Tag: north korean war won’t happen

Donald Trump Pulls a Ron Paul with North Korea

By CJ Westfall | United States

Libertarians and non-interventionists have been pitching this idea for years. The hermit country of North Korea once again like it does every few years is back at the negotiating table talking peace. Should we believe them this time?

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton addressed this concern this Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Bolton said: “Well, we’ve heard this before. This is – the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource.”

“What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric,” he added.

We’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for that evidence, and if it comes out there’s already talks of President Trump being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That’d be quite the award for a man who threatened “fire and fury” on the country just a few months ago. He wouldn’t be awarded for that rhetoric of course, he’d be awarded for pulling the roughly 28,500 troops from the region in exchange for North Korea abandoning it’s nuclear program.

The crazy part about this is that Libertarians have been talking about this forever. Ron Paul has been advocating for years that we pull our bases from that region altogether. How crazy is it that President Trump is now the subject of conversation relating to the Nobel Peace Prize because he’s considering a non-interventionist policy.

Some might oppose demilitarizing calling the method an isolationist approach. War hawks and Neo Cons on the left and right will try to keep President Trump from his win and will argue the Kim regime is still dangerous despite any evidence of denuclearization Kim Jong Un might offer. It always seems like there’s someone arguing for more intervention. Military provocation is undoubtedly counter-productive to peace. Some say that’s “isolationist.”

The problem with that is North Korea has already been isolated for years. It is isolationist to impose sanctions, to prohibit Americans from doing business, to impede or forbid travel by US citizens to countries with which the US government disagrees. North Korea is isolated in part because our government has isolated it. North Korea threatens to attack South Korea and the United States partly because South Korea and the United States continue to mount very provocative military exercises on North Korea’s border.

If President Trump wants to rack up the awards throughout his presidency, it sure seems like he should start listening to the Pauls.

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The Olympics and Korean Diplomacy

Andrew Lepore | USA

After a year of escalating tensions, beating war drums, and threats of “fire and fury”, most Americans have little confidence that the situation with North Korea will get better before it gets worse. Many Americans believe the chance for diplomacy on the peninsula is null. In fact, The University of Quinnipiac took a poll, showing 48% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats support a preemptive strike on the country.

Of course, this less than optimistic view about the North Korean Crisis is justifiable. In the last few years, negotiation and communication between Washington and Pyongyang have been virtually non-existent. However, recent revelations show an opportunity for de-escalation and steps toward a peaceful solution.

In a surprising New years announcement, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea would like to participate in this year’s Winter Olympic Games, which will open in the South Korean Town of Pyeongchang next month. On national television, Kim stated:

“The Winter Olympic Games that will be held soon in the south will be a good opportunity to display the status of the Korea nation, and we sincerely wish that the event will be held with good results.”

He also stated they will “take various steps, including the dispatch of a delegation.” For many, this is a step in the right direction for cooperation between the Koreas. Previously, North Korea has refused to participate in games hosted by South Korea.

Kim’s announcement was welcome news for the current Progressive South Korean administration and its leader, President Moon Jae-in. Prior to his election, Jae-in emphasized greater cooperation and a more stable relationship with North Korea. Following Kim’s New Year’s announcement, President Moon’s re-unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, extended an invitation to a formal meeting between representatives from the two nations to negotiate and discuss Olympic cooperation. It also would emphasize diplomatic ties between the nations.

The meeting commenced on January ninth at the shared border village of Panmunjom, and ended successfully.  After 12 hours of bilateral negotiation, the two warring nations reached several conclusions:

North Korea will send athletes and a high level delegation to participate in the Olympic festivities in February.

The nations agreed to resume temporary reunions of families divided by the war, but “resolve national problems on our own.”

Lastly, both countries agreed to follow up these bilateral negotiations to relieve military tensions on the peninsula.

Indubitably, the conclusions of this meeting were quite optimistic. The two nations achieved successful talks without the help of the U.S or any other outside entity. Better yet, they plan on continuing this trend.

President Trump recently voiced his support for this communication. In a recent announcement, he stated “I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there, So I’m behind that 100%.” However, others in his administration have not expressed optimism about North Korea’s participation in the games nor the recent bilateral talks between North and South Korea.

General Mattis on the day of the Bi-lateral negotiations stated in reference to the talks; “The sum total of the subjects that are going to be discussed today are the Olympics only.” He also reportedly swore not to let North Korea drive a wedge between the U.S alliance with South Korea. North Korea doesn’t seem to have accomplished that, although they obviously talked about a lot more than the Olympics in that 12 hour conference, judging by the conclusion of the negotiations.

Mattis is not alone in his disapproval. Other top members of President Trump’s cabinet, such as National Security Advisor General H.R McMaster, share this feeling. On January 23rd, McMaster spoke of the scenario in a press interview.

