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LAST CHANCE FOR PEACE IN KOREA - THREAT OF WAR OR OFFER OF PEACE? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-8-11 13:22:30 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-8-11 13:22

The press and pundits got it all wrong.  Nobody wants war.  Deterrence is the only way to avert war in the absence of a peace agreement. That has been the only solution in all history, the 21st Century not excepted.

In mathematical terms, deterrence is an unstable equilibrium maintained by a balance of threats, power and diplomacy, constantly managed by both sides, not so much to ensure it is sustained, but also in order to destablize, demoralize, and defeat the other side.

Peace agreements on the other hand, are a stable equilibrium, much harder to overturn or replace, because the very terms of the agreement are verifiable, are inter-connected, and are externally supported by other parties to ensure mutual compliance.

The latest round of threats should not distract us from the multiple prior rounds of threats, which provide the backdrop and basis for the current threats.  The Allies want unconditional denuclearlization by North Korea, before peace can be agreed on.  North Korea wants a peace agreement before denuclearization can be started.  The unspoken understanding however is that denuclearization ensures regime change, and indeed makes it inevitable, which is an absolute deal breaker for North Korea, and therefore it demands a peace treaty that guarantees regime survival before it will agree to denuclearize.  Sanctions and military threats increase the probability that North Korea will cave in, no doubt, as most regimes would probably have long done so.  North Korea, however, had the benefit of hindsight, after what happened to Libya, and could not be persuaded to follow Qadaffi's footsteps.

All this talk about the other side refusing to talk is based on both sides not wanting to state the deal breaker, the removal of the Kim regime, as the final outcome, that one side insists must happen, the other side resists continually.

The latest threat arose from Trump's spontaneous warning to North Korea to stop threatening America with military attacks, or face "Fire and Fury like the world has never seen before".  Ignored by the press and pundits is the fact that North Korean threats are mostly directed at the war games played out through the year at her doorsteps, the next one being slated to begin on August 21, 2017, which are what war games are supposed to be, rehearsals for actual attacks and defense in the future.  Without Trump's threats, North Korea already expected to face "Fire and Fury like the world has never seen before" on August 21, 2017.

In a deft play of hand, North Korea countered it will conduct its own missile war games on the doorsteps of the closest American territory it could reach, Guam.  Sounds extremely provocative, indeed.  But this sets the stage for a realistic negotiation that a genuinely concerned and impartial third party could grasp onto, in proposing a postponement of both war games, by the Allies and by North Korea, which is one step better than the original armistice, where both sides agree to postpone real actual military conflict across the DMZ.

North Korea was implicitly asking for a referee to stand up and take the role of a mediator, who can now propose in the interest of both threatened parties, that the threats, i.e., war games by both sides, should be postponed.

This, in turn, sets the stage for further negotiations about the terminal goal of both sides, peace in Korea with complete denuclearization, which is not a bad outcome for both, except that the burden of being a mediator carries the cost and responsibility of also being the guarantor, which costs political and financial capital, as well as an enormous exposure to being dragged into the next Korean war if either side should violate the agreement.  That is a 10 Trillion Dollar insurance premium that China must self-finance, for everyone's benefit, and it is evident that China is not ready, if not also unwilling, to accept this responsibility and risk for all times.

But, this is also the way and perhaps the only way, for China to justify her claim to be a respected, responsible superpower, and be able to guarantee, no longer just the security of the Korean peninsula, but also of the Asia Pacific region, based on an agreed code of conduct by all parties.






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Post time 2017-8-12 15:37:26 |Display all floors
The sooner both sides get to the gist of the deal, the better it will be for every one.  But human nature being what it is, things are likely to get uglier before they get better, if ever.  Knowing this, one should not be overly pessimistic when things look worse.  

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Post time 2017-8-12 16:16:26 |Display all floors
ABC,
very well categorized indeed.
North Korea, however, had the benefit of hindsight, after what happened to Libya, and could not be persuaded to follow Qadaffi's footsteps.

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Post time 2017-8-12 16:24:27 |Display all floors
And I don't blame our Swiss educated lad at all.
Libya would be a wonderful of the world by now.  Israel could not be so humiliated .
The order was given to eliminate this dessert fox.
I'm not worried at all, our paper tiger would love to nuke from high up. That Middle Kingdom he's scared off.  Panda will eat paper tiger.

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Post time 2017-8-13 02:24:55 |Display all floors
If Zhou were around, he would tell both sides to cut out the crap.  It is all about "regime change" which was what propelled NK to want nuclear weapons.  If you remove "regime change", you remove "nuclear weapons" which cost money to make and to maintain, and increases the risk of total destruction as well.

A Letter of Intent is all that is needed, to wit, that both parties agree to work toward a Peace Treaty based on the total and permanent denuclearization of North Korea in exchange for an irrevocable guarantee to never attack, overthrow or lay sanctions on NK.  If the Letter of Intent is signed before August 15, 2017, both parties shall agree not to hold war games within 1000 miles of each other's territory for a period of 3 months, after which this LOI shall automatically expire.

If no LOI, there will be war games, and given the stakes, open warfare during one of these so-called "games".  In short, no LOI equals WW3.  Thus, everyone will have to go home and prepare for the end of civilization as we know it.  The collapse of NK will create such a vacuum that the superpowers cannot avoid being sucked into it, on terms of distrust, if not outright opportunistic adventurism. as it would provide the perfect pretext for a change in the world order.

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Post time 2017-8-13 03:07:21 |Display all floors
By the way, the manner in which Trump was treated by his own party and the Democratic Party as regards sanctions on Russia, without discussion with him, sending him a bill that had enough votes to override any Presidential veto, handicaps him in making any credible offer of peace or of non-sanctions, as he clearly is no longer calling the shots.  

Because of this unfortunate weakening not just of Trump, but of the very office of the Presidency, because he did not have enough support to contest its erosion, leads to further instability down the road, as it is not clear if any offer he makes would be believed in as fulfillable.  And if not, then he would have to order a halt to the war games on his own authority without any guarantee that it would lead to a Peace Treaty in the future, which subjects him to the risk of being taken advantaged of by Kim, who can use the lull in war games to speed up his nuclear build-up, without any intent of denuclearization ever, as the prospect of a guaranteed peace, as Putin found out, is simply out of the reach of Trump.

This is the latent danger in the political setup right now.  America has lost a credible deal-maker for the country vis-a-vis other countries.  Instead of being the general manager, he has been demoted to being a mere salesman.

And you don't always expect the salesman to be able to deliver on his promises, do you?

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Post time 2017-8-13 05:40:40 |Display all floors
Peace will come to Korea only after China replaces the Kim government and US forces leave Korea. Korea is "Chinese turf" like Canada and Mexico are "American turf". This is the only solution.
Without World Government we are DOOMED.

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