Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2017

Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That

(Updated below)

Media say,
the U.S. may
or may not
kill a number of North Koreans
for this or that
or no reason
but call North Korea
'the volatile and unpredictable regime'


Now consider what the U.S. media don't tell you about Korea:

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China proposed "double suspension" to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.

"As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress.
Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue.

FM Wang, 'the lips', undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: "The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it."

North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States.

North Korea is understandably nervous each and every time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large yearly maneuvers and openly train for invading North Korea and for killing its government and people. The maneuvers have large negative impacts on North Korea's economy.

North Korea justifies its nuclear program as the economically optimal way to respond to these maneuvers.

Each time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large maneuvers, the North Korean conscription army (1.2 million strong) has to go into a high state of defense readiness. Large maneuvers are a classic starting point for military attacks. The U.S.-South Korean maneuvers are (intentionally) held during the planting (April/May) or harvesting (August) season for rice when North Korea needs each and every hand in its few arable areas. Only 17% of the northern landmass is usable for agriculture and the climate in not favorable. The cropping season is short. Seeding and harvesting days require peak labor.

The southern maneuvers directly threaten the nutritional self-sufficiency of North Korea. In the later 1990s they were one of the reasons behind a  severe famine. (Lack of hydrocarbons and fertilizer due to sanctions as well as a too rigid economic system were other main reasons.)

North Korean soldiers on agricultural duty - bigger

Its nuclear deterrent allows North Korea to reduce its conventional military readiness especially during the all important agricultural seasons. Labor withheld from the fields and elsewhere out of military necessity can go back to work. This is now the official North Korean policy known as 'byungjin'. (Byungjin started informally in the mid 2000nds after U.S. President Bush tuned up his hostile policy towards North Korea - Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy)

A guaranteed end of the yearly U.S. maneuvers would allow North Korea to lower its conventional defenses without relying on nukes. The link between the U.S. maneuvers and the nuclear deterrent North Korea is making in its repeated offer is a direct and logical connection.

The North Korean head of state Kim Jong-un has officially announced a no-first-use policy for its nuclear capabilities:

"As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes," Kim told the Workers' Party of Korea congress in Pyongyang. Kim added that the North "will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for the global denuclearization."

During the congress, as elsewhere, Kim Jong Un also emphasized (transcript, pdf, v. slow) the above described connection between nuclear armament and economic development. Summarized:

After decades of emphasizing military strength under his father, Korea is moving toward Kim's “byongjin” — a two-pronged approach aimed at enhancing nuclear might while improving living conditions.

The byongjin strategy, despised by the Obama administration, has been successful:

What are the sources of [North Korea's economic] growth? One explanation might be that less is now spent on the conventional military sector, while nuclear development at this stage is cheaper—it may only cost 2 to 3 percent of GNP, according to some estimates. Theoretically, byungjin is more “economy friendly” than the previous “songun” or military-first policy which supposedly concentrated resources on the military.

To understand why North Korea fears U.S. aggressiveness consider the utter devastation caused mostly by the U.S. during the Korea War:

via Jeffrey Kaye - bigger

Imperial Japan occupied Korea from 1905 to 1945 and tried to assimilate it. A nominal communist resistance under Kim Il-sung and others fought against the Japanese occupation. After the Japanese WWII surrender in 1945 the U.S. controlled and occupied the mostly agricultural parts of Korea below the arbitrarily chosen 38th parallel line. The allied Soviet Union controlled the industrialized part above the line. They had agreed on a short trusteeship of a united and independent country. In the upcoming cold war the U.S. retracted on the agreement and in 1948 installed a South Korean proxy dictatorship under Syngman Rhee. This manifested an artificial border the Koreans had not asked for and did not want. The communists still commanded a strong and seasoned resistance movement in the south and hoped to reunite the country. The Korea War ensued. It utterly destroyed the country. All of Korea was severely effected but especially the industrialized north which lost about a third of its population and all of its reasonably well developed infrastructure - roads, factories and nearly all of its cities.

Every Korean family was effected. Ancestor worship is deeply embedded in the Korean psyche and its collectivist culture. No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

The country would reunite if China and the U.S. (and Russia) could agree upon its neutrality. That will not happen anytime soon. But the continued danger of an "accidental" war in Korea would be much diminished if the U.S. would accept the North Korean offer - an end to aggressive behavior like threatening maneuvers against the north, in exchange for a verified stop of the northern nuclear and missile programs. North Korea has to insist on this condition out of sheer economic necessity.

The U.S. government and the "western" media hide the rationality of the northern offer behind the propaganda phantasm of "the volatile and unpredictable regime".

But it is not Korea, neither north nor south, that is the "volatile and unpredictable" entity here.


Yesterday's Day of the Sun / Juche 105 (the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung) parade in Pyongyang went along without a hitch and without interference from the U.S. side.

Several new types of missile carrying Transporter-Erector-Launcher vehicles (TELs) were shown. The three hour TV transmission is available here. The military equipment display starts around 2h14m; the nuclear capable carriers are seen from 2h20m onward.

An early-impression remark from The Diplomat: North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal. Here Are the Major Takeaways

Even though Pyongyang withheld from testing this weekend amid rumors of possible retaliation by the United States, North Korea is still looking to improve its missile know-how. Moreover, the long-dreaded ICBM flight test also might not be too far off now. Given the ever-growing number of TELs — both wheeled and tracked — North Korea may soon field nuclear forces amply large that a conventional U.S.-South Korea first strike may find it impossible to fully disarm Pyongyang of a nuclear retaliatory capability. That would give the North Korean regime what it’s always sought with its nuclear and ballistic missile program: an absolute guarantee against coercive removal.

The "absolute guarantee against coercive removal" would, in consequence, allow for much smaller conventional forces and less resources spend on the military. This again will enable faster economic development for the people in North Korea. The byongjin strategy will have reached its aim.

Posted by b on April 14, 2017 at 13:09 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Isnt it amazing, the media in the west will always (ALWAYS!) be there for
western nations when they want to wage a war, year after year. And then they say that we, who protest and expose them we are somehow the propagandists and disinformation agents?!

As b show, North Korea is the rational, but no one in our "free" western media brings these fact up.

No wonder western populations dont have any faith in their states and media.

I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 13:18 utc | 1

Bravo b. Bravo.

Another key consideration from a strategic military perspective, re the massive extensive military 'exercises' by US/SK annually is such can and have been used historically in war to create a sense of routine & normalcy, so if the Nth should be complacent, and its been going on for decades, a surprise attack can be launched and have devastating effects, even thought the Nth is on 'annual' 'alert'.

