More about Korea

Something just crossed my mind, regarding the North Korea issue.

Almost everybody expects this to be a storm in a teapot, as usual; DPRK will make lots of noise during South Korean elections, Americans will bribe them with some rice to shut up, and they will proceed to triumphantly report how the vanquished cowardly America paid tribute to the great victorious DPRK. The usual.

However, I have a possible alternative explanation for both Trump’s sudden conciliatory behavior towards the establishment, and this DPRK situation.

Let’s see what happened when Trump got into the White House. First, the Republican party representatives in the parliament told him, in no unclear terms, that they are not going to follow orders, and they are going to vote according to their private interests, essentially they were bought by the highest bidder and now they have to obey his will, regardless of who’s in the White House, and regardless of what he says is national interest. He also tried to implement his policies, and was instantly blackmailed: they’ll simply invent a story about how he works for the Russians, evidence will be invented as in the case of Iraqi WMD, he will be impeached, and they will have a more pliable President to work with. Essentially, he was shown a brief demonstration and told that his methods won’t work. He’ll have to make a genuine compromise. Also, he was shown real facts, not the shit that circulates in the media, and those facts are much more pessimistic than he thought. This means that the methods he intended to use would not work in any case. However, he was also told that the people in charge know more about this shit than he, and that they have plans for American prosperity that have been going on for decades already. They know the true condition of the American economy, and they already have things in motion. This is the obvious reason for his sudden employment of all the supposed enemies; essentially, they explained to him what’s been going on, and he figured out that they are significantly smarter and better informed than he.

I can imagine it going like this: “Look, Mr. President, we know what you want. You want to get the money and manufacturing jobs back to America. You intend to pressure China to make concessions. However, it won’t work, because they have leverage over us that’s at least as powerful as our leverage over them, and we can’t just go there and pressure them. Obama tried, and they responded by launching a SLBM test just off the shore of California, in the direction of the Pacific. Essentially, we told them that we militarily own them, and they responded by demonstrating that they own us at least as much. We had to concede that they have a point. Also, the thing about getting along with the Russians that you had in mind, it won’t work, because we want to have the Russians in total submission, and they want to get rid of our global dominance and compete on equal terms, which we cannot allow because we will lose half of Europe, the entire Middle East, control over oil, control over uranium, and possibly the culture war. So, we cannot offer them anything they will find acceptable, so we might at least have the hostilities on our own terms, accusing them of all kinds of things and diminishing their cultural influence. For all kinds of reasons, from economy to geopolitics, we need a big war. So, instead of trying to pressure the Chinese with methods which were already tried and which failed, why don’t we just cook up something with North Korea, and for real this time, letting them seriously mess up Seoul, and perhaps Japan and the entire region around Vladivostok and Manchuria. Have in mind that South Korea and Japan are formally our allies, but they are a significant part of the reason why our economy is failing. Think Samsung and LG. Basically, the entirety of our industrial competition resides in this very limited geographic region, which is also politically unstable, what with North Korea, Taiwan and the Chinese pretensions. If we cook something up over there, and North Korea is an excellent excuse because they actually are fucking idiots, we won’t be blamed too badly for our part in the unholy mess that will invariably take place. Take a look at our simulations, both short and long term. Short term, the prices of everything manufactured in the region will jump. Long term, South Korea will have to absorb North Korea. China will have a problem with that and possibly intervene militarily. Who knows what will happen with Japan, but they are already on the way out, so it doesn’t matter one way or the other. Essentially, the entire region will be as business-safe as Eastern Ukraine. Then we can implement very simple measures to sweeten the return of big manufacturing businesses over here, and solve your main goal of economic recovery, and the entire East Asia will be so troubled, it won’t be difficult to introduce risk-based sanctions against companies that work there, which would be difficult to justify in the present circumstances. There will be new jobs, our GDP will rise, we will no longer have a trade deficit with everyone and everything electronic will again be made in America. Ignore the Mexicans and similar nonsense, because the real threat to our jobs aren’t the wetbacks, it’s the gooks. So, what do you say, Mr. President?”

I’m not saying it’s true, I’m just playing with ideas.

Analysis of the North Korea situation

The North Korea essentially holds South Korea hostage against American attack. If the Americans attempt to declaw North Korea by removing their nuclear potential, they will respond by a strong conventional/chemical artillery attack on Seoul. If that happens, say goodbye to Samsung and LG, to put it mildly. This would seriously threaten the technological potential of our civilization, and there’s no telling what the aftershocks would be. The threat against Japan is much less severe, because they can only reach it with rockets, and those are basically irrelevant within the estimated duration of the threat (read: from the time they hit something with the first rocket, and the time American counterforce response arrives) unless they use a nuclear warhead. This is unlikely, but not impossible, and if they succeed in detonating a nuclear weapon over either Seoul or Japan, the genie will be out of the bottle. America would be honor-bound to retaliate in kind and use either nuclear-tipped cruise missiles or nuclear gravity bombs over DPRK, which will form a precedent for the use of nuclear weapons. After that precedent is set, it’s months before someone else decides to use nukes to solve his problem somewhere else. Essentially, it’s a very steep slippery slope.

