Why Should't North Korea Get Nukes?

Discussion in 'East Asia & The Pacific' started by Osmanovic, Apr 24, 2017.

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  1. Osmanovic

    Osmanovic 1st Lieutenant

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    We all like to think about "crazy Kim" in PingPongYang going after Nukes just to have them but there must be strategic thought behind this strategy. I want to pick at your brains and see what I can fish out, why do you think that North Korea is going nuclear?

    I think they have seen other states such as Libya, Syria, and Iraq make the "mistake" of not getting Nukes and then being destroyed so thats why North Korea doesn't plan to make that mistake. They saw that dialog with the US doesn't save anyones ass. What about Iran ye say? Well ladies and gentlemen Iran has the capability to shutdown the strait of hormuz and severely affect shipping lanes in the Bab Al Mandeb strait because the Houthi rebels have anti ship missiles. Libya, Syria and Iraq didn't have those types of options hence they got wiped out, but Iran does. To add to that Iran has a big population and could potentially become a big market for western goods.

    So is Crazy Kim really that crazy? What do you all think?
     
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  2. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    Sure bro. You are absolute right. There are only two types of countries in the modern world - "nuclear states" and "defenseless preys". International law now is a mere "Law of Jungles" - "Might is right".
    Of course, if Kim wanna unite Korea (or just survive) - he should have nukes.
     
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  3. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Captain

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    You bring very little information about North Korea to get a full picture over Kim and his regime. To convince me, it would be nice to see how they are running. Then we can get a picture how crazy he is if he gets more power with help from China & Russia. Then there is options to calculate how bad he is. What i think is bad is that Russia and China is willing to suport this goverment just for the defence. I think there is a good picture all ready why North should not exist
     
  4. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    He can be good, or he can be bad, it is not your, my or Chines business. DPRK is independent state and all of this - their interior politics. Until Kim don't strike with cruise missiles another independent state (as Donald "Bloody Clown" Trump do) - he is respected leader of respected state.
     
  5. Kat

    Kat 1st Lieutenant

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    Of course there's a strategic and it's pretty opaque - survival.

    North Korea's leadership is not stupid or irrational, it's calculating. This is one misconception that's persisted too long. They've studies the Libyan and Iraqi cases, not just from military strategy and tactics perspectives, which have gone into shaping many of their modern weapons and battlefield doctrines, but the politics of each scenario too. Libya and Iraq gave up their nuclear ambitions and it came back to bite them in the *ss.

    Iraq gave up its nuclear program largely because it was never completed. The Iranians, then Israelis and finally Americans and allied forces permanently shelved their nuclear program. The problem for Iraq wasn't that it didn't have a nuclear program, but that it couldn't sustain and accelerate it to the point of weapons viability. North Korea saw this and sped up the development of its own nuclear weapons.

    [​IMG]

    Today the dynamic is interesting to watch. With the US and China breathing down their neck, does North Korea curtail or slow its nuclear development to stave off the threat of military or economic counteraction against them? Or do they speed up development and call the Chinese and American's bluff? I don't count on the former. Despite popular belief, North Korea and China aren't conjoined at the hip. China has shown a willingness to punish North Korea and North Korea to go against Chinese wills and desires, and even threaten China. Being calculating, not irrational, North Korean leadership likely knows it can't keep playing China too much longer and will continue to develop its nuclear weapons program should it need to confront not just Japan, South Korea and the United States, but China too.

    In Libya's case it's nuclear weapons program went the way or Iran's. Following the 2001 attacks against the United States, Qaddafi was feeling uneasy about his continued hostility towards the Americans and made overtures towards them to better the two side's political relations. One of these overtures was to dismantle Libya's developmental nuclear program, and have it certified as defunct by international parties and organizations.

    [​IMG]

    As in North Korea's case the calculus was survival. Qaddafi gambled that by making nice to the Americans he could prevent them from acting against him, especially given his ties to terrorist organizations and support for previous attacks against Western targets, which made him a potential target post 2001.

    That gamble failed. North Korea saw this lesson too. The US, like it did with Iran, has tried diplomacy and a "carrot" policy with North Korea. Dangling development, economic incentives and whatever else it could muster from its tool box. But taking the carrot today doesn't make you safe tomorrow, as Qaddafi's legacy shows.

    North Korea, learning lessons from Iraqi's failure to properly develop a viable nuclear program and Libya's disarmament, is betting that acquiring nuclear weapons will give it the bargaining chip necessary to maintain it's longevity and stave off any foreign intervention.

    Will it work? Here are a few points to consider:

    • Viability - Can North Korea's nuclear program represent a viable threat? Can it reach US targets? Are its delivery systems and warheads reliable enough? If it can achieve a viable nuclear capability, the likelihood of an intervention drops as the potential for a painful counteraction increases.
    • Relations - While North Korea might not trust the US, Japan or South Korea, its relations with China are still to be watched. China favors a status quo approach to the region. Right now the US and its allies appear to be making the region more tense. But if North Korea's nuclear program becomes an existential threat, we might see China's stance towards it shift and that could make the North Korean government less stable as its economic and political weight in China will decline. China might also calculate that joining the US, South Korea and Japan militarily is a better option then allowing North Korea's nuclear ambitions to continue. North Korea itself is unlikely to make any overtures to South Korea, Japan or the United States, with or without nuclear weapons. That calculus isn't likely to shift in the short term as North Korea doesn't yet have the incentive to negotiate with foreign parties.
    • Theory - True, no nuclear armed countries have gone to war directly, though the instances of proxy conflict (Vietnam, War on Terror, Syrian Civil War) have increased, but are all nuclear powers considered equal? The US, Russia, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan and Israel all back up their nuclear heft with capable conventional forces, strong economies and strong political ties. They have allies they can count on, deep economic ties with one another and deep political heft beyond their immediate area. Does North Korea have any of this? Do nuclear weapons alone make North Korea safe from the theory that nuclear powers wont go to war?
    • Use policy - North Korea's government is not irrational, it's calculating, but that doesn't mean it's always going to be. The willingness to tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea diminishes as its potential to use nuclear weapons increases. That, again, could lead to shifts in the stances of regional or international parties towards it. Perhaps the US, South Korea and Japan will back down? Or maybe China and Russia will become equally concerned and seek to stifle or rid North Korea's nuclear development as the potential for a nuclear conflict increases?
    • Counter-development - The US, Russia, China and allied parties are not going to stop their ABM developments just as North Korea wont stop its nuclear development. The US even pulled out of an arms limitation treaty with Russia for just this reason, seeing increased threats from Iran, North Korea and China. As ABM defences get tighter, do North Korea's nuclear weapons become less of a deterrent? Could the potential for a combined US-Japanese missile shield to be able to swat North Korean missiles from the sky increase their willingness to push for a military solution? It's a similar dynamic to what we see with tactical nuclear weapons. As they get smaller and their effects more localized, the incentive to use them on the battlefield increases as they can be turned on military targets without effecting the population at large or civilian infrastructure.
    Think on them for a minute. Nuclear weapons can have a broad impact beyond just representing a military threat and North Korea represents a unique case.

    North Korea isn't likely to abandon its nuclear program, it's seen the risks and read the cases, so the question shouldn't be "why shouldn't North Korea get nukes" but rather "how does acquiring nuclear weapons change its stance with those around it." Ultimately that'll determine whether North Korea's strategy works or not
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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