On the Korean Peninsula

A few news items here:

Floods have killed at least twenty-four in North Korea:

Floods in North Korea have left at least 24 people killed and 14 missing, Radio Free Asia reported last week. North Korea has sent a request to the UN for inspectors to visit.

(Sidebar: oh, NOW they want UN inspectors.)


South Korea still believes it can change North Korea:

The agreement between North and South Korea following marathon negotiations is receiving contrasting reviews. The government stresses that it is extremely rare for the North to express “regret” for any provocation, but critics say regret is nowhere near adequate for the severe maiming of two soldiers by North Korean box mines in the demilitarized zone.

The wording of the agreement invites such criticism. Hwang Pyong-so, the North Korean army’s politburo chief, was able to spin the agreement the other way, claiming South Korea had “learned a serious lesson” and the allegation that the North planted the mines was “groundless.”

Some observers feel the agreement is important because it shows just how much North Korea fears the propaganda broadcasts. And Seoul has reserved the option to resume the loudspeaker broadcasts if Pyongyang resorts to provocations again. This could be seen as securing a strong deterrent.

If North Korea was not responsible for the box mines, it would have had no reason to sign the agreement. That is why the latest agreement should not be written off as useless. At the same time, it should not be treated as a dramatic step toward improved inter-Korean relations.

South Korea is afraid of the status quo changing. It would ratehr maintain a dysfunctional relationship with the Chinese-backed North than every resolve anything.


If South Korea is still thinking that the US under Obama will help it, it has another thing coming:

Nobody can be sure that North Korea’s tactics have been fully exposed, but the South’s weaknesses have become much clearer. The military cannot waste any time in coming up with a proper defense. Joint South Korea-U.S. defense plans must urgently be overhauled to take the new realities into account.


  • Alex

    It is true that America under Obominable presumably wouldn’t intervene on South Korea’s behalf if it was attacked – or perhaps on behalf of any “ally” directly attacked. But this might not be the case under the next president. Despite all the damage he has done, to America and to the world in general, it is not so much that it could not be (theoretically) undone by his successor.

    • To be fair, I don’t think any president sees the Korean situation as a priority but it should.

      Actually, if I led the US, I would cut the South Koreans off and let them handle Chinese-backed North Korea on their own. They would nuclearise overnight.

  • disqusW6sf

    “Joint South Korea-U.S. defense plans must urgently be overhauled to take the new realities into account. ” We have to wait for more than year until Obominable (Alex) leaves. I wonder if that will be a little too late.

    • luna


  • luna

    North Korea is waiting for an opportunity.

    Obama may have already signaled that he will give them one by standing on the sidelines while Russia took Crimea, withdrawing from Iraq & Afghanistan, normalizing relations with Iran & Cuba. The North Koreans couldn’t ask for a more favorable U.S. president.

    If North Korea does make a move militarily, it may not be limited to the Korean peninsula, but may be in concert with actions of its friends (China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia) in other regions. Effectively this would be world war 3. Meanwhile Obama has already signaled his next moves, no U.S. troops, fire generals, withdraw, provide overt symbolic gestures, and covert support for our enemies.

    • North Korea would flatten Seoul but save its nuclear weapons for Japan.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    South Korea can go twist in the wind.
    They are fully capable of defending themselves.

  • David Murrell

    The third posted article, towards the bottom, is a good read.

    What might happen would be for North Korea to launch a bigger attack on South Korea — sink a few ships, launch a number of IRMBs onto southern cities. The North Koreans realize that Obama/Kerry are cowardly quislings, and would simply refuse to do anything at all.

    I suspect North Korea widow something nasty. Obama/Kerry appalling foreign policy represents an open invitation for naked aggression.

  • Hard Little Machine

    You could nerve gas the entire DPRK and it would take the world a month to notice. After that some people would cheer others would laugh but mostly no one would care. I hope they devolve to cannibalism.