Thursday, April 18, 2013


"Well, if North Korea decides to fire the Musudan missile, which they have threatened to, and which people have been following, it would really be one more unnecessary, unfortunate, unwanted contribution to an already volatile, potentially dangerous situation. And so it would indicate, really, who is being provocative with an exclamation point yet again. Our preference would be to get to talks. Our preference would be, through these Six-Party or through bilateral means, get to a place where we are talking about the real future, which is the future of denuclearizing and ultimately, hopefully, depending on the choices that President Park and Republic of Korea make, ultimately, the reunification of the peninsula as a peaceful, nonnuclear entity. So it’s up to Kim Jong-un what he decides to do. It’s not going to change our current position, which is very, very clear. We will defend our allies. We will stand with South Korea, Japan, and others against these threats. And we will defend ourselves. And Kim Jong-un needs to understand, as I think he probably does, what the outcome of the conflict would be. Our hope is that we can get back to talks. Now, you ask, what would the conditions of those talks be? Very simple: They simply have to be prepared to live up to the international obligations and standards which they have accepted, and make it clear they will move to denuclearization as part of the talks, and those talks could begin. But they have to be really serious. No one is going to talk for the sake of talking, and no one is going to continue to play this round-robin game that gets repeated every few years, which is both unnecessary and dangerous. I will be taking some of the comments from President Park that we had in our conversation to me with me to China tomorrow, and I will obviously raise this issue and these considerations with the Chinese leaders. And I think it’s clear to everybody in the world that no country in the world has as close a relationship or as significant an impact on the DPRK than China. China has an enormous ability to help make a difference here, and I hope that in our conversations, when I get there tomorrow, we’ll be able to lay out a path ahead that can defuse this tension, that can allow the people of the North and the South and other people in the world to recognize that people are moving this in the right direction, which is towards negotiations and towards a reduction in the current level of tension. And that’s our hope. But those are the conditions of talks. We are prepared, providing the North is prepared, to do what it knows it has to do, which is live up to international obligations, and move towards a serious negotiation about denuclearizing the peninsula".
American Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry, "Remarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se After Their Meeting." Department of State. 12 April 2013, in
'“What makes this different from past 'normal crises' is our lack of insight into…Kim's mind and the uncertainty regarding how firmly he and his regime sit in the saddle,” Shlapak said. He added that the threat to South Korea is significant, even if North Korea lacks the ability to deliver nuclear payloads via missile. “Even without nuclear weapons…North Korea could, if it desired, do enormous damage to South Korea with conventional arms. Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, and it sits in the cross-hairs of literally thousands of large-caliber artillery and rocket weapons that could be employed at pretty much a moment's notice,” Shlapak said. Bennett said the situation could easily spiral out of control if South Korea were to respond forcefully to Pyongyang's provocations. “North Korea's bluster suggests that it would meet South Korean escalation with even more escalation. The community worries that the result could be a spiral of escalation that leads to an unintended major war,” he said. Bennett noted that North Korea has some 800 ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea, Japan and further into the Pacific, though probably none that could reach the United States.. He added that its recent nuclear weapon tests show advances in the explosive power of its arsenal. “We don't know if North Korea can mount nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles, but there is a reasonable chance that they can, on at least their shorter range missiles. It is very unlikely that North Korea has intercontinental ballistic missiles that could deliver a nuclear weapon to U.S. territory,” he said. Scobell, meanwhile, focused on reaction from China, which he said has been reluctant to exercise its considerable influence in North Korea, even though Beijing is basically “fed up” with the provocative posturing of its neighbor and ally. Although China recognizes that North Korea is not blameless, Scobell said China believes that the United States shoulders the lion's share of the blame and could help ease tensions by adopting a more conciliatory policy toward North Korea. Beijing views Pyongyang's bad behavior as a reaction to an extremely hostile U.S. policy. China, he added, is unlikely to put substantial pressure on North Korea and this is bound to produce disappointment in Washington. “There's a limit to what China is ready to do vis-à-vis North Korea,” Scobell said."
The RAND Corporation, "Korea Tensions Different from Previous 'Normal Crises,' RAND Experts Tell Media." The RAND Corporation. April 9, 2013, in
The above referenced reports, give the reader the impression that there is a certain method in the seeming madness of the North Korean leadership, both past and present. Simply put, the North Korean regime behaves in the manner of armed gangsters and terrorists. With the whole of North-east Asia as its hostage. As the American State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research noted back in September 1994:
"Brinkmanship is a mainstay of the North's negotiating repertoire. Pyongyang may calculate that the MPAF statement will create a crisis with the United States that will ultimately force a better deal." 1
The best nay the only manner of dealing with this regime is to ignore the threats, face down the aggressive language and continue current policy of sanctions as agreed to by the United Nation’s Security Council. Including, nota bene: the PRC itself. North Korea’s chief, perhaps only ally. Per contra to some commentators `a la the RAND Corporation, the only means of arriving at a decent solution to the quandary of North Korea is to increase slowly but surely the economic pressure on the regime, until it snaps and collapses. Resulting in the re-unification of the entire peninsula under South Korea. Which from the vantage point of the Western Powers is the ideal solution to the persistent problem of North Korea, going back twenty plus years now. To imagine that offering up concessions unilaterally will result in anything better is (in the words of Neville Chamberlain) ‘the very mid-summer of madness’.
1.Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "The Secretary's Morning Intelligence Summary." American Department of State. 28 September 1994, in


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