Sunday, August 13, 2017

Korea

무궁화
(Rose of Sharon)
The flower in the opening photo is the national flower of the Republic of Korea (south Korea for the geopolitically challenged) where my wife and son were born. I have close ties to Korea because of that. The Missus Herself still has family in Korea. The bush depicted grows in our backyard.

Am I concerned about the antics of the head guy in charge to the north of the 38th Parallel? Of course I am, a person would have to be ill-informed to not worry about such behavior. Especially when that individual is in possession of nuclear weapons and has the assumed capability of delivering those weapons on the tip of a missile.

Will they do that?

I have my doubts. What would be Kim's end game? Everybody shrugs their shoulders if he drops a nuke on Guam (or even nearby)? Would we go nuclear in that case? While it is viscerally satisfying to say "yes, nuke 'em 'til they glow," militarily it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Hitting one target with one of our nuclear weapons inside North Korea would make sense. I'm sure the Joint Chiefs already have a list of appropriate targets. I am equally sure, if our government is doing their jobs, that the Chinese and the Russians already know that we would not tolerate a North Korean nuclear attack.

One scenario which occurs to me is that the Chinese would immediately move into the North, have Kim and his closest henchmen shot, and take over until a new, friendly to China, regime can be put in place. The Chinese have more at stake here than we do. They must know that we would retaliate in kind should Kim go nuclear.

The Chinese are smart. Kim is the hobgoblin in the neighborhood which everyone is leery of, he's the chained dog in the Chinese backyard which everyone hopes doesn't get out.

Meanwhile the Chinese play the concerned neighbor, "Don't worry, Kim is adequately fenced in, just leave him alone and he won't bite you."

How about the Russians? Who knows? No doubt the idiot media and the progressives see Putin behind everything.

One thing I do know, nobody is telling the real story. It's all about the President tweeting and acting "non-presidential." Perhaps we should send Obummer over to kowtow to Kim, he's got experience doing that.

The Left is all in a tizzy, it's all about "Resist" and Russian meddling in our affairs. Pshaw, it's what big power politics is all about. Meddling and using proxies (like the Norks) to annoy and harry your opponent.

The real danger is if China miscalculates and Kim thinks he has carte blanche to do as he will.

Am I worried?

In a word, no.

But I am concerned, I have family on the Korean Peninsula, some not far from Seoul. I wouldn't want them to have to go through what their parents, my in-laws, had to go through in 1950 - 1953. It's not a time period they remembered fondly when they were still alive.

Pray, and keep your powder dry. Things could get nasty.

My gut tells me no, but you never really know.



38 comments:

  1. I'm pretty much in agreement with your assessment. In a rational world. However, Kim is not a guaranteed rational actor and as they say "Once you say 'Off with her head' you can't say 'On with her head'." That will be China's role to explain to the spoiled brat.

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    1. Yup, China is a key player here. The "man behind the curtain" perhaps?

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    2. I remember any number of international relations and economics textbooks starting with, "In this book we assume that all nation-states are rational actors." That is not an assumption I would make about Kim. He's a complete loony and there are no brakes on his trolley.

      I woiuld expect zero movement out of China if Kim uses a nuke. Guam may be hard for Kim to hit but his nukes can rain down all over China enroute to Peking, Nanking, Shanghai and perhaps even Hong Kong.

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    3. Odd that a textbook on international relations and economics would start out that way. It's almost as if they had no knowledge of history at all.

      Kim using a nuke might actually paralyze the Chinese, now that you mention it, and that's a good point.

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  2. I would agree, on the other side, could this be " hold the boogey man up" to achieve something? Was their harvest worse the usual? And being the leader, have to focus the attention somewhere else?and where does he get his flash toys?

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    1. Good points James, focus the peoples' attention outwards.

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  3. In the early 50s tours in Korea were unaccompanied tours exactly because of the danger civilians presented if war broke out and resources had to e devote to their protection/evacuation. I remember when my Uncle A.J. Hughes ((Then O-4, Army, Arty) was ordered over his wife and three children rented a home in my town near his parents home until tour was over. But iirc the tour was only one year then. All that was changed in 2009 (?) for the Army when our forces had shrunk from 100,000 to 30, 000+ and it was felt that the NORKS had an Army that was falling apart (Literally) due to poor maint, reduced tng and lack of new equipment and it was felt tat a well-equipped And a well-trained, well-equipped, ROK force would be able to more than hold its own. In hindsight a bad call, it would seem.

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    1. When I was there ('78-'82), Kunsan was unaccompanied (as my wife was from the area there wasn't much the Air Force could do about that) but Osan was like little America.

      And Osan is closer to the DMZ. Go figure.

      FWIW, I know the ROK military, tough and very capable troops.

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    2. Sarge/

      In RVN We had the ROK Marines in I Corps and they kicked ass. One of my roomies in a previous life had been a ground FAC with the ROK White Horse Inf Div and he said the same thing.

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    3. My brother-in-law was in the Tiger Division in Vietnam, The Missus Herself also has a first cousin who was an officer in the White Horse.

      Koreans are tough soldiers.

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    4. ROK Marines are legendary. Koreans are Good People.