Maintaining heightened readiness, to Stand To!, stand ready for an attack, especially daily before dawn and prior to & after sunset, bayonets fixed, eye-peeled, adrenaline pumping, day after day, when the extended 'exercises' run, year after year after year is very difficult psychologically for the troops involved, corrosive of morale and discipline, and the Empire is very cognizant of this indeed.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 13:30 utc | 2

I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..
Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 9:18:34 AM | 1

China doesn't have the option of backing away because a North Korea threatened by AmeriKKKa is also a China threatened by AmeriKKKa.
I hope Trump knows what he's doing because the Chinese most certainly do know what they're doing.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2017 13:50 utc | 3

Thank you, b! The pressure to capitulate to the US government on this issue is immense. The propaganda relentless. For over 64 years the American people have been living the Big Lie. The oozing sore of a Cold War that never ended, that was really a Hot War for millions, now threatens to metastasize into Total War. I cannot see how this ends well for any of us, mainly due to the intransigence and irrationality of the US ruling class, who do not care how much blood they shed.

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 14 2017 14:04 utc | 4

The USA as representing western elites have never signed off on the Korean War as a truce and cessation of hostilities but not a peace treaty is the current situation. This war continues and is being pursued by other means, mainly financial and with sanctions, by the west and its South Korean proxies. The imposition of a state of tension by the west is all the west seems capable of with the result in the current situation and any time a solution is proposed that could lead to a lessening of tensions the west either sabotages or outright rejects the initiative. This on going policy by the west is of course aimed at its geo-political adversaries in China and Russia as allies of the North Korean nation. The only fix that I can see is an economic collapse in the west that leads to a pull back from western imperial outposts as they become too expensive to maintain. This can only take place with the demise of the Federal Reserve Note (USD) as the world reserve currency which is printable in any amount the western elites desire in maintaining their grip and domination through imperial dictate over the rest of the world. End this financial death grip and the rest follows very very quickly.

Posted by: BRF | Apr 14 2017 14:07 utc | 5

No small country is safe from the evil empire (USA) if they don't have nuclear weapons. Witness what happened to Iraq (and others) who had no weapons of mass destruction. (even though USA claimed they did)

The USA has always believed the myth that WW2 saved the economy from the Great Depression and that the country would have slide back into depression without a war to fight --- hence the cold war and all the CIA wars ever since. Then came the "destroy the middle east" for the sake of Israel. (or oil or whatever)

The USA remains today the greatest impediment to world peace that there is. The USA may set off nuclear war and the destruction of all civilization at some point.

God help us all.

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Apr 14 2017 14:11 utc | 6

Dead on, b.

If you parse Obama's Nobel prize acceptance speech he hints at the theoretical model he used to cut off chances for peace anywhere. With China's premiere in the room, no less.

Let me also say this: the promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach - and condemnation without discussion - can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.

Effing liar. America offers the choice of an open door to North Korea? Ha. We like our indignation without cream and sugar, to maximize purity.

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 14 2017 14:13 utc | 7


There is no other way to declare that China have backed off, otherwhise we wouldnt see this preparation for war by Trump that came after his big China meeting last week.

China will sure remember this idiot stance they have taken when the wars begin, after North Korea, China will be in the cross-hair themselves.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 14:15 utc | 8

@ Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 14, 2017 10:04:05 AM | 4

All honor & respect to you Invictus, for daunting, tireless & seemingly endless endeavor. Deepest & abiding respect indeed, Sir/Madam. Wishing you & yours safety & joy this Easter. 'Vale, Pax Tecum'.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 14:22 utc | 9

I still wonder why China stayed away from Syria with no talk of supporting Russia. This is/was a golden chance to show solidarity, in my opinion. Both NK and Pakistan are Chinese partners and nuclear powers. With MOAB in Afghanistan and forces around NK, this is a clear message to China. Is China setting a classic trap militarily or they just choosing to fight economically or otherwise? Somehow, Chinese reaction does not add up.

Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14 2017 14:31 utc | 10

Chinese way of rebuking Trump

"On the Korean Peninsula issue, it is not the one who espouses hasher rhetoric or raises a bigger fist that will win," Wang said.

It is utmost stupidity. Trump is parking US war ships in reach of North Korea, Russia and China.

Now he depends on them not to do anything.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 14:35 utc | 11

If you ever ask a local jingoist to list all the countries attacked by North Korea vs a comparable USA list, you will illicit blank stares, followed by anger, followed by the suggestion you go live in North Korea. Putin's analogy of chess with a pigeon comes to mind.

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 14 2017 14:39 utc | 12

@ 8, China does not care about the current leadership of North Korea at all. Their concern is to keep US forces no closer to the Chinese border than they are now, and that they will do. If Trump actually is dumb enough to strike, the Chinese will happily stand by and watch him hang himself. Just as promised at Mar-a-Lago.

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 14 2017 14:44 utc | 13


+1 on that.
Actually what you are describing is the average westerner today (although, perhaps the average westerner is a jingoist today), they are indoctrinated every day by by the MSM, they have no idea whats going on in the world, its so tragic when you try to explain world events and they always react like you said, anger, hate, accuations etc.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 14:48 utc | 14

Trump throwing stones at the mother of all hornet nests.

Wonder what this all does for Samsung and Hyundai stock prices.

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 14 2017 15:11 utc | 15

thanks b... many good comments already too! thanks folks.. @12 lysander - bang on example of how ignorant most folks remain..

why is the usa here there and everywhere on the planet where their war machines? answer - they are the planets most warmongering nation, hands down..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2017 15:28 utc | 16

10:11:29 AM | 6
I do not believe in god, but otherwise I agree 100 %.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 14 2017 15:30 utc | 17

Good article, b. This is extremely relevant yet almost never discussed in the US. North Korea is said to be "crazy", and is treated as some kind of rabid, non-human country that threatens the US. Of course, the opposite is more true.

It's important to note that every country that disagrees with the US is called crazy. Al-Assad is a "butcher", an "animal", a "dictator who kills his own people". Every time the US wants regime change they first vilify the leader of said country to turn him into a non-human entity that should be feared and loathed. This self-justifies the impending destruction of the country, which after all happened "for its own good."

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 14 2017 15:38 utc | 18

If I told you ten years ago that the defacto American diplomat to North Korea Dennis Rodman would get kicked out of the country for getting drunk and taking a shit in a Pyongyang hotel; and that WWE hall of famer and reality TV star Donald Trump would threaten to attack North Korea as POTUS... would you have believed me?

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Apr 14 2017 15:59 utc | 19

Chinese FM earlier today said 'war might come to Korea any time now',
basically, US and allies could attack Korea and we wont do aynthing about it,
what a corrupt nature they are show off now, disgusting.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 16:02 utc | 20

The Huge Moron has got himself into a situation now where China is mediating between the US and Korea.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 16:13 utc | 21

Kudos b putting this together. That was some digging.

Here is my 2 dumb questions: will the person who did the tallying of the MOAB taking out the 36 in Afghanistan be sent to NK for a similar task? Not to be crass, but given it was the "mother of all bombs" should the Pentagon folks not be embarrassed to release the count? KROI.

China warns, and this from Her Majesty's paper, The with video interview:

“World 'on the brink of thermo-nuclear war', as North Korea mulls test that could goad Trump”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Trump, as we have observed, does not enjoy being goaded - fights back when he is accused of having small hands.

