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Foreign Affairs

Korea's "All-Out War"

Following a 5-nation investigation concluding that North Korea sank a South Korean vessel, and in anticipation of S. Korea's likely plea for sanctions in the UN, North Korea has threatened to respond to any retaliation - even sanctions - with "all-out war."

Of course, the threat of violence is the only tool truly understood by communist dictators, who have for a century routinely employed fear, oppression and murder. But this threat is aimed not merely at the South, but the United States, who has thus far sided with S. Korea.

This scenario continues to escalate. 

As much as I fear a violent confrontation, I am more afraid that, should one occur, the U.S. and Western nations would fail to defend yet another democratic nation against tyrannical aggression. America has betrayed the Republic of Georgia, the Iranian demonstrators, the legitimate government of Honduras and others since Obama's presidency. I truly hope South Korea will not trust us in vain.

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Discussions - 4 Comments

Unless you are suggesting preemption, isn't the US going to hold tight until South Korea gets hit? Preemption falls under the "failed Bush policy" category. North Korea will have to sink one of our ships before anything will happen to involve the US and even then, to "avoid another Vietnam" (or Iraq or Afghanistan), we are really unlikely to do anything.

Really, what are we going to do, Obama or not? You or I might raise the cry, "Remember the Pueblo!" but not enough people do. With that as precedent, and given the strain our military is already under, North Korea is going to have to do something really nutty for the US to react in any serious way.

North Korea = nutty, so who knows?

Kate, I think North Korea's government remembers the Pueblo just fine (sadly.)

The real problem is that nobody wants to win a war against North Korea. That would mean sudden reunification with the South, and a transition that would make the economics of the German reconciliation look like a stroll in the park. Especially with the current global financial uncertainty going on, now would be just about the worst timing for anything like that.

Pete, you are quite right. Your article mentioned it is a museum.

DaveK, that's a nice point and opens the question as to what would happen if South Korea lost a war with the North. Either way -- what I mean is if either part of the country wins and it means reunification, your scenario is true. Then the main worry is a matter of which economic system prevails during or after reunification.

This now leaves me wondering how desperate the North would have to get before creating such a war so that, win or lose, they can force the South Koreans to become their financial bailout. How about this: if the North provokes a war in order to lose, then the South and/or the UN must take over and provide humanitarian aid and provide reconstruction through the reconciliation.

Next I will wonder this for us; what if the captain of the NK ship that sunk the SK ship did it as a maverick act in order to provoke a war that would bring down Kim il Jong? A coup there might be impossible, but to provoke international intervention or war with the South would conceivably accomplish the same end.

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