Friday, April 14, 2017

and more on Korea


Can someone please explain how come it is OK for the US and certain other countries to have hundreds and up to thousands of nuclear bombs, but North Korea, Iran and unspecified other countries cannot have any?
Is there something I am missing about the apparent hypocrisy here? Is might is right the important message?
  1. Dx Yx
    Darren Yorston is a Friend of The Conversation

    In reply to I..
    Because America good, North Korea bad.
    The US tried to stop the Brits from acquiring atomic nuclear weapons. Quite ironic considering the Brits and Canada were both involved int he Manhattan project. Winston Churchill wrote about it in his history of the Second World War.
    If you look at global politics it’s having nuclear weapons that places you in the boys club. The US resists others countries from acquiring nuclear weapons because it reduces their power over them; Mutually Assured Destruction is a successful deterrent.
    Whilst North Korea may be a threat to world peace, what I think is more important to the US is that a nuclear armed North Korea is less likely to be threatened. Countries without nuclear weapons cannot fight back against the US, a nuclear armed country can.
    1. Dennis Argall

      In reply to I..
      Ixxx, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which came into force in 1970 recognised those states which had already tested nuclear devices as Nuclear Weapon States, others as Non-Nuclear Weapon States. With some increasing difficulties this has been a major instrument in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the outset, Australian ratification was opposed by a number of powerful people who wanted us to have a nuclear weapon capability.
      A small number of significant countries are not parties: Pakistan, India and Israel. South Africa is the only country to have had a nuclear weapon program and abandoned it. Iran has been a party since 1970, the negotiations with Iran are within a legal framework such as also binds Australia. The DPRK is unique in having signed on and then left after a few years. That is part of the issue.
      The other part of the issue is that the Korean war did not end in 1953, there was an Armistice. The Military Armistice Commission (MAC)continues to meet in the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the 38th parallel in Korea. The participants are the ‘Chinese Peoples Volunteers’, the [North] Korean Peoples Army and the United Nations Command.
      The defence attache in the Australian Embassy in Seoul is a participant in the MAC as are other participants on the UN side in the Korean war. Why and how this is the only occasion on which the UN has been a belligerent is for separate research.
      The ROK at the outset would have no part in the armistice, these days it does.
      For decades the conventional forces arrayed on either side of the DMZ have exceeded any elsewhere. There have been many flashpoints.
      In my view, too much US policy and too much media focus is shaped by the US forces hypertrophic buildup in relation to Korea. There have been political and diplomatic betrayals on either side.
      There is no way forward in war in Korea. Koreans do not want a war.
      South Korea’s (ROK) GDP is slightly smaller than Australia’s. It is a member of the G20. The ROK’s transformation since 1980 is in many ways as astonishing as China’s… with the added consideration that caught in the middle of what I describe above, they have headed step by step towards a sound democratic system from military dictatorship.
      There’s been some history in the past several weeks but my judgement still rests pretty much as here:
          1. Dxxx Yxxx 
            Darren Yorston is a Friend of The Conversation

            In reply to Dennis Argall
            Sure. However, I think that most people are of the view that nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are bad and should be gotten rid of. As a result people find it somewhat hypocritical that countries such as the US maintain large stockpiles of nuclear weapons and in many cases chemical and biological weapons as well. If nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are intrinsically bad then it doesn’t matter who has them.
            The US continues to have to these weapons because having the biggest stick is best. Ivo is correct; might does make right. There are enough nuclear weapons in the world to make a mess of our planet, more countries having them won’t make the world any more a wasteland.
            The US isnt trying to prevent North Korea from having nuclear weapons because it will attack the US. The US wants to prevent North Korea because a nuclear armed North Korea is less threatened by US threats and cannot be manipulated. China, Iran, Russia are all proof of that. The US cannot try the things it does on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria with nuclear armed countries BECAUSE nuclear war IS a consequence that neither side will enter into.
            Conventional warfare is a different matter, and Iraq, Libya, Syria are all examples of that. There is no risk to the US for attacking those countries. That is the exact reason why the US wants to strike at North Korea, so that it CAN do it without consequence.
            Might makes right.
            1. Dennis Argall