And Kim Jong-Un? Well never mind.

~ ~ ~ ~

Wish all abundant blessings this Easter. We may not see 2018.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 14 2017 16:19 utc | 22

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:15:53 AM | 8

Imo, the main reason AmeriKKKa is threatening Korea at this time is because Xi scared them, and their freedom of navigation charade, out of the South China Sea. And now they're adding blackmail to the provocation by putting NK between them. It's cowardly and stupid, which is why I said I hope Trump knows what he's doing, because it doesn't look that way to me.
A violent conflict in NK will create a NK refugee problem which, as history illustrates, is AOK with AmeriKKKans but no-one else.
And if Xi has scared AmeriKKKa once, he can do it again.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2017 16:25 utc | 23

and linked in the article is Democratic-Leader Pelosi 's tweet:

President Trump's escalation on Syria, Saber-Rattling on North Korea Necessitate Immediate Congressional Scrutiny

~ ~ ~ ~
somewhat late after Congress abandoned it's war powers to the past 4 presidents.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 14 2017 16:26 utc | 24

Why is NK our problem?

NK has seen what happens when nations give up their WMD's Iraq got invaded and Saddam first tortured, then hanged. Libya got smashed and Qaddafi got a bayonet up his arse.

Now Syria is in the cross-hairs, with much of the nation in ruins, close 500K dead, millions more wounded and millions more homeless, with Assad being fitted for a hemp necktie.

So why should Kim give up his nukes, where's the benefit?

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Apr 14 2017 16:33 utc | 25

For anyone even marginally interested in the issue of NK vs SK - please take time to listen to this interview - (actually, 2 2-hr interviews). Historian Bruce Cumings looks way back in trying to explain the peninsula and its troubles. One point he makes is that the Korean war gave Truman a perfect excuse to expand the military and set up the national security complex. One thing he does not say is that US likely has zero interest in defusing the conflict - lest they'd have to leave the area.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Apr 14 2017 16:36 utc | 26

To Outraged @9

Thank you so much!

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 14 2017 16:44 utc | 27

Trump is not a huge moron. He is an actor - pretending to be a moron for his moron fan club. He is very convincing. Superb acting. Terrific. An Armada of Stagecraft.

Unfortunately, his moronic behavior leads to moronic and zany consequences.

I'm now wondering how much worse the Known Entity - the Murderous Bloody Hillary could have been.

Trump is a bull in a China Shop.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 14 2017 16:47 utc | 28


IMO, if anyone it is Trump that have "scared" the chinese or rather baited the Chinese with good trade deals and have got the word from the chinese that they wont rescue NK nor attack US if US feel like attacking NK. This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 16:49 utc | 29

b, this occasion, your writing is very one-sided. You left out (as did all the commentators to this moment) the decades of brinksmanship by NK, demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments. Consider this: (who ever is in charge of the WH now or last time, etc.) does not matter as much as "perhaps" that entire region, and the multiple layers of MIC/Deep State folks/their proxies in Congress in the USA, are finally fed up with the brinksmanship for cash to keep that guy's family and supporters in power, and now that NK lunatic has raised the anti to the nuke level (thanks Bill for helping them out there in the 1990's)... it looks like the Pentagon will work the decisions at their level as we now see in real-time. I served a recent tour there. "Ready to Fight Tonight" is not just a motto with South Korea. They have lived it since 1953 and they are really tired of it.

Posted by: E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14 2017 16:51 utc | 30


Could you rephrase your whole chunk of text, it makes no sense, US dont "pay" North Korea anything and the lunatic is not in NorthKorea but in the White House allied with your dear South Koreans.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 17:00 utc | 31

Does someone know how to find KCNA News agency?

Regards Rolf

Posted by: ronny | Apr 14 2017 17:02 utc | 32

You've likely absorbed too much MCM (c - corporate) reporting; for a more complex understanding of the subject, pls listen to - that is you're interested in learning, as opposed to just repeating MCM talking points.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Apr 14 2017 17:03 utc | 33

@ Posted by: E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14, 2017 12:51:46 PM | 30

Respectfully, your comments are very one-sided, and you appear to be profoundly ignorant of the entire genesis of the Korean v US conflict and the motivations and conduct of involved parties since the days of the Kuomintang (KMT), Chiang Kai-shek, in the Chinese Civil War starting in 1940 but especially US actions from Sept 1946 and 1949 onward, as well as relevant USSR/Chinese involvement.

Should you be interested there is significant detail in posts re 'Forgotten & buried History' of which you may be oblivious in the last three threads posts, or not.

If you served in SK, 'Ready to Fight Tonight', then why did you not bother to actually learn something of the Korean history, if only the last 70 years, with you and your buddies lives 'on the line', as opposed to merely regurgitating 'kool-aid' propaganda & misinformation ?

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 17:08 utc | 34

Right on b! Who knew that these offers have been on the table, and have been rejected time after time? Thanks!

Posted by: ben | Apr 14 2017 17:12 utc | 35

34 Outraged
posts re 'Forgotten & buried History'

Where is that?

Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 14 2017 17:20 utc | 36

And while we are studying this, the empire is making more plans.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said.

Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organisations they are talking Hezbollah.
It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war.
Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 17:32 utc | 37

@ Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 14, 2017 1:20:25 PM | 36

Have been involved in detailed discussions that have carried thru the last three threads re Korea covering from 1940, to the critical events of Sept 1945, then thru to 1949 and just as important 1949 onwards, PRECEDING the Korean War of '50 ... many extracts, numerous links/sources/references, from multiple participating posters.

Hm, suppose start around here:

Posted by: Julian | Apr 12, 2017 10:30:17 PM | 103, in the 'The White House "Intelligence Assessment" Is No-Such-Thing - It Shows Support for Al-Qaeda' thread and then continually interwined thereafter thru to current thread.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 17:33 utc | 38

@E Ring 46Z Vet

I you come here for "neutral" piece that give equal weight and view to all sides you are in the wrong place. No author does that anyway and there are mountains to read that always highly endorse the U.S. side on each and every issue. I am not from the States and have a way more neutral view than you will find in your media. But I am not one sided. I have my moral position, my conscience and I follow it. I know what the U.S. has done to Korea - unnecessarily and for what I consider nefarious reasons.

I also know that the claim NoKo was "demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments." is stupidly wrong.

It was only Clinton who made a deal with NoKo which included for the U.S. side the delivery of oil and grain and the building of two civil nuclear reactors in North Korea. North Korea, in exchange, was to stop all nuclear work it had proceeded with including its own building of civil reactors which it urgently needed for electricity. It was a deal. Both side got something out of it.

It was Clinton who broke that deal. It was Clinton who never delivered on his promises. The delivery of oil and grain was slow and ended early. Only the foundations of the reactors were build (by North Korea). No components were delivered. Bush only officially ended the deal Clinton had already renegaded on.

Posted by: b | Apr 14 2017 17:33 utc | 39

"demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43"

Should take lessons from Israel and demand 3 Bil.