“Everyone recognises that we can’t… fall for what in the past has been a North Korean ploy to create the illusion of success and talks, and to use that to lock in the status quo as the new normal.” -H.R. McMaster

In the weeks following the bilateral negotiations, the two nations took more steps towards unification. For example, the divided Koreas have agreed to march under a single Korean “reunification flag” at the games. They have also formed a joint Korean Women’s Ice Hockey team. The two countries came to these agreements after meeting at the International Olympic Committee headquarters. Despite disapproval from some U.S. and Chinese officials, the two nations plan to publicly display solidarity.

Both governments intend to use the Olympics, which some have dubbed “The Peace Olympics”,  to improve inter-Korean ties. Will this year’s Winter Games be a positive turning point for diplomatic relations on the peninsula? Only time will tell.

(Image courteous of CNN)

North Korea Accepts Peace Negotiation

By Jackson Parker | USA

With the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang officials are meeting at the border of the Koreas to discuss areas of mutual interest. Reopening the shut communication channel for the first time since January of 2016.

“The North has accepted our proposal to meet at Panmunjeom Peace House [Korean Demilitarized Zone] on January 9,”

says South Korean unification ministry spokesman Baik Tae-Hyun according to Yonhap News.

“The two sides decided to discuss working-level issues by exchanging documents,”

the meeting will be focused on issues

“related to the improvement of inter-Korean relations, including the PyeongChang Olympic Games.”

In Kim Jong-un’s new year speech to North Korea, he suggests that dialogue of reducing military tension is available. Seoul jumped on the opportunity and initiated the talk between neighbors.

Does anyone really believe that talks and dialouge would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total ‘might’ against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!

President Trump tweets victoriously on Thursday.

After 2 years of silence between the two Koreas, this newfound communication could ease tensions between the North and the South. The PyeongChang Winter Olympics have created a topic for the Koreas to come together and solve their issues to create peace on their peninsula and the rest of the world.

North Korea Should Be Treated Better

By Griffen Smith | USA

“The military might of a country represents its national strength” -Kim Jong Un. For the last two decades, news from the small communist country of North Korea has sounded like an action movie. North Korea, if anybody is unaware, is a tiny nation on the North end of a peninsula it shares with South Korea. It is also in the vicinity of China and Japan, along with the American controlled island of Guam. The North has only had three leaders ever, a hierarchy that is worshipped in the country. There have been countless reports of current leader Kim Jong Un launching bombs into the Pacific ocean, putting the world’s nuclear safety in jeopardy. Even more bizarre are tales of Un’s half-brother getting killed by “assassins,” sent by Kim himself.

Before processing what seems to be utter insanity, looking at the current US views on the Un regime seem to paint an even worse picture.  Donald Trump has responded that “fire and fury like the world has never seen” will come Un’s way if he tries to use a nuclear weapon against any nation. All of this rhetoric makes Americans strongly fear North Korea, as a Gallup poll in 2017 shows that over 50 percent of the United States calls them the “greatest immediate threat to the United States”. The survey adds even more factors, citing that almost 70% believe that North Korea is a major enemy of the United States. On the surface, North Korea appears to be an unstable country on the brink of collapse. However, analyzing the details reveals that Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship is making decisions that will keep North Korea around for decades. Yes, the people of North Korea will continue to suffer, but this is not stopping their leaders from carrying on rule. The reason why is because when looking into the cold war as well as the present, countries with nuclear weapons become more stabilized, and the Un regime is no exception to that rule. So though North Korea has humanitarian issues, America needs to start treating the Un regime like a legitimate nation instead of calling them crazy.

The most important part of North Korea’s sovereignty is their nuclear weapons. As nuclear scientist and North Korean nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker explains, all the talk about Kim Jong Un possessing weapons of mass destruction is actually true. In fact, in late 2016 Hecker claims that North Korea has “roughly 20 to 40 kilograms of plutonium and 200 to 450 kilograms of highly enriched uranium,” which is enough to make up to 25 nuclear bombs. These weapons have been tested in recent times, like a test on August 8th, 2017 that sparked harsh criticism from the international community. However, while North Korea has many reasons to possess nuclear weapons, the thing they will never use them for is actual warfare. New York Times writer Mark Lander explained in a November 28th article that North Koreans not only have the ability to shoot missiles at Guam but now the entire US mainland. However, North Korea has not fired any weapons at any countries. What many can infer from this is that actually starting a nuclear war is not an immediate goal of North Korea. Lander even admits that the nuclear test was a “bold act of defiance against president Trump,” simply because the US put Kim Jong Un as a state sponsor of terrorism earlier in the week. So when looking in comparison with the rest of the world, North Korea wants to have active nuclear weapons is so they can use them for leverage to the international community. All current nuclear countries, minus North Korea, are regional or global superpowers. Even nations which stability has been tested, for example, Israel, have had nuclear weapons to back their diplomacy up in the Middle East.

