nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The North Korean situation – a dangerous game for the West

Kim is simply too new and untested for us to know if he has the self-awareness to avoid inadvertently killing himself. But squeezing him into submission without the costs and casualties of a war will require China’s help

From China’s perspective, even if Kim is losing control of the situation, he has not lost it yet, and so China considers anything short of that to be alarmist. As long as North Korea is not threatening Beijing, this is a prisoners’ dilemma we will be facing on our own 

North Korea rallyNORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR GAME THEORY, New Yorker  BY , 5 April 13,  Foreign diplomats in Pyongyang are facing an absurd choice: Kim Jong-un’s government issued a formal diplomatic warning today that it would be “unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organizations in the country in the event of conflict from April 10.”

A few questions come to mind, including but not limited to: Any plans for April 11th that we might want to jot down? And: Is this warning an actual expression of concern, or a way of letting foreign embassies take on the role of ramping up Kim’s threats now that his own propaganda machine is getting diminishing returns? And lastly, and most fundamentally: How realistic is it to imagine a cascade of blunders that lead to a nuclear strike?

……..the game-theory dilemma: How do these moves affect what our military planners call the “threat assessment”? Not much. The fundamental scenarios are unchanged and unattractive. North Korea has a million soldiers under arms and nearly five million in reserve. At the border with South Korea, it is believed to have two thousand tanks and eight thousand artillery systems. In the event of a war, some estimates say it would take the U.S. less than three days to prevail—but the long-term commitment could make the Iraq War look like the invasion of Panama. On his way to losing, Kim would shell the South, and, potentially, if he feared an ending like that of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Qaddafi, attempt to use a crude nuclear device.

That brings us to the wild card: Kim is simply too new and untested for us to know if he has the self-awareness to avoid inadvertently killing himself. But squeezing him into submission without the costs and casualties of a war will require China’s help, because China keeps North Korea afloat with fuel, guns, and food. And despite growing complaints among Chinese analysts, there is simply no evidence that China assesses the threat in the same way we do.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many of the American diplomats involved in negotiations with China and North Korea, and their consensus is clear: for all of North Korea’s instability, China still prefers the status quo to a post-Kim North Korea that could very well end up under the control of Seoul or Washington. So China and the U.S. remain far apart. “Our threat assessments are fundamentally misaligned,” a former American negotiator told me.

From China’s perspective, even if Kim is losing control of the situation, he has not lost it yet, and so China considers anything short of that to be alarmist. As long as North Korea is not threatening Beijing, this is a prisoners’ dilemma we will be facing on our own http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2013/04/why-china-has-not-pressured-north-korea.html#ixzz2PiLrQVIA

April 6, 2013 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: