Skip to Content

No US War on North Korea

An optimistic perspective on a scary crisis

I'm predicting that the same thing will happen in the case of North Korea (which borders both China and Russia). The Trump administration may threaten to attack, but the bottom line is that a US attack on North Korea, or even a so-called "surgical strike" on its nuclear weapons development facility or a special forces attack on its leader, Kim Jong-un, would be viewed by China's government as a mortal threat to their country's national security, just as Russia views any effort to turn Ukraine into a US puppet and NATO member as a mortal threat to itself.

Actually, there are a number of good reasons to doubt that the US will attack North Korea, nuke test or no nuke test. The first is that China, which is reportedly already moving crack Peoples Liberation Army troops and equipment up to the North Korean border, will not allow the US to conquer and occupy North Korea, the first being that such a move would put US military forces right up on China's border. The second is that US policymakers, even those neo-conservatives who might like the idea of challenging China in principle, know they really have no idea how the North Korean people would react to a US occupation, following an air attack. It's not common knowledge in the US, but the reality is that during the Korean War, US bombers dropped, over a period of a couple of years, a tonnage of bombs on North Korea equal to all the bombs dropped in the Pacific Theater during WWII, killing a third of the country's population. Virtually every North Korean has at least one family member who was killed by American bombers during that relentless and brutal onslaught, which was so intense that towards the end US pilots were reportedly dumping their bombs in the ocean before returning to base so they could land safely, because they could find no more targets to hit in the North.

Given that history, and the generations of anti-US propaganda since then in the country, no one could say for certain that American soldiers fighting their way into North Korea today would be viewed purely, or even by some people, as "liberators." (In that sense, the experience in both Afghanistan and Iraq is probably still in the minds of the Pentagon brass, if not in the minds of the armchair generals at the White House.)

Even South Korea, effectively a US colony or vassal state since the end of World War II, has to be taken into consideration. Most South Koreans are aghast that the US would consider attacking the north. For one thing, the capital of South Korea, Seoul, is so close to North Korea that it is in range of thousands of large cannons, many of them well hidden and protected in tunnels in the north, which are trained on the city could rain down powerful shells on it as devastating as any aerial bombardment campaign. Many people in Seoul still recall how their city was destroyed during the back-and-forth battling of the Korean War in the 1950s. For another, many South Koreans have relatives in the north, and don't want to see them killed or injured in another round or war on the peninsula, even if the fighting could be confined to the north. Finally, South Korea itself has a long history of popular resistance to both the country's corrupt and often autocratic compradore government and to the US military's occupation of the country and its dominance over South Korea's own military. How such a populace would react to a new war on the Korean people of the north would be hard to predict in advance.



story | by Dr. Radut