Monday, May 29, 2017

What Can We Live With?

We are counting on China to control their little pet psycho before they get functional nuclear missiles. Can we?

Perhaps we can't count on China to stop North Korea:

On the evidence, China -- despite its public expressions of disapproval and disappointment over each North Korean nuclear test -- has nonetheless, for decades now, allowed North Korea to proceed. It is past time to ask quite seriously whether Beijing (never mind its public posturing) reached a quiet decision quite some years ago that China can live comfortably enough with a nuclear-armed North Korea that dedicates itself to bedeviling such leading democracies as South Korea, America and Japan.

So China can live comfortably with a nuclear-armed North Korea that aims weapons at America, South Korea, and Japan?

Well maybe we can get China's attention by letting China know we can live comfortably with a nuclear-armed South Korea and a nuclear-armed Japan.

As I've said, if it was just North Korea, I could live with a nuclear-armed North Korea facing off with a nuclear-armed South Korea and nuclear-armed Japan backed by our power. Deterrence would be the least bad situation compared to war and what might happen when the shooting starts.

But the strong possibility that Iran could buy North Korea-developed nuclear weapons or technology changes the game. I'm not confident that Iran in their religious-based nutballery can be deterred.

And even if Iran can be deterred from using nuclear weapons, the chaos Iran can foment in the vital Middle East (we aren't isolated from global oil disruption despite fracking) behind the shield of nuclear weapons would be far greater than what they do now without nukes.

Our options for North Korea are all bad. But we can at least leave China and Russia with a bad option as payback for their refusal to control their little psychotic friend and ally.

America could live with more nuclear weapons pointed at North Korea and potentially pointed at China and Russia. Can China?

UPDATE: Moon, South Korea's new and more North-friendly president, is upset that the full THAAD battery was deployed without knowing about it?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a probe after the Defence Ministry failed to inform him that four more launchers for the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile system had been brought into the country, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Sounds like this is a known fact, if you ask me. And wasn't this the plan?

If South Korea is less willing to cooperate with American and Japan in confronting North Korea to stop their nuclear program, we could face an interesting divergence of interest where South Korea considers a new nuclear threat to Seoul not so much greater than a chemical or conventional threat to bombard or capture the city, which South Korea has faced for many decades; while Japan and America consider new nuclear threats to Tokyo and Seattle completely unacceptable.

If South Korea doesn't care enough to prevent a new threat to their Japanese and American allies, will America and Japan care enough about a North Korean counter-strike on Seoul to refrain from doing something about North Korea's looming threat to Japan and America?