt aware of Kim Jong Un's petulance and childishness as they have issued an incredibly rare rebuke to him. They may see this as a way to distance themselves from his reign.
    2. By intervening to rein in North Korea, China actually garners good will with other nations.

    Reasons it also may fail:
    1. North Korea is a useful lapdog. People are less apt to think China a danger with rabid North Korea shooting missiles into the sea of Japan, even though militarily, economically, and territorially China is by far the bigger threat.
    2. China actually gains from having someone to threaten the United States' superiority where they have some control but don't have to suffer much of the fallout if an actual war breaks out. The US controls the air and the sea, so the fighting would be restricted mainly to the Korean peninsula. Many critical parts to both North Korean and US weapons are manufactured in China - they can sell to both sides.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Only one disagreement with your list of cons: radioactive fallout from the Korean peninsula would be swept into Manchuria by winds from the Sea of Japan. The Chinese government is currently having to deal with angry citizens over the small amount of radioactive fallout from the recent carelessly conducted H-bomb test (apparently they didn't bury it deep enough). I doubt they would view a potential nuclear exchange on the Korean peninsula as nothing to sweat.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        You bring up an excellent point. I didn't think of nuclear assaults. I was thinking only conventional warfare. Nuclear most definitely alters the calculations.
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  • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Fat boy would never go for that. They would have to kill him. He is a dictator and wants HIS power over anything else, including the nutrition of his "people".

    If China withdrew its financial support from fat boy, his military would probably go after China or do something rash to the USA or South Korea.

    I have an alternative idea. Let fat boy have his nuclear weapons that both he and China seem to want. But we arm south Korea and Japan with nuclear weapons, in "mutually assured destruction" form. It worked with Russia and the US- neither pushed the button for fear the retaliation would be unthinkable.

    Then the USA stops whiining about N Korea having to give up its nuclear weapons (which its NEVER going to do). We issue one more statement and then pretty much ignore fat boy in the future. We tell him "If you rain nuclear weapons on the USA or one of our allies, we will obliterate your country and make it radioactive for the next 100 years and make sure that YOU are dead. So long as you dont fire at us, we wont fire at you and you can maintain your control over your people".

    And that would be the end of fat boy controlling the media and getting attention.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Theoretically a MAD doctrine should work regionally (seems to be working between India and Pakistan), but China is absolutely paranoid about the idea of a nuclear Japan. I'm not sure they wouldn't be ready to take drastic action if they thought Japan was going nuclear. South Korea is debating about asking the U.S. to return tactical nukes to their country, but that could trigger the little fat man to perform what he would consider a preemptive strike.

      All that being said, China needs to be made very aware that North Korea may be leaving South Korea and Japan with no other choice but to adopt nuclear weapons. Just maybe that will be the tipping point to make them shut the NK asylum down.

      It's becoming more apparent that China is not comfortable with conducting military action unless it has no other option. The recent potential conflict between India and China ended when it became apparent India was not going to be intimidated, and there was real danger of serious shooting. China decided it wasn't worth fighting over and backed down from building the offending mountain highway. China needs to realize that doing nothing about KJU may mean they will be drawn into an unwanted military conflict they want no part of.
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      • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        China isnt about to risk disturbing the trade with the USA, and therefore wouldnt be tempted to take rash action if we quietly nuclearized japan and south korea. After all, N Korea IS the creation of China in the first place, and they are responsible for the nuclear weapons in N Korea.. I agree that the MAD philosophy is the only real way to deal with nuclear weapons of such great destructive power.

        One thing we should NOT do is give fat boy any more attention than his fouth world country deserves.
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  • Posted by  $  fivedollargold 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Red China lacks coherent leadership. It consists of factions, the most important of which is the Red Army. They've been assisting the Norks with their nuclear ambitions. Premier Xi makes the pretense of discouraging Nork nukes, but he knows he would be imprisoned if he seriously interfered.
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  • Posted by walkabout97 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Great idea. We may need the proviso that if the Chinese do not decapitate the (so-called) government we will BUT we will not invade or "clean up the mess" we will leave that to China -- and make it clear that is our plan for the git-go.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    how to motivate china to do as you want????...announce the immediate embargo of anything made in china until china removes the regime in north korea....watch how quickly you get what you want...
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    This is what I think. Trump warned them , they will be annihilated if they attack us..SK or Japan,...period. Tell China that if we have to destroy NK after being attacked that the peninsula will be one nation. KOREA governed by the South Korean govt. China can rein him in if that result is unacceptable.
    Kim fat boy is a tumor of cancer , soon his host body (NK) Will die from his govt (cancer). Watch out for his connections with the Mid East types.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    It's an interesting idea seeing that China has a million man standing army, They could sweep in and sweep away Kimmie boy than seeing the US take military action against No. Korea. It would be most expedient for us to destroy the next missile launched with our anti-missile system. To bad the military doesn't have laser system to destroy the next missile launch. The laser beam itself is practically invisible, No. Korea and the China would assume the missile exploded by itself.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Actually, there is a laser system that demonstrated the ability to shoot down missiles in boost phase of flight. The AirBorne Laser (ABL), carried on a modified Boeing 747, has been mothballed. The problem with laser systems is line of sight. Any airborne or ship based laser weapon has to get very close to the flying missile while it's in boost, since the objective is for the propellants to explode. I think the NK military would quickly connect that big airplane flying just offshore with their missile going boom. A space based laser is another matter.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Honestly, I think this is terrible. I think ALL Overthrows are essentially terrible.
    Whenever I see something in the media that makes people think anything "Obvious", I start thinking it is a Psychological Operation.
    Remember WMDs? We gotta go get them?
    Remember we can fight them there or fight them here? More wars? things only get worse.