50 mil is chump change. How much do you think these annual maneuvers cost?

More to the point, isn't it interesting that the US's war budget is practically unlimited, while money spent on peace is always too much.

You probably support tax cuts for oligarchs while bitching about money squandered upon the poor, homeless and ill.

Posted by: chump change | Apr 14 2017 17:39 utc | 40

Followup to #38

Also very highly recommend the following article and embedded links/references re Korea and consequences/issues surrounding detailed expert factual analysis re possible war here:

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 8:38:58 PM | 248, 'Is There A New U.S. Syria Policy? Is There One At All?' thread. Cheers.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 17:41 utc | 41


I wonder how warm and fuzzy the USA would be if NK had 60+ years ago, devastated our population with the bloodlust described by MacArthur, yet still had 50,000 troops stationed all along the Mexican border(DMZ)with nuclear capabilities that in an instant could destroy Houston, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles??? Somehow I hear screaming and howling coming from the bowels or our esteemed Washington overlords. Kim's behavior is no more foolish.

Posted by: Skip | Apr 14 2017 17:43 utc | 42

Air China to suspend some flights to North Korea

Well well well, this is almost getting comical, chinese show its true nature once again, what a backstabbing nation.
China will be as complicit in this war on NK as Trump (and other pathetic allies).
How many billion dollar deals did the stupid president get by Trump to be able to accept this tremendous blunder?

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 17:52 utc | 43

@43 Trump Towers of Tibet

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 14 2017 17:53 utc | 44

Is the US going the full John McCain?

China rising, pivot on Asia behind schedule. Resources Diverted back to Middle East when Obama's headchoppers threatened US oil at Erbil. More resources for the pivot on China with Russia's re entry into the world of hard power.

At this stage, Russia was supposed to be the gas station that produced nothing. Syria should have fallen to US headchoppers. Philippines has pulled out of the pivot on China.
Obama's leading from behind, and proxy wars largely failed. This leaves the US very short on time to take down China, plus they now have to deal with a Russia that has risen from the dead.
So US going full John McCain to make up for time lost / ground lost through the Obama years?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 17:55 utc | 45

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:32:44 PM | 37

I still think it's a one-front war. Saudi's just formed a NATO-like Sunni force with an ex-Pakistani general as it's head. Now they have a about 20 nation force for basic ground ops and this will help Saudi's in Yemen and may be Syria especially with Pakistan's depth in recruiting regulars and non-regulars. This could not have happened without US approval, imo.

Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14 2017 17:55 utc | 46

@37, Peter AU

Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organisations they are talking Hezbollah.It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war. Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

US is in no position to launch any serious military operation as of now, certainly not against Iran, not to speak about Russia. Bombing something? Sure, as long as it is stand-off weapons and no US casualties. Yet, US is under pressure to "perform" something because, as of lately things are not going too well for US in general and her military in particular. Consider all these plans a self-medication. Per China, China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now, not does she want to risk losing the access to US markets.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 17:57 utc | 47

For those wondering what book the page is from, it's Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013. Using google, enter this exactly into the search box: macarthur "biblical devastation resulted" hit search and the top result will take you to the page. (The actual url is about 4 lines, so I refrained from posting.) I do suggest reading the next several paragraphs, but they are not for the squeamish as what's described is 100% revolting. If after reading the text you cannot fathom why the North Koreans detest Americans more than anything else, then you'll make a perfect Neocon and ought to join Cheney and Co.

Thanks b for posting that extract provided by Jeffery Kaye!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2017 18:08 utc | 48

No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

Meanwhile, overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort).

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 18:10 utc | 49

46) Not true

PAKISTAN’S Parliament rejected a Saudi request to dispatch troops to combat Houthi rebels in Yemen, much to the chagrin of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). When Pakistan joined the Saudi led 34 nation military alliance, Iran took offence believing itself to be the target. Pakistan thus found itself between a rock and a hard place. Stung by the sensitivities of both its friends, Pakistan has had to rethink its diplomatic overtures to maintain the right balance between Tehran and Riyadh.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 18:11 utc | 50

where the hell is Monolycus?! is he stateside now?

Also hat offs to my other long time hero, Jeff Kaye, aka Invictus

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 14 2017 18:13 utc | 51

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:14 PM | 45

Succint overview recap, tho very pessimistic ;)

Its occurred to me you may not fully follow, with utmost respect, what I've referred to on occasion as: no key indicators re logistics/materiel mandatory pre-deployments with minimum ~3-6 months lead times, ONCE, a decision to go to War, or an Op that risks War breakout, any War, has been taken and formally committed to, before the War or risk 'of' Operation, can commence ?

To do so without such pre-deployments well in advance of boots-on-the-ground, ships firing armaments or aircraft launching strikes, ie engaging in Ops that have inherent escalation to War risk, virtually guarantees failure and defeat should a War subsequently breakout ... Lieutenants study tactics, Field officers/Commanders/Generals/Admirals study logistics, to paraphrase numerous famous military commanders, especially smarmy/cheeky/insubordinate military logisticians ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 18:14 utc | 52

SmoothieX12 47 China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now

That is a good reason for the US to act now. Look up the Rand Corp report - Thinking the Unthinkable. Report finance by the pentagon as a military strategy for taking down China.
In the report, if the US acts now, they have a good chance. In five years time it will it will be 50/50 and in ten year it is all over for the US. By then China will be militarily superior or at a point when any US force projection against China will be totally destroyed very quickly.

Rand report here. I had the title wrong in earlier posts. PDF can be read online or downloaded from the Rand Corp link
Thinking Through The Unthinkable

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 18:15 utc | 53

Thank you, E Ring 46Z Vet @#30 for that. I still read this blog from time to time, but this very issue is why I almost never comment anymore. North Korea is to the Left as Israel is to the Right, and it infuriates me. The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because... "America" spelled any various number of ways is eeeeeeeevil. I live in South Korea and have for the past 15 years. I posted a story here in 2012, shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power, about a defector badmouthing North Korea. B chastised me for believing such propaganda and responded with a linked story about how Kim Jong-un had created an agricultural revolution resulting in a surplus of crops that year and was a hero as a result of it. I am in South Korea. Kim Jong-un had been in power for less than a year. The time of year was very, very early Spring and the ground in South Korea was still frozen and no crops of any sort had been planted at all, so I know they could not possibly have been planted yet in the north. Yet I was the one believing in baseless propaganda. There's just no way to have any rational debate when the subject is as sacred a cow to the residents here as North Korea is. You'll catch abuse for your comment daring to suggest any culpability whatsoever for poor, innocent bystander North Korea, but I wanted to reassure you that there do exist a small minority of us who appreciated what you had to say.

