Friday, September 15, 2017

Watch on the Imjin

I don't want to sound paranoid, but is North Korea scraping together reserves of fuel and food to supply their army in an offensive war?


North Korea has been pressing Chinese companies to increase their exports of gasoline and other refined petroleum products since August, according to North Korean government documents and other information obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

A source with close knowledge of the Chinese-North Korean relationship said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued an order to stockpile gasoline and has restricted how much could be distributed on the market.

Back in April I wondered if the regime was diverting fuel to war reserve stocks.

And this month I noted that North Korean soldiers have been ordered to forage in the friendly countryside to eat!

Is it long-term desperation or a short-term solution while the regime puts daily food rations into war reserve stocks?

A North Korean offensive that threatens Seoul might keep our military too busy protecting all those civilians to deal with North Korea's nuclear facilities. Could Kim see an offensive war as the means to get across the nuclear threshold cleanly without a preemptive American-led strike campaign?

And more worrisome, could Kim believe that his army is too large to support but too dangerous to demobilize in an age when he has nuclear missiles?

Could an offensive have the secondary purpose of using South Korea and America to kill off large numbers of excess mouths to feed? Mouths that could potentially be a threat to the regime if left alive to suffer and waste away?

Pure speculation on my part, obviously. North Korea could be accumulating war reserve stocks of food and fuel for defense or in anticipation of a blockade on the land and sea. Or reports could be wrong and no stockpiling is going on. Or maybe this is a routine thing to do periodically.

My pucker factor went a bit higher nonetheless.

UPDATE: I guess I wouldn't assume that the decision for war lies solely with us.

Isn't a basic lesson for despots that waiting for America to set up the killing blow is suicidal?