              In reply to Dxxx
              I don’t think there is any moral right for anyone to possess let alone use any weapons of mass destruction. The landscape there is bleak and certain.
              I don’t think the US can strike north Korea without consequence. Not at all. And I think a number of people have been pointing that out to Trump including the President of China and the presidential candidates and the armed forces of south Korea.
              The total land mass of North Korea 120,000sq km and south Korea 100,000sq km is about the same as Victoria, Australia (230,000sq km). The total area of the United Kingdom is 240,000 sq km. In no sense can you have a war in the north that does not embroil both, inflict massive casualties on both. There are 50 million in the south, half that in the north, altogether three times the Australian population, 11 times the population of Victoria. And more than the population of the United Kingdom. The GDP of south Korea is slightly less than Australia’s; half that of the UK. Busy and crowded places.
              The three Chinese provinces adjacent to Korea – Jilin, Heilongjiang and Liaoning – have populations totalling more than 100 million. There is a short border (17km) between the DPRK and Russia, while the border between the DPRK and China, running along mountains and rivers, is 1400km.
              If you doubt that the Chinese - at large - might not take seriously the placement of the THAAD high altitude anti-missile device in south Korea recently (still a debate in the presidential elections) please note that to the end of March hitherto large Chinese tourist numbers have fallen 60%. 180,000 Chinese soldiers died in Korea in the Korean war. China is as close to Korea as to Vietnam, but the Vietnam war is over.
              The first people who have to sort out the issues in Korea are the Koreans. Next come China and Japan. The place of Japan is muddled to the extent that both Japan and the ROK are allies of the US, while both ROK and DPRK, especially the DPRK, have deep feelings about issues involving WW2 and long earlier Japanese colonial occupation. With China - mixed. China entered the Korean War as US forces approached the Chinese border in 1950 and General Macarthur wanted to carry the war to Beijing with nuclear weapons. President sacked Macarthur to stop him. The working relationship between China and the ROK is very large now but is only a couple of decades old.
              I take heart from the fact that the Chinese former Vice Foreign Minister now with high level responsibility for nuclear and Korean affairs has spent this last week in Seoul in smiling meetings with all the presidential candidates as well as government officials. As I also take heart from the presence of Russian naval vessels in south Korea on a goodwill visit.
              There are smart and powerful countries there who know that war won’t work, who don’t want a war. We spend too much time surrounded by game and movie memes and daily news of conflict. This has to be different. We have to shift our heads.
              I very much doubt that anyone in higher levels of the US defence forces, or National Security Advisor McMaster, or Defence Seretary Mattis, believes a war would work… even though they have rooms full of war plans. The north Koreans know a war won’t work but this column is too small a space to work through why they are not crazy. To say they are crazy one then has to say Trump is crazy. That is not a sensible place to go to secure the peace.
              There is a higher risk now of war by misadventure than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
              But against that there is some reassurance that the strategic and tactical intelligence resources focused on the peninsula are the deepest and most effective anywhere.
              At the same time it is pathetic to see Autralian media and politicians gobble up the US defence media line.
              Sending a carrier task force to Korea? It only just left Korea, it’s cancelled a visit ot Australia, sob sob..
              North Korea fired five missiles in the direction of Japan? These were old Scud type missiles, now nice for everyone at the beginning of US-ROK exercises which HAVE FOR DECADES given rise to US media and intelligence briefings irresponsibly saying “wolf, wolf, north Korean wolf” when it’s response to US-ROK movements.
              Why are we so suckered? The ROK armed forces this week said there will be no war, they don’t want a war, they want a peaceful solution to the problem. Who has reported that? If I, with a seven year old computer and a brain 66 years older than that computer can find out these things, why can’t the ABC? Or…
              I don’t think the discussion last night here, with a number of people speaking rudely of north Korea and proposing nuclear strike is anything other than trumpian. We have to stay cool.

            No comments:

            Post a Comment