Posted by: Monolycus | Apr 14 2017 18:27 utc | 54

The conclusion from a review of the book by SF Gate: "Neer has provided a valuable book that fills in historical gaps and sheds much-needed light on a history that many would rather forget." [Emphasis mine]

The #1 reason the Outlaw US Empire gets away with its continuation of massive crimes against humanity is that its citizenry is mostly ignorant--made so purposefully--of the history that matters and are today's equivalent of "Good Germans." However, that doesn't excuse the remainder of the planet's citizenry from demanding an end to the criminal actions of the Rogue United States.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2017 18:28 utc | 55

@ Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:11:06 PM | 50

Thanks for the link.

This rejection was a while ago, 2015 or so? Or was there a new one after the general was given the top post? I had assumed things have changed since.

Anyways, cornering Iran is the goal that the US/Israel trying to accomplish, at least from reading the pattern of activities. Slippery slope indeed.

Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14 2017 18:29 utc | 56

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM | 52

Thought scenario ... US launches attacks and starts War with China, no virtually 'non-concealable' 6 month mandatory preparation lead-time ... however unlikely, events don't go well for PLA ... China assesses at risk of conventional defeat ... however unlikely, no possibility to continue to conventionally resist or recover for an extended conventional conflict or guerilla campaign... fires a demonstration tactical nuke (no casualties) to send a message re de-confliction/de-escalation, or else ... US either stands down or its MAD. Game Over.

Alternately US just goes MAD straight up and risks it all with a supposed surprise First Strike (highly improbable to adequately conceal) ... only a few Sino nukes make it to Stateside, yet enough to wipe out 80Million+ instantly and same number in initially non-KIA casualties of varying degrees plus turn to 'glass' half a dozen major cities ... well armed citizens response/reaction to their new post-apocalyptic lives of joy & happiness ?

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 18:35 utc | 57

53 / Monolycus

Thanks for proving how well the south korean state propaganda work, you are basically calling for war against your own country (or perhaps you are not even a native korean?) and your own people, and you are calling people here crazy?

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 18:45 utc | 58

The 'Big Event' that Kim Jong Un boasted of, and had 'everyone' paralyzed in fear of nuke tests - the grand opening of a new mass residential area in Pyongyang.

As others have stated, this whole mess is yet another US creation - the consequence of a 'nukes for oil' deal that the US reneged on - NK would cease nuke development in exchange for eased sanctions.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 14 2017 18:47 utc | 59

Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 2:29:12 PM | 55

Dated April 14, 2017

Another fresh link - 17 hours ago

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday assured the National Assembly that Pakistan would not become part of any alliance against a Muslim state.

Responding to a calling attention notice, he said that the terms of reference (TOR) of the Saudi-led military alliance would be unveiled by Saudi authorities next month.

He said that the TOR of the alliance, which is to be led by former Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, and its aims and objectives will be presented in parliament before formally deciding whether Pakistan should become part of it or not.

“We have committed to safeguarding Saudi Arabia’s soil for the safety and sanctity of the two holy sites — Makkah and Medina — but we will not become part of any conflict against any Muslim state, including Iran,” the defence minister said, responding to the notice moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dr Shireen Mazari.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 18:47 utc | 60

add to 59

Egypt's cooperation is not that safe either

In Libya, the three states seem to be in lock step, supporting Khalifa Haftar, for example. In Palestine, a theatre long abandoned by the Arab leaders, Cairo has a deep-seated interest and is backing the anti-Hamas Mohammed Dahlan, who is also very close with the ruling family in the UAE.

In Yemen, the Egyptian regime has announced its plan to maintain its limited presence, although Cairo's unwillingness to expand this presence is another source of disagreement with Riyadh.

The issue on which there is the most daylight between Cairo and Riyadh, however, is the most significant conflict affecting the region today: the Syrian war.

While Riyadh has backed forces opposed to the regime since the outset, Cairo has moved from a position of ambivalence to open support for the regime.


Although rumblings of an Egyptian military presence in Syria have not been substantiated, Egyptian rhetoric and diplomatic efforts have firmly supported Assad. Most recently, Cairo abstained from a key vote in a UN Security Council resolution that would have imposed sanctions on the Syrian government, no doubt to the displeasure of the Saudis.

This position is more consistent with the Egyptian regime's outlook; Sisi rose to power on an anti-Islamist platform and is waging a war against a small scale insurgency in the Sinai. The Trump administration's policy goals in the region seem to align with Sisi's vision of supporting authoritarian regimes against Islamists. This agenda puts both Trump and Sisi into Assad's camp.

For this reason, it seems that Sisi's dream of a joint Arab military force will not materialise anytime soon, at least not with joint Egyptian and Saudi participation.

Without agreement on Syria, this endeavor to unify Arab governments under his leadership is dead on arrival, as the Syrian conflict is currently the most significant security threat.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 18:56 utc | 61

The link to the book extract in the post which @karlof1 provided. The book is Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013

The linked pages following the one above are about the extremely cruel effects of Napalm as used in Korea.

Posted by: b | Apr 14 2017 19:03 utc | 62

Karlof1 @48, @54

The US laid a similar (though smaller scale) trail of destruction in Germany at the end of WWII.

The development of napalm specifically to target civilians ties in the testing of the two US nuclear weapons in Japan. The Japanese target cities were left untouched by conventional air raids throughout, even though they contained valid military targets such a torpedo production plants. The occupants were so used to seeing US planes pass them by without ill effect, that on the fateful day they stood out in the open watching the planes pass by as normal or so they thought. The two attacks - for different designs of weapon - were designed to test and calibrate the effects of nuclear weapons on undamaged cities and unprotected civilians. They were actual medical and physical experiments on real people.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 14 2017 19:03 utc | 63

@ outraged

I have been giving your posts a lot of consideration. How to tie the logistics and so forth lead time, to what we are seeing take place?
create major incident, congress quickly votes for war?
Can the US deploy faster than we have seen in the past? Most US wars since WWII have been wars of choice, done at leisure, in a time and place of US choosing.
The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left.
In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17.
With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician.
The US now have total and complete control over all its vassal. The US can now say and do anything, no matter how obvious, and the bobble heads as Putin calls them, just bobble their heads in agreement.
I think what we will see in the next few years will be much different to the last 70 or so years. If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.
I believe US will act, and that means taking down China as China is currently the number one threat to the US. China simply continuing the way it is, manufacturing, trading ect will take down the US.
The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary.
At the same time, China and Russia are working to prevent the US from going to war.
What you have said about lead time does have to be taken into account to try and work out US strategy.
Does the US need another Pearl Harbour to get its population on a war footing for the coming war with China? Sink a few useless aircraft carriers, similar to battleships being sunk at Pearl harbour when WWII was a aircraft carrier war and battle ships were largely obsolete?
US think tanks like Brookings and Rand. Fronts for the 0.01% ? US policy roughly follows the lines put out by these type think tanks.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 19:04 utc | 64

@ Monolycus

If you truly earnestly believe:

The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because...

following on from the defeat of Japan at end WWII occurred without any similar actions prior to, concurrent with and subsequent to events of the Korean War, and the issues are purely of Left & Right 'isms', not basic matters of Humanity, then frankly, you're viewpoint/position is wilfully documented counter-factual, IMHO. Have seen no 'abuse' as you assert.

