Afraid to Ask? Here’s a Recap of the North Korea Situation

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A Brief History of North Korea To Date

At the end of WWII, Korea was split in two. Talks of a reunion failed, an official Korean War broke out in the early 50s, and North and South Korea, now two different countries, are still technically at war. The country remains a one-party state to this day, run by a well-educated and unpredictable wildcard named Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Un is methodical, if intense, and should be taken seriously. He has had his own uncle murdered as a “traitor.”

How Are North Koreans Kept in the Dark by Their Leader?

The people of North Korea are innocent, poor, and hungry, and as a rule, not allowed to leave their country for a shot at a better life. Not that they know what lays beyond their own border: there is no independent media in North Korea, it’s all state run propaganda; North Korea even created its own internet, so its citizens can’t interact with the world outside its borders on the World Wide Web. Its citizens are taught to worship the Kim dynasty, and Kim is portrayed as the only thing keeping them safe from external aggression.

Why Is North Korea Testing Nuclear Weapons?

They are not a huge country, and Kim Yong Un wants to stay in power. Nothing compensates for a lack of size more than atomic bombs, and a country IS less likely to cross you if you threaten to nuke them. So Kim Yong Un feels substantial nuclear capabilities would make other countries respect them more. He’s not wrong. So, it’s really that simple. Kim Jong Un doesn’t want to make nuclear bombs so he can start killing people willy nilly. He wants to want to be able to threaten catastrophe, the way the US or Russia or China can, to stay in power and look bigger and badder. So he’s ignoring threats to back down in his testing.

Do They Actually Have Nukes Yet?

Well, yes, but they cannot deliver them, via missile, as far as The US. Not yet, we figure. So they are trying to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit into a missile capable of reaching any country in the world. As it stands, we believe they have missiles only capable of reaching South Korea and Japan. It’s assumed they’re 2-5 years from being able to reach North America. Hence the rush now to halt them before they get any further towards their goal.

They Have Been Conducting Nuclear Tests?  

Yes. Since 2006, actually. Despite the UN saying, Don’t and Stop! 

Is North Korea’s Army Substantial?

Yes, at more than a million troops, their standing army is one of the world’s largest. It has millions of more troops in reserve. At the China-North Korean border, China has a mere 200,000 troops. The threat of a horrible ground war is what has people worried here, as much as bombs.

What Does China Have to Do with It?

North Korea BORDERS with China. North Korea has China to the North, South Korea to the South, water on one side, and Japan (allies of the south) to its right. North Korea relies on China for a lot of trade (exporting coal, importing oil, etc), so Trump wanted China to put more pressure on North Korea with sanctions, which China already did with coal. But on China’s end, destabilizing North Korea in the wrong way (like doing so suddenly and violently) would wreak havoc at the border between North Korea and China. There’d be a serious refugee crisis. China doesn’t want to deal with massive swarms of refugees banging on its door. China also certainly wishes to avoid upsetting Kim Jong Un into starting a messy ground war with China too. There’d be a lot of civilian and military bloodshed.

What is the Immediate Fallout of Attacking North Korea?

The Pentagon itself acknowledges that North Korea could kill one million people in South Korea (in Seoul) in a matter of hours. Plus there’d be an ensuing bloodbath as North and South Korean troops fight a ground war at their border, and China and North Korea fight a ground war at their border. Not to mention the bombs and nukes that could hit elsewhere. And then there’s the millions of innocent North Koreans whose nutty leader is keeping all news from the outside world away from them, so these people would have no idea what’s going on. They’d be forced to flee the violent war, and rush into China, causing a huge refuge crisis China would rather avoid. Many civilians would die in agony, either from starving to death, or from exposure in a war torn area. Ultimately, The US would be responsible for the North Korean Refugee crisis, and the blood of war on its hands. When the rubble cleared, there’d be, in the least, a massive humanitarian crisis in East Asia, and a big hot contentious question of What Now For North Korea? after the fall of Kim Jong Un’s regime. (Remember: “taking out” other regimes The US didn’t like in the middle east has only led to chaos in those regions).

What Are Trump’s Options?

1.) Ignore China and launch a full on targeted attack to remove nuclear capabilities, and overthrow the Kim Jong UN regime, likely inciting the aforementioned war and humanitarian crisis.

2.) Blow the crap out of North Korea, and be responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians and the utter destruction of North Korea. That would not make The US look like violent enemies of humanity. You don’t bomb a classroom to teach its 1 bully a lesson.

3.) A coup or assassination of Kim Jong Un to remove him, as he’s the one driving the testing of nuclear arms. This could in theory minimize the ground war and humanitarian crisis, and then he could be replaced with a more reasonable leader. But that’s easier said than done. Plus, the North Korean elite tend to like the Kim Dynasty as it is. Plus its citizens are so in the dark, the takeover would be confusing.

4.) Continue to try for dialogue between the world and North Korea, while imposing further sanctions on North Korea to force them to the table to talk it out. It avoids war, but, hasn’t worked well. And ultimately, its citizens pay the price of sanctions, and they’re already starving. Hell, North Korea’s soldiers are reportedly starving.

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A Gawk off the Rock

A Gawk off the Rock is a semi-regular web series about things happening off the island, outside Canadian borders.

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