BE PREPARED FOR A NORTH KOREA THAT DOES SOMETHING IRRETRIEVABLY STUPID AND DANGEROUS IN THE NEXT MON
BE PREPARED FOR A NORTH KOREA THAT DOES SOMETHING IRRETRIEAVABLY STUPID AND DANGEROUS IN THE NEXT MONTH.
Be prepared in the coming days for one of two things from North Korea, a North Korea that settles down its bad behavior dramatically, or a North Korea that ‘stomps’ home from Beijing and does something dramatical stupid.
The Chinese communist leadership is not happy with their North Korean ‘cousins’ and have invited the North to high-level talks for the first time in a year. This follows Beijing’s recent decision to cut the purchase of North Korean coal, a major source of export cash for the North. The message from Chinese officials to their Northern counter parts is certain to be brutally frank and pointedly threatening. The key speaking point is likely to be that “North Korea by its actions has threatened Chinese interests, and it had better stop, or else!”
Recently, North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, and assassinated the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia using VX nerve gas, a weapon of mass destruction. There is little doubt in times past, that the Chinese welcomed to a degree, the North’s bellicose tone and actions, as it drew heat off China for more-subtle, but similar activities. Both were Communist countries, neighbors, and had a close relationship, with China as the North’s ultimate guarantor of its state survival. But now North Korea is over exposed and has drawn too much attention to its actions. China tried to pass off North Korea to the United States for bi-lateral talks, but when the United States backed away, China was stuck, and answering for the North’s activities.
The reportedly high-level meetings in Beijing, coincide with the United States revealing that it was conducting an internal White House review of America’s North Korea strategy including the use of force, and regime change, to stop the North’s drive for a nuclear-armed Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that can reach the United States. President Donald J. Trump has pledged repeatedly that he would stop North Korea from ever testing an ICBM and all options are now on the table. Couple that, with the fact that, the United States has started the process of deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea that has the capacity to South Korean geared to destroy, Short, Medium and Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles in their terminal phase. As well, the United States and South Korea have launched their annual, joint military exercise, Foal Eagle, involving about 17,000 American troops and 300,000 South Koreans.
The Chinese ambassador to South Korea has warned that the deployment of THAAD, would destroy their bi-lateral relationship in “an instant.” It is most certainly THAAD that has the Chinese spooked, with its powerful radar system that based in South Korea, places Chinese Short, Medium and Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles in jeopardy that are so good at threatening Taiwan for instance, a key Chinese interest that has Beijing livid. Add to THAAD in South Korea, that it has also been deployed to Guam, and Japan, and is backed-up by naval-based systems making a complex network of powerful radar systems to potentially track any Chinese launch. Here is the rub for China. with so much radar triangulated around China, if the systems could interoperate with one another, which is not clear, then can they be an add-on to tracking a Chinese ICBM launch, and could this endanger the Chinese strategic deterrent in times of hostilities with the United States and its strategic Missile Defense of the continental United States.
Here is the rub for North Korea, but it may become more of a mauling-burn. China, Singapore, and Iran are the only friends that North Korea has in the world. Even Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is nervous about the Kim Jong-un regime and its actions. If Kim Jong-un behaves this way towards his friends, how is he going to react when the Chinese lay down the law to his officials and then send them packing back to North Korea. This is not going to be a two-sided conversation. North Korea is about to become even more isolated and even more resentful towards the world around it. China is likely going to have to start plotting regime change and use of force against the North on its own terms, and to prevent any future potential unification on the Korean peninsula.