You live in SK ? Respectfully, please enlighten us as to the history of the island of Jeju from Sept 1945 thru to today, as an example, maybe comment on the abandoned truth & reconciliation inquiries/compensation and the persisting existing community divisions thru to this day, hm ?

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 19:06 utc | 65

@52, Peter AU

That is a good reason for the US to act now.

From US point of view--absolutely. US establishment, yet again, thinks that it can control escalation. Conventionally, North Korea is a punching bag. But I also would be very careful with any (I underscore--any) supposedly "reputable" US analytical source assessments of anyone. Overwhelming empirical evidence testifies to the fact that often they have no idea what they are talking about.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 19:14 utc | 66

Kim Jong-un orders evacuation of Pyongyang: report

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered 25 percent of Pyongyang residents to leave the city immediately, according to a Russian news outlet on Friday. The Pravda report said that in accordance with the order, 600,000 people should be urgently evacuated.

Posted by: ronny | Apr 14 2017 19:16 utc | 67

@ Peter AU

If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

Stepping back from fundamental military strategy/necessities ...

If China/Russia were facing imminent War, then they would very probably dump all US reserves and Treasury Bonds first, and pre-emptively trigger economic collapse & rout. Unless it's MAD first strike stuff, where is the industrial and manufacturing base of the US/UK to sustain and win a 'Total War' ? Russia/China/Iran/NK are all militarily self-sufficient ... long-term sanctions do that, somewhat self-defeating, no ?

IF the US collapses without War occurring, the 0.01% driving this will have already relocated in advance to, New Zealand or Iceland, etc ? To live lives of luxury, whilst purchasing collapsed US corporations for pennies on the dollar, perhaps, and wait for the investment to mature, maybe ? Ruthless bastards, citizens of the world ;)

Yet, mistakes & miscalculations can occur unintentionally when even only a sustained 'strategy of tension' goes on and on ...

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 19:25 utc | 68

Another thing to consider now when looking at US actions...
US have pinned all their hopes for military dominance on the F-35. Thirty years of R&D, a trillion dollars, and all they have produced is a flying scrapyard.
The F-22 is a top aircraft, but they scrapped production to concentrate all resources on the F-35.
I read not long ago that production of upgraded Super Hornets is about to kick off again.
The F-35 has put the US too far behind. By the time they have designed and produced another 5th gen or later version aircraft, it will be all over for the US.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 19:31 utc | 69

53/monolycos It is possible your opinion is not shared by South Koreans

2003, report for congress
South Korean Politics and Rising “Anti-Americanism”:
Implications for U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

These shifts in the South Korean polity, particularly the rise in anti-Americanism, confront the Bush Administration with a policy dilemma: how to manage the U.S.-ROK alliance while pursuing a more confrontational approach toward North Korea than that favored by many, if not most, South Koreans.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 19:37 utc | 70

You make good points Outraged. Will wait and watch, but I have a bad feeling that comes from a lot of small, on their own, seemingly inconsequential events/moves.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 19:40 utc | 71

add to 69

Opinion polls taken over the past few
years generally have found that large majorities of respondents favor a partial or total withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, though most holding this position say they favor a drawdown unless there are improvements in North-South Korean relations; few favor an outright

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 19:41 utc | 72

@68, Peter AU

The F-35 has put the US too far behind.

It is not just F-35, it is a combination of factors of strategic, technological and operational nature. Take a look at LCS program or at the cost of SSBN Ohio-class replacement--a single hull for $8.1 billion. This is more than Russia spent on all 8 of her latest state-of-the-art SSBNs of Borey-class (Project 955, 955A)--3 afloat, 5-in different stages of readiness.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 19:41 utc | 73

Followup to 67

The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary.

Do not see substantive evidence of the former, yet. Re the latter, other than neo-con/lib chickenhawk warmongers and detached from facts/reason/competent analysis & reality stink-tanks, again, see no evidence other than endless PR and rabid rhetoric, MSM abetted.

Have you seen the most recent data/reports on DOD readiness levels, it's not a pleasant read if you're a jingoistic warmonger ... would argue, short version, the opportunity existed prior to 2001, maybe even as late as 2004-2006 at a pinch ... since then, and now, the window has closed and the opportunity lost ... the vassals you refer to have been as suborned as they are now since the late '40's, they just are now led by such incompetents that they don't have the sense to conceal that they are, bought & paid for, bobbleheads. Yet, they are good time opportunists and no guarantee of staying the course should it come to a potential WWIII, see Germany/Italy/etc ...

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 19:42 utc | 74

Thanks for a great article. It is so good to read truthful information and not the propaganda bullshit the MSM saturates us with.
If more people read this the outrage would force the fascist US government to back off.

Posted by: Ike | Apr 14 2017 19:50 utc | 75

And again,

US successfully test drops nuclear gravity bomb in Nevada

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 19:51 utc | 76

Of passing interest...according to CGTN World Today, April 15, China and Russia's foreign ministers spoke by telephone on Friday to discus stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2017 19:56 utc | 77

@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 3:56:35 PM | 76

Who knows, maybe NK will be rehabilitated, as is, and accepted back into the Russia/China 'Axis', openly, as for the then USSR/ChiCom 'Axis' pre and during the Korean war ? After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ?

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 20:03 utc | 78

Peter AU--

Perhaps the most important yet neglected fact related to the build-up for war with China is the lack of preparing the ignorant US citizenry via the sort of dehumanization campaign waged at Islam/Muslims. Heck, just the great preference for Chinese food makes such a campaign more than difficult--the Yellow Peril proclamations of the past long ago ceased to resonate. Plus, I'll certainly echo Outraged's point about USA lacking the required industrial capacity and raw material for any such war other than MAD versus China/Russia. One of the main reasons the Lead From Behind strategy was adopted along with using terrorist proxies to destabilize Russia/China is because of that rather stark reality.

Yonatan @62--

Thanks for your reply. Napalm was developed at Harvard and the book was published by one of Harvard's publishing houses. Given its current attitude, I bet Harvard would now call its own published work Fake News, and disallow it from classrooms while removing it from libraries.


The following extracts are from Australian National University Professor Gavan McCormack's Target Korea: Pushing North Korea To The Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe and detail just which side did most of the murdering:

"At the outbreak of war in 1950, one of the first acts of the [South Korean] Rhee regime was to order the execution of political prisoners, whose deaths were in due course attributed to atrocities by the incoming Northern forces...Declassified U.S. documents indicated that `more than 2,000' political prisoners were executed without trial in the early weeks, hundreds of them were taken out to sea from the port of Pohang and shot, their bodies dumped overboard...Throughout the country, according to Gregory Henderson, then a U.S. Embassy official in Seoul and later a prominent historian of Korea, probably over 100,000 people were killed without trial or legal warrant. Investigations into all this have scarcely begun...