    And in the end, it always seems to benefit the Military Industrial Complex. Strange...

    Lets see how the NK "threat" is working:
    South Korea and Japan just made MAJOR Purchases of our military equipment to help defend themselves.

    cui bono? (Who Benefits) I guess someone got some HUGE orders...

    Even the Sequestration that hit the US Military. What's the answer? Buy more equipment? cui bono?

    Fear (Terrorism) and the Threat of war, are great motivators to get people to spend money, or suffer harshness they normally would never accept.

    Also, NK is a Chinese puppet already. they want to be able to sell their technology (like we do) all around the world and get paid. And they have REAL demonstrations of it working.
    China is probably selling more now as well...

    this feels staged in order to get public opinion moving. As most things do.
    they are a sovereign nation. They can develop whatever they want. Who are we to stop them?
    Just let them know: Welcome the Atomic Era. Please understand that ANY aggressive move will be treated as an all out Nuclear attack, and we will remove you from the face of the earth, using nukes.
    MAD workse
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      For MAD doctrine to work, it requires rational leadership of the competing countries. So far, KJU does not appear to be a rational actor, repeatedly embarrassing his prime benefactor, China. He's a conniving, calculating, ruthless tyrant, who may well think he can "punish" the U.S. or its allies without major consequences. The question will be whether or not we continue to live with that risk.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    South Korea will see it as an opportunity to make it a uniting of north and south. That might turn them toward having it happen under China's aegis. If the south wants it united under the USA's auspices, China definitely won't go for that, and back to the drawing board we go.
    Ah, politics! Don'tcha love it?
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Why help or endorse the expansion of a Commun-
    ist state? Probably we're better off if they quarrel
    with each other.
    I understand that the North Koreans are probab-
    ly worse off than the Chinese, but maybe if
    they get fed up enough, they will rebel.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      The North Korean people, particularly the ones you don't see outside of Pyongyang, are malnourished and under the heel of a brutal police state. Rebellion will be met with widespread slaughter, with no chance of overthrowing a tyrannical regime. China may be a Communist state, but the measure of capitalism they've allowed has resulted in a growing middle class. A takeover of North Korea by China will undoubtedly result in a better life for the North Korean people, and a better chance for eventual reunification of Korea.
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  • Posted by RJG 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    I might be a good bargaining threat. I worry about that NK bunch attacking SK out of spite if an attack came from China or anyone.
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  • Posted by marsh113 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    You are right. There's an elephant in the living room that no one is talking about; that is, the Chinese government reportedly has amassed 100,000 troops along their border with North Korea, ostensibly to interrupt the flow of refugees if and when North Korea collapses. Yeah, right. Meanwhile Kim Sung Un kills his brother, a citizen of China, who could have been his Chinese replacement.
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  • Posted by NealS 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    The North Korean people are not a factor in anything, they have absolutely no say. I also doubt that no more than the top 5 of Un's followers are even allowed to give him any advice, and none of them can ever question any of his decisions. At least in China today, the people have some freedoms including that most of them are free to leave, if they can afford it.

    Your idea should be forwarded to Trump, Congress, the Pentagon, and China. The only ones that might/would strongly object are Kim Jong Un and a few of his top people. The only danger might/would be if Un might/would go berserk and initiate a full blown attack on South Korea and launch everything else at his disposal wherever it goes. I think the man's completely suicidal to maintain his total power. He'd rather blow Korea completely off the face of the earth rather than give up his power. It's interesting how little we hear about the UN's position on anything except when Nikki Haley says something, maybe that's a good thing.
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  • Posted by chad 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Why should anyone 'sweeten the pot' to encourage behavior that benefits another? The offer implies that someone on the other end will not have free choice in deciding if they want to deal with the rogue state. Bribes usually cost the smallest individual (citizen taxpayer) and benefits those with enough political clout to benefit themselves at this expense. This also encourages another criminal state (China) to benefit from a supposedly free country (USA) and encourages the use of more bribes to keep them in line. This kind of procedure always supports bad behavior in hopes that it won't become worse behavior and hoping that someone who is insane will respond to begging, bribing to keep them subdued. Sometimes the only way to proceed is if one person does something really bad stop them by whatever means is required to stop them. North Korea is badgering the international community because when his daddy did it the Clintons rewarded him. Don't appease them or try to control them through another coward or bully.
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    • Posted by 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      I have a feeling we wouldn't have to offer anything, as South Korea would be eager to cement ties with a more pacific North Korea. They've already tried to help by establishing an industrial complex in the North to create jobs for their starving northern brethren. That was shut down by KJU, paranoid that it was a den of spies.
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      • Posted by Paguglielmo 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        South Korea is a rather rich country. The burden that the North Korean citizens requiring assistance etc would greatly affect their lives and livelihood. I do not think S Korea would want that via chaos. Maybe if slowly organized and assimilated but not mass migration. Most of N Korea is in the dark. Just to get the country up to 3rd world standards would be a long, hard and costly endeavor.
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        • Posted by 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          Agree. Just like the hard slog West Germany had to endure when assimilating East Germany. They spent several trillion dollars to bring them up to par, and there wasn't near the difference economically and culturally as that of the two Koreas.

          I do think that a new, China-imposed regime would help get the process of modernizing North Korea started. If nothing else, it could be a new source of low cost labor for Chinese firms. Rising labor cost in China threatens to undercut their ability to sell cheap products to the rest of the world, and NK could help fill the gap for a while. That would incentivize China to upgrade the NK power system, to support factories there.
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