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originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: fusiondoe
There is absolutely no proof they do have nukes. "Dogs that bark don't bite" he sure is crazy but he also knows that the response would be the absolute annihilation of the entire Korean peninsula.
While his subjects might be suicidal Kim himself lives a pleasant life.
The stars are aligning very nicely for the strategy [Kim Jong-un] inherited from his father. Just as North Korea is perfecting its nuclear weaponry, China has acquired the economic power to punish South Korea for improving its missile defenses. Opinion polls in the South now strongly favor the left-wing presidential candidate Mun Jae-in, who in 2011 expressed hope for the speedy realization of a North–South confederation. If he or anyone else from the nationalist left takes over, years of South Korean accommodation of the North will ensue, complete with massive unconditional aid.
This went on under George W. Bush, and the alliance survived. Donald Trump, however, is much less likely to allow an ostensible ally to subvert UN sanctions while paying tributary visits to Pyongyang. And Kim Jong-un knows this. He knows that whatever security guarantees Trump gave to Seoul were made to the current conservative administration only. So Kim Jong-un has a better chance than his father did of pressuring the alliance to a breaking point. With China’s support he can pull a left-wing South Korean administration in one way while pushing the Americans in another.
Having lived in South Korea for the past 15 years, I don’t share most Americans’ confidence that it will always choose America over a North-supporting China. My own impression—bolstered by the ongoing controversy surrounding the stationing of the THAAD missile defense system—is that a growing number of South Koreans would rather see their state’s security compromised than risk their own prosperity.
As Kim Il-Sung told his Bulgarian counterpart Todor Zhivkov in 1973, “If they listen to us, and a confederation is established, South Korea will be done with.”
If people in the West find this scenario almost as ludicrously improbable as the other one, it is because they have always overestimated South Koreans’ loyalty to their own republic and their hostility to the North. For a long time I made this mistake myself. In 2009 I was sure the DPRK would soon push Seoul and Washington too far, resulting in a punishing retaliation that would start a process of regime collapse.
I was right about the increase in North Korean belligerence, wrong about everything else. Had anyone told me that the Kim Jong Il regime would be able to torpedo a South Korean naval vessel, killing 46 sailors, and then bombard Yeonpyeong Island, killing 4, without suffering any serious retaliation from the Lee Myung Bak administration, I would not have believed it. My mistake lay in not realizing that moderate South Korean conservatives do not identify much more strongly with their republic than the left-wing does. They too, being pan-Korean nationalists at heart, will get angrier about Japanese claims to Dokdo than about their blood-brothers’ attack on an actual, populated island.
This is hard to understand without knowing the warts-and-all history of the South Korean protest movement, to which even many of today’s ruling party members belonged in their youth. Alas, this remains a taboo topic in Korean Studies. In the West, researching it would bring one into conflict with the dominant academic orthodoxy, according to which the military dictators’ allegations of North Korean subversion of the opposition were almost wholly false.
For our part, we must at least stop acting as if the only motive for North Korea’s armament too preposterous to discuss were the one that the country has reiterated, and acted in accordance with, for the past seventy years. Our initial response to 9/11 was to reduce it to a protest against U.S. support for Israel. Only recently have we begun to understand that the jihadists quite literally want the whole world. It is wishful thinking to assume that the ultra-nationalists in Pyongyang, who are far better armed than Islamic State, do not at least want the rest of their ethnic homeland.
He is currently researching how pan-Korean nationalism undermines state patriotism in South Korea. Successive Seoul administrations have neglected to inculcate pride in the republic as a state entity, Myers says, instead equating it with the Korean race: “This is no problem when you have a nation state like Japan or Denmark, but is a problem when you have a state divided.”
This explains why, he continues, there were no mass protests against last year’s North Korean attacks. Moreover, the issue impacts beyond the strategic space: It also hinders South Korea’s globalization. So Myers won’t be departing Korea quite yet? “I want to be here for unification,” he says, though he warns that it could be cataclysmic. “Ultra-nationalism is an appealing ideology — the Third Reich fought to the end, even sending their children into battle,” Myers muses. “We should not underestimate its appeal.”
That impression was reinforced on a trip he made to North Korea in June. Driving from Pyongyang to Wonsan on the country’s east coast, he was able to see rural villages up close. Yet despite their poverty, there was no sense of things falling apart. “You get the impression of a nation that is still cohering,” he said. “It is not simply because of repression, but because the regime still manages to inspire people.”
What if North Korea REALLY do have nukes capable of reaching USA.