"When Seoul was recaptured by U.S. and South Korean forces perhaps as many as 29,000 Koreans were executed on suspicion of collaboration with the North...The occupation of Pyongyang and many other cities and villages above the 38th parallel [by South Korean forces] was characterized by atrocities...According to one estimate, 150,000 people were executed or kidnapped...

"The official U.S. Army report at the end of the [Korean] war gave 7,334 as the figure for civilian victims of North Korean atrocities, a small fraction of those now known to have been executed by [government of South Korean leader] Rhee in the first moments of the war alone...

"...The Taejon Massacre...became the centerpiece of the U.S. case for North Korean brutality...A U.S. Army report on the massacre, including graphic photographs, was published around the world in October 1953...
"At Taejon, a town of about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, a massacre undoubtedly occurred...

"...It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the most brutal North Korean atrocity in the South was actually a Southern atrocity in a brutal ongoing civil war...

"...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atrocity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy...

"...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..."

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2017 20:06 utc | 79

Re US war manufacturing base. Where is the MIC at now? US is by far the largest manufacturer of military hardware.
The assembly of the final product has not been offshored.
How much do they import in the way of raw or processed materials?
Steel smelting, rolling ect - Aluminium - Titanium?
Rare earth metals required for high tech military is imported from China, North Korea has the other known large recoverable rare earth reserve.
Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 20:10 utc | 80

Lawrence Wilkerson, a former U.S. Army colonel: U.S. Creating New Foes, Too Many To Handle

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14 2017 20:13 utc | 81

Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

China does have limited versions of both Klub-NK and Club-S, those were shorter ones until recently when China started to get her hands on actual Russian versions of such weapons as P-800 Onyx with their ranges of 660 kilometers, add here SU-35 (also in Russian configuration) and S-400, also in Russian configuration, and you have a rather interesting dynamics suddenly. China's very weak spot navy-wise is their submarine force, despite some good SSKs, PLAN's nuclear submarine component is atrocious--a generation or two behind what Russia and US operate. So, for now it is a mixed bag. Plus there is an issue of targeting, I don't know if Russia will make her Liana system available to China. Can China today sink US nuclear carrier? Possibly, In 5-7 years it will become not only possible but highly probable.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 20:21 utc | 82

Peter AU @79--

US MIC armament production ought to be seen/understood as MIC profitmaking scam that happens to produce few usable/battle-worthy assets. There's a very good reason for calling the USA's once mighty industrial heartland the Rust Belt--it's literally rotting away as a ride on Amtrak's Capitol Limited will testify.

It would be far cheaper, saner and moral to obtain rare earth minerals and other goods via trade than expanding industrial capacity, instituting a military draft, outfitting such a force, then waging a war for conquest.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2017 20:25 utc | 83


I tried for some 15 minutes to find the comment you wrote about and can not find it.

But two remarks:

byongjin policy ('progress in tandem' or 'move two things forward simultaneously') was developed and implemented years before Kim Jong-un came to power. He (more precise: those who are behind him) made it an official party policy and created the slogan long after the program had started. The first nuclear test in NoKo was 2006 - five years before him. The deterrence effects were already in place as well as a lessened conventional positioning, the economic trend was already positive.

I may well have berated you about the uncritical quoting of a North Korean defector. These are notorious liars. Their income in South Korea was reported to be paid by the secret service in dependence of the media splash they create.

There is huge amount of fake horror stories about North Korea in the South Korean (esp. Chosun Ilbo) and global press. Much of it is planted by the South Korean government. U.S. media have thankfully stopped to regurgitate most of the stories for now as too many turned out to be false.

Kim Jong-un had his dogs maul one of his uncles?
Stripped naked, thrown into a cage and torn apart by 120 starving dogs: How Kim Jong Un had 'scum' uncle executed
That story ran one way or another in every bigger western media. It was false. The uncle was executed but after a (sham) trial and with guns by a regular execution command.

North Korea hacked Sony? No it did not. It was an insider hack by a former Sony IT person. Sony made the "North Korea hack" up to escape culpability and to sell an otherwise unsellable bad movie.

Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend reportedly executed by firing squad
Bad, bad boy. But later she turns up on live TV, smiling and laughing as ever.

Kim Jong-Un kills his half brother by having an unprotected person smear highly toxic VX in his face in a very public place in Malaysia? The person who does that gets not hurt one bit? Check the life style of his half brother - girls and drugs and rock&roll - lots of drugs and lots of alcohol. The dude much more likely had a heart infarct and the rest was made up like the other stories above.

North Korea did and does some outrageous stuff. So did and do other countries. How many alleged "communists" and "sympathizers" did the various dictatorships in South Korea kill under U.S. tutelage? Thousands? Ten thousands? A hundredthousand at least. How many sabotage acts did they engineer in North Korea? How many were hurt by those?

I am not blind on one eye. But the anti-NoKo propaganda is similar to the propaganda that created the war on Iraq fever. It is now even more important to look from the other side and to write that up, not just some pseudo-concerned "all sides are bad" pieces.

Looking in vain for the old Monolycus comment I came across a piece I wrote in 2012.

Therein I quote Tariq Ali from a piece he wrote about his 1970s visit to North Korea. This bit from the end of the piece on the U.S. position under Bush/Obama is enlightening:

Over lunch I asked her about [the Bush administration] plans for North Korea. She was cogent. ‘You haven’t seen the glint in the eyes of the South Korean military,’ she said. ‘They’re desperate to get hold of the North’s nuclear arsenal. That’s unacceptable.’ Why? ‘Because if a unified Korea becomes a nuclear power, it will be impossible to stop Japan from becoming one too and if you have China, Japan and a unified Korea as nuclear states, it shifts the relationship of forces against us.’ Obama seems to agree with this way of thinking.

Posted by: b | Apr 14 2017 20:40 utc | 84

SmoothieX12 karlof1

It really makes little sense what the US is up to. Are they relying on bluff and bluster to win the day?
Anon1 @80 put up a good link. It is one of the things that has me worried.

What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 20:40 utc | 85

- North Korea has some good reasons to not trust the US.

1) In the 1990s they had a deal with the US, in which the US would supply Nort Korea with oil in return for a suspension of their nuclear program. But the US didn't deliver on theri promises.
2) In 2003 or 2004 the US made some serious movements that did suggest that the US was preparing a MAJOR attack on North Korea. Under secretary Paul Wolfowitz also made some remarks that would suggest such a move.
3) The G.W.Bush administration (2000-2008) deliberately increased tension with North Korea.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 14 2017 20:43 utc | 86

38 41 Outraged

Very relevant historical background.

Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 14 2017 20:45 utc | 87

@84, Peter AU.

What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

Both. I am not sure that I can correctly estimate a percentage of both. Let me take a wild guess: bluster/bluff-60-65%, Doolittle--35-40%. The foundation of Pax Americana is a mythology of the "best military in the world", without this myth the whole house of cards begins to fold. It was folding with increasing speed since circa 2008 and accelerated tremendously in 2014.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 14 2017 20:46 utc | 88

Shadowbrokers just released NSA hacks for Windows Systems enabling kids to go to work over the Easter Weekend.