The Americans cooked up the current situation themselves, by relying on sanctions in order to attempt to humiliate and strangle the nations they hate. The sanctions increase hardships and isolation, and this further antagonizes the said nations and makes them more malignant. The best way to defuse tensions is to normalize the relations with commerce and cultural influences. DPRK is very far gone on the path of isolation and it would be very difficult to reintegrate them with the rest of mankind. They are, however, very much used to making lots of noise and making someone bribe them so that they would shut up. It’s so much a pattern, I don’t think they have any other mode of international relations, which in itself is a reason for concern, because it indicates a very deeply pathological state of affairs.

There are several ways of treating the problem. If we accept that DPRK is a given, meaning that they are what they are and we need to treat them as such, we have a very bad problem, because non-aggressive means so far did nothing to alleviate the situation because they interpret them as their enemies’ weakness, sanctions only further pathologize them, ignoring them is not an option because DPRK is in a very desperate state and will resort to increasingly desperate measures in order to initiate some response. The only remaining option is war.

If we don’t take DPRK as a given, but instead understand that societies are inherently malleable and can be influenced by incentives of various kinds, and if we understand that China under Mao wasn’t all that different from where DPRK is today, and the difference is basically that, although China continues to give lip service to Chairman Mao, they basically follow a newly carved path which has more in common with Confucian meritocracy than with communism, and that they are communist in name only, it becomes apparent that even the most closed, pathological and genocidal dictatorship can be transformed into something much more positive, within a timeframe of several decades, if they are allowed to connect with the rest of the world via trade and industry.

A sensible approach would be for China to offer DPRK a path forward – trade with them, open factories there, open lines of communication, create bilateral ties of partnership, but first seriously threaten them with complete nuclear annihilation unless they cut their foolish posturing, and actually be willing to kill them all if they do not comply. I intentionally say “China”, because South Korea, America or Japan would have less chance of success. Another reason is that if the Americans attack them, they will retaliate against South Korea and Japan. However, if China attacks them, they have no immediate response, because they can’t really hold China hostage. In fact, if they destroy South Korea and Japan, China would welcome that fact very much because those countries are both economic and political competitors. So, this would be the way to stop them while minimizing the chance for a DPRK retaliation against the innocents.

Essentially, the best scenario would be for Americans to be so serious about wiping DPRK off the map, for China to decide it would be less harmful if they did it themselves, and if they were so serious about it that DPRK decides to opt for the path of cooperation and integration into the global community. However, in order for that to work, DPRK would need to know it has only two options, and that both are completely realistic, and no amount of bluffing will improve their position.

Another thing: people in the West act as if Kim Jong-un is the dictator in charge, which is ridiculous. In fact, he’s most likely a puppet installed by the military leadership. He was brought in, taught how to play a role, and he is more of a tool for controlling the populace, than a person in charge. The Western propensity for personalizing politics produced a potentially dangerous illusion that the person apparently in charge is the root cause of the problem. Instead, what needs to be understood is which fraction of the military controls the country, a deal needs to be made with this fraction, and Kim Jong-un needs to be taught to play a slightly different role, for which he already showed significant inclinations; he needs to be friendly with the West. In fact, I think he already made ouvertures in that directions, only to be mocked by the Western idiotic media, who didn’t understand his attempt to pull DPRK out of intellectual and civilizational isolation, and this mocking response forced him into a belligerent face-saving stance which would now be very difficult to change. Essentially, the West created the worst part of the current problem with DPRK simply because they decided to have fun bullying DPRK and its leader, which put him in a very bad position domestically, because if the West treated him so poorly, and he continued to treat the West in his normal friendly manner, it would locally be perceived as dishonorable, and obviously the military leaders would intervene in order to change his course. Essentially, by mocking him they forced him to go into a nuclear confrontation, which is a great example of dangers that stem from misreading other cultures. Now, the honorable way out would be to acknowledge his power and authority, but also to state that his belligerent stance will now have the consequence of a nuclear war within five minutes, and then offer a hand of friendship as an alternative. If there’s someone famous in the West who is perceived as friendly and positive in DPRK, that person could be used as a bridge to establish positive relations. If something is agreed with the military leadership, the DPRK propaganda outlets will prepare the populace for improvement of relationships with the West, but the Western propaganda outlets should play their part as well, and stop with their offensive bullshit, because DPRK populace is so indoctrinated into leader-worship, that any kind of offense to their quasi-religious figure is interpreted as an offense to the entire nation, similar to the way the Japanese treat their Emperor. This needs to be a dance of seduction, not a date rape, and I’m afraid that the Americans are inherently incompetent for this kind of diplomatic subtlety. The Chinese could do it, the Russians could do it, but the Americans should stay the hell out because their condescending attitude and their constant need to show everyone how much better their “way of life” really is actually created this unenviable situation, and is immensely unlikely to resolve it. This problem can only be solved by someone who speaks very softly and respectfully, smiles a lot, and has a habit of bowing in respect, but also wields MIRV ICBMs and is willing to use them at any given point. The charming ways of Putin and Xi show the way this is to be done, if at all.