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  4. Hmmm... Rose of Sharon was the name of a nursing home where my mom was sent for therapy after hospitalization. Therapy department there knew their stuff, the rest of the place not so much... sigh... she was glad to come back home... so were we. Hard to get info on Norkland from the MSM, have to use the Internets to search out stuff, for example.. is China still blocking import of their coal? Said they would but are they? POTUS tweeting doesn't bother me a bit....what you said on behind the scenes... there... THAT! As always.

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    1. Well, I usually refer to the flower by it's Korean name, "무궁화" - which is moo-goong-hwa. Just what I'm used to (and yes, I can read Korean, their alphabet only has twenty-four letters, each of those characters is a letter. Unlike Japanese and Chinese, the Koreans don't use pictograms, though most educated Koreans can read Chinese.)

      Behind the scenes, it's what the media always misses.

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  5. Lots of good questions.

    As a nation we've allowed the media and government to to erect a firewall of lies, and now a clear majority of those who live here have followed suit.

    Lots of activity lately in the missile fields. I wonder if it's routine, or if they're trying to find a missile that will actually work?

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    1. Could be routine, could be anything. Trust me, those missiles work.

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    2. Remind me to tell the story of the shoe Leiutenant on Nimitz who spoke those very words to me the night before the infamous BPDMS shoot! 🤕

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  6. President Trump has his own style and methods. Drives the "in" crowd crazy; he won't conform to their expectations. Must be even more baffling for the world leaders. Perhaps they will accept he means exactly what he says and will do exactly what he says he will do. That said, who knows what the little fat man will do.

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    1. While I have quibbles with his tweeting, I do like what he's doing. Breath of fresh air compared to the Apologist-In-Chief!

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  7. As this is essentially a political opinion post and I have vowed to avoid all political discussions forever, I will not comment here or give you my opinion on this well thought out and probably very accurate interpretation of current events. I would love to tell you I agree, but my vow to avoid political discourse forbids me from saying so.

    This may be an excellent post, but I will not comment.

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    1. May I compliment you on the eloquence of your non-comment? I believe your vow to "avoid all political discussions forever" to be intact.

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    2. Good one Joe. Message received, loud and clear. (And yes, what Juvat said.)

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  8. More intelligent analysis and discussion here. Click and scroll down--

    https://symbolic-mirage.blogspot.com/

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    1. I follow LL closely, he's a smart guy with good sources and better instincts.

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    2. Agreed. My 2 cents--The only ones who have any chance to resolve this quietly are the Chinese, and even that might prove a temporary fix at best. Anybody else steps up, and it will be fast, loud, and ugly.

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  9. The NORKS have always been the loud neighbors with the barking dogs, blaring stereos, parties all night long, with cars up on blocks in the yard. Those people you wonder to yourself, "Exactly where does all their money come from?" And, you know, one of these days the cops are going to show up with a bunch of SWAT trucks and helicopters and guys doing the "hut, hut, hut" thingy from the "Blues Brother" movie.

    The question is, will the bad neighbors go quietly, or noisily?

    My feeling, my very Germanic dark lining on a silver cloud (silver doesn't float, and it hurts when it hits you in the head) is the fat turd will not go quietly. And his forces have more tunnels into the south than all the prairie dog hovels in the west. The only thing that will keep him from going off is China.

    Now, Communist(ish) China is a different neighbor, totally. China is the neighbor that will talk to you, agree with you, sign a legal document saying what they are going to do, promise to the ends of the earth that they are going to do it, and still do whatever they damned please knowing that in the grand scheme of things you can do nothing to them.

    The ChiComs have been promising companies for how long that they will build their top-secret proprietary items without copying said items and then produces copies using the exact same tooling quicker than the company can get their items.

    In a lot of ways, ChiCom still thinks it is the fabled 'middle kingdom' and they are vastly superior to us 'lower kingdom' types. (I have dealt with a lot of ChiCom students in my day, and they all seem to have this smug, look=down-the-nose attitude that just tends to piss off aware people.)

    The NORKS are the scary drunken jerks.

    The ChiComs are the drug dealers who promise their stuff is clean, while being the ones controlling and supplying the scary drunken jerks.

    And I feel that the ChiComs have lost control over their biggest jerk.

    God, I thought the days of the nuclear Sword of Damocles were over.

    My prayers to all those with loved ones in harms way, military or civilian.

    (And as to Trump, the world is not used to a President looking at a pine 8' 2x4 and calling it a pine 8' 2x4. He is rather abrupt and pleasantly 'incorrect' in his rhetoric. And the media and lefties can't stand it. This, amongst all other things, is the reason I voted for him. I would have voted a dead dog over the other side's front-runner.)

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    1. Soooo, what does Mrs. OAFS say about this? Would be interesting to get the native outlook.

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    2. She's not offering an opinion.

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    3. My father once described the ROK people, from his interaction with them right after the cease fire, as passionately stoic fatalists. Has this changed any in the intervening years?

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    4. Yes, they're more confident.

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  10. Today's post and comments set the usual high standard higher still. I have no other informed opinion to offer.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  11. I think they want to be big boys on the world's stage, with their fancy missiles and nuke. But I also think they're crazy and isolated enough to use them, against what they perceive is a vicious enemy (the entire west). Will they? I have no idea, but if we don't do anything, somebody may get nuked. If we do something, somebody may get nuked. https://youtu.be/Emdzsz_XvfA

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    1. Love the Red October clip, seems more and more likely these days...

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)