NSA hacks include the Swift System.

By the way, google "North Korean hackers" and have fun.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14 2017 20:47 utc | 89


Great that you swing by every so often. But I am not sure why you are offended when people criticise your point of view. That's what comments are for. And that's why this blog is here. To present an alternative view to mainstream lies. And just because you live in South Korea does not mean you have an objective view of the situation there. In the bigger picture, the mad dogs in the US government do all the things you mention, but no doubt because they are America they are ignored and their actions declared righteous. The agreements are historical and it was not North Korea who backed away, broke them or refused to consider them. North Korea has the tightest sanctions on earth and so b's reporting about the rationale for North Korea's actions is timely. Instead of the insidious propaganda we get from Western media. Enjoy yourself in South Korea. Just remember who invaded who there and who is causing mayhem in the rest of the world. Hint; it is not Kim Yong-Un.

Posted by: Win | Apr 14 2017 20:48 utc | 90

@ Peter AU

An old saw, but a profound truism, 'No Battleplan survives first engagement with the enemy'.

So Rands 'plan' ain't worth much ... secondly, if you go into combat/war without actually considering the enemies own moves/counters/plans/actions, then you've already lost before the first shot is fired.

For example, the Chinese have built an autobahn grade highway which ends ~10Kms short of the China-Afghan border, they have 3 combined arms army groups including air divisions from the adjacent Western Military Region they could send over that border pass, after getting the combat engineers, sweating hard and using machinery, to finish the final stretch in a matter of hours ... the remaining army group & numerous Police divisions could secure the military region, as its isolated from potential threats other than Indian border effectively.

Within 3-4 days forced march, worst case, they've crossed the Iran-Afghan border and the ME is toast ... concurrent and co-ordinated with similar capabilities from Russia, the ME is toast. And in conjunction with Iran free to wipeout the GCC's pathetically unprofessional non-commital 'green' 'parade only' militaries.

What has the US got, pre-positioned to prevent it ?

The conventional forces that NATO used to have deployed, pre-positioned and in number to defend a USSR, now RF, multi echelon armored deep penetration into EU, no longer exists ...

The Bundeswehr is a shadow of its glory days as an armored/mechanized shield during the Cold War, now periodically ridiculed for not having sufficient MGs or ammunition to train with on joint training exercises ... War ready in 2017 ?

The nuclear and non-nuclear subs of both sides would promptly slaughter each other in a mutual knife-fight, sudden death, whilst taking out the majority of the Carriers, US/UK/FR ... the remainder of the Carrier group escorts exist and are designed/configured to defend/protect & shield the carrier, not very useful once its at the bottom of the ocean along with all the strike aircraft, pilots, support crews and sailors ...

@ From the Hague

You are most welcome, a group effort.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14 2017 21:05 utc | 91


Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 14 2017 21:07 utc | 92

For those beating up on China (or applauding it) for suspending flights with NoKo.

Air China clarifies ticket sales to blame for temporary flight cuts to Pyongyang; no suspension of services

Posted by: b | Apr 14 2017 21:21 utc | 93

Thanks B for the information regarding how the US and South Korea time their military manoeuvres to coincide with the rice planting and harvesting periods in North Korea. I had not been aware of this before.

Bill Clinton's offer to North Korea to supply grain and materials for building two new reactors and his later reneging on that do not surprise me at all as these are of a piece with the Clinton Foundation raising hundreds of millions for Haiti's post-quake reconstruction which in the end resulted in the construction of one factory employing 30 people making T-shirts for export. No doubt with the North Korean "offer" the Clintons got something of that.

Also thanks to Karlof1 for being the tireless terrier that he is in hunting down the information about US-allied atrocities during the Korean War.

I would like to pose to Monolycus and the other South Korean-based commenter the challenge of explaining how South Korea rapidly recovered from total war devastation in the early 1960s to the point where in 1988 the nation's capital could host the Summer Olympic Games. This all took place in the space of less than 30 years. If you both can do this convincingly and somehow mention Park Chunghee as an enlightened free-market democratic capitalist ideologue, rest assured I will be blown away.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 14 2017 21:23 utc | 94

American Technological progress is probably stymied by the manner in which it is conducted. That is to spread contracts for hardware/software/parts among competing states via state representative congressional bag men. Wasting time and money in the process. Hoping for cost overruns and delays which increase profits. Small wonder the state-of-the-art US warplane is shit.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 14 2017 21:33 utc | 95

I'd have to question Kims sanity if he OK's a missile or nuclear test at this time. Trumps obviously a mad man trying to show how tough he is in order go terrorize countries and maybe his own citizens into submission. However, he has the means to execute the destruction. The MSM will be behind him all the way and Americans love war because God blesses them and they believe they are the good guys fighting evil and making the world safe for liberty and Democracy. American exceptionalism they call it.. The citizens as a group might be the most insane of all of these entities. Certainly the dumbest.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 14 2017 21:41 utc | 96

b - great responses to the naysayers here.. very informative as well. thank you..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2017 21:45 utc | 97

B @ 92: I should think Air China's flight cuts are due to people suddenly cancelling flight plans after the threats made by the Trump government against Nth Korea.

Anticipating though that if the US were to make the first move against Nth Korea, Air China's flights back and forth between China and Nth Korea are going to be very full. I believe there are some 2 million Koreans living in China (mainly in Manchuria) and many if not most of them have family in Nth Korea. Beijing must consider preparing for a refugee exodus into China's northeast provinces if there are as yet no plans.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 14 2017 21:49 utc | 98

mmm... well something major is brewing. What is smoke and mirrors and deflection and what is the real US strategy?
Syria, Korea, Mattis cooking up a plot with GCC+Isreal = Iran

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14 2017 21:52 utc | 99

Although somewhat OT to this thread's topic, the following info just shared relates to the planning and prepositioning of assets prior to an attack, albeit on a small scale. Re, the USS Ross's participation in the supposedly off-the-cuff retaliatory attack for the Idlib False Flag courtesy of Anonymous at SyrPers:

"Regarding the US cruise missile strike against the Shirat airbase, the USS Ross was at its forward base, Rota, southern Spain on April 3. The launch area for the cruise missile attack was some 4000 km away at the far east end of the Mediterranean. Even steaming at top speed for 24 hours a day, it would have taken the Ross 3 days to get to the launch area. For it to have travelled at top speed from the get go, it suggests a specific time-critical mission was planned from before it sailed. If the ship had travelled at a lower cruising speed, it would have taken say 4.5 days to get there, ie sometime between midday 7th (for an early departure on the 3rd) to midday on the 8th (for a late departure at the end of the 3rd). Even if the Ross departed at cruise and received an attack order in route, there would have been a narrow window where it was possible to get there with a combination of cruise and full speed. This strongly suggests the cruise missile attack was planned several days before it actually happened rather than the Ross fortuitously being on station before the order was made. Most likely, the attack was decided on before the Ross left Rota on April 3."

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2017 22:01 utc | 100

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