One misconception is that North Korea is too unstable to keep these weapons under wrap. A report from Global News in April of 2017 explains how world leaders like Justin Trudeau are very nervous with the Un regime. Specifically, the Canadian prime minister stated that he is worried by the “irresponsible” and “dangerous” acts of a “rogue regime in North Korea.” North Korea should be watched closely, but there are some clear indicators that show Un’s possession of these weapons will promote stability. This idea is driven by the military doctrine, Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brings insight into the history of nuclear safety. The MAD theory was first used during the Cold War. Moreover,  it specifically was invented after the seven-day Cuban missile crisis in 1962. It details how both America and Russia have the nuclear capability to destroy each other, or at least large portions. Therefore, neither side would shoot because of the fear of a counterstrike. In short, “whoever shoots first, dies second.”  Kim Jong Un knows exactly what the MAD theory is. For example, he said in 2013 that “If [North Korea] push the buttons to annihilate the enemies even right now, all bases of provocation will be reduced to seas of flames and ashes in a moment.” What this quote proves is that Un knows that nuclear war is unwinnable, thus he will never launch a weapon with the purpose of destroying another nation. North Korea is also not alone when it comes to a nuclear arms program. America has over 7,000 active nuclear weapons, which are tested in isolated parts of the country. When the US views North Korea today, Washington must realize that Kim Jong Un is using their nuclear stockpile like the Russians, and even America itself. That is why there is no invasion of South Korea, nor strikes by Un on unsuspecting nations because he and his dictatorship know there will be no victory. Moreover, possessing nuclear weapons not only prevents nuclear warfare, but also conventional warfare. Since WWII there have been no countries that have nuclear weapons fight in conventional warfare, and North Korea still holds true to that fact.

Nonetheless, the North Korean nuclear tests are unacceptable right now  The US and allies need to talk to Kim Jong Un about regulating nuclear tests. Diplomatic relations must be opened by the international community to make sure these tests are safe. However, history does show how the United States has carried out similar tests in the Pacific Ocean. According to a nuclear scientist named J.E. Hull, the US has tested over 50 nuclear weapons in the Pacific Ocean between 1946 and 1992. Moreover, when looking at the big picture, launching a ballistic missile into an Ocean is the best possible option right now.  The Pacific ocean is rather large, unpopulated, and much safer than testing over land populated by North Korean citizens.

In total, The US and allies need to acknowledge that North Korea’s goal is not to launch nuclear arms, rather gain power in the region. So rather than label North Korea as the biggest immediate threat to America, the US must recognize the Un regime as a regional power in Southeast Asia. What this will do is ease the actual tension between Un and the rest of the world, thus facilitating more diplomacy and less militarization.

Japan is Strengthening its Defense Arsenal Amid North Korean Weapon Tests

By Vaughn Hoisington | JAPAN

In an attempt to increase national security against the threat of North Korea’s missiles and nuclear program, Japan’s Defense Ministry has requested an additional 730 million yen ($6.4 million) to be added to the initial budget for 2018. The budget was already their highest ever, at ¥5.26 trillion ($47.6 billion), with an increase of 2.5 percent from last year’s initial budget.

The addition to the budget will be used to scout potential land-based sites in Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures to deploy Aegis Ashore missile-defense units, which are believed to be the defense system Japan will purchase two of, with a portion of their originally requested budget. These units cost around ¥80 billion ($728 million) and were originally planned to be deployed in 2023, but the Japanese Government is allocating ¥2.1 billion ($18 million) from its supplementary budget to accelerate preparation for the development of missile defense complexes.

With Aegis Ashore missile-defense units, Japan’s missile defense system would become three-tiered. Japan’s current two-tiered system involves “ships armed with SM-3 interceptor missiles, which must knock down a ballistic missile on the middle part of its trajectory. If this is not done, the second level of missile defense will be deployed using the Patriot PAC-3, which must intercept the missile at the final stage of its flight.”

Along with plans to purchase Aegis Ashore missile-defense units from the U.S., the Defense Ministry will seek to use the budget to develop an improved anti-stealth radar system that can distinguish ballistic missiles that are more difficult to detect and improve detection capabilities on the Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment automatic alert control system. Japan’s Defense Ministry also plans to purchase six F-35A stealth fighters, maintain facilities on the southwestern island of Okinawa Prefecture for units of the Self-Defense Forces, and study the development of high-speed glide bombs with the remaining amount of the budget.