North Korea announces that it will launch a missile capable of hitting the US in coming days. Before the launch the US threatens to shoot it down. In response, North Korea orders a short range attack on South Korea which kills a few US soldiers. The US President is now faced with a grim choice. At home people are clamoring for the US to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea. North Korea believes the US will really launch a strike and starts with a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Seoul. The US responds with nuclear strikes on North Korean cities. Within a few days the war is over, but millions are dead and many more will carry the psychological and physical wounds forever.
The above never happened (in full) but there is a recurring theme with North Korea threatening attacks and a game of nerves, arms and diplomacy between North Korea the US and other Asian nations in the region.
North Korea is not my expertise and I write this in haste (please excuse typos but it is this or nothing) but I have been following the situation for many years and I have had some great predictions ie here. I have some thoughts which I see no one in the media discussing, so I wanted to put them out there. I want to say first I am very anti Nuclear proliferation as I think the threat of an accidental nuclear war is much higher than we realize. I strongly favor emergency lines to all powers which could hit us with a nuclear missile even if they are as evil as Kim Jong Un.
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While this plan is not full-proof and while I hate nuclear weapons I see a difference between responsible democracies like South Korea possessing the bomb than ISIS. If you cannot recognize the difference between the two my plan will sound crazy, but you are probably more insane. That said, aside from proliferation concerns there is no perfect solution and this is just an idea which I have been thinking about as a possible good way to solve the North Korea crisis.
Again it must be repeated that there are no good solutions to North Korea. You cannot just start a war because millions will die, sanctions do not work, China does not want the regime to collapse etc. no one has a good plan to solve this crisis for good (at least one that i have seen). So here is mine which I have not seen discussed much or at all in main stream news. We have had troops in Japan and South Korea for decades. Japan is the 3rd richest country in the world and per capita is just as wealthy if not more than America. South Korea is smaller but also has an economy per capita on levels akin to America (if not better), we have troops in both countries. This not only costs a lot of money for US taxpayers but also forces US to navigate a hostile triangle. In some ways that area is like the Middle East – let me explain…
Although naturally one would think South Korea, Japan and America would be united versus China and North Korea the truth is a lot more complicated. South Korea hates Japan and therefore the defense of both countries is put at risk. In fact, even though Japan is a natural ally because of world war 2 atrocities South Koreans prefer Japan over China. I mean look at this poll – it is madness from a pure strategic point of view and does seem a little like Qatar/Saudi/Iran/Russia/US etc Nexis does it not?
This has put America into a situation of not only being peacekeeper but also trying to get Japan and South Korea to cooperate with each-other. Maybe the fact that South Korea and Japan know we have troops in both countries is actually a hindrance here?
So here is my thought – Japan and South Korea could quickly become nuclear. Announce that US troops will leave the Peninsula in exactly two years. This would not be a bluff but could force China to take care of North Korea for good as nothing would scare China more than a nuclear equipped Japan right off of its coast. But even if China does nothing, Japan could have many nuclear weapons within a month and surely within two years. South Korea could also develop one quickly, and this would likely force the nations to closer collaboration.
The idea of the US withdrawing and encouraging Japan and S Korea to go nuclear overnight could change the entire dynamics of the situation.
- Even before the US withdraws it is possible that China would force a responsible solution
- Even if not, Korea and Japan would be forced to work closer together, US soldiers would not be at risk and China would be forced to pay more attention to the peninsula, diverting it hopefully? from South China Sea
- In worst case situation we would have MAD in the area but we already have that now!
In summary, if the US threatened to withdraw it would at worst be as bad as we have it now and likely would be a far better than one we have now. Additionally, one certainty would be less risk to US lives and 10s of billions of dollars in savings.