November 11th, 2017

On the Koreas and China

Is this meaningful, or just more blah-blah-blah?

But it sounds encouraging, anyway:

The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting, the South’s presidential office said.

Xi told Moon that he encouraged South Korea to resume dialogue with North Korea and re-engage with them for reconciliation and de-nuclearisation, state news agency Xinhua reported…

Beijing has said it is complying with United Nations Security Council sanctions and doing all it can to curb the isolated state’s provocative actions.

During Saturday’s summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalize bilateral exchanges in all sectors, Yoon added, repeating what was said in the agreement announced last month when the two countries agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.

Mere verbiage? Or signs of more pressure to come on North Korea?

10 Responses to “On the Koreas and China”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Hope it works. Usually more talk than action in these spheres.
    But if it works, it’ll have to be because they were smarter than Trump or something.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m not buying it. Not because I wouldn’t welcome it but because there are too many red flags.

    “The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully”

    The ONLY way the security situation on the Korean peninsula can be resolved peacefully is IF North Korea agrees.

    “Xi told Moon that he encouraged South Korea to resume dialogue with North Korea and re-engage with them for reconciliation and de-nuclearisation

    South Korea has been trying ‘dialog’ with NK since the late 50’s… what basis is there for thinking that it will finally work now?

    What does “reconciliation” mean? S.K. has repeatedly indicated its desire for a peaceful reconciliation that preserves BOTH nation’s independence. That is entirely unacceptable for the N. Koreans. The ONLY ‘reconciliation’ they consider acceptable is an unconditional surrender of the South to the North.

    And to what ‘de-nuclearisation’ does Xi refer? S. Korea has no nukes. So a verbal ‘agreement’ with the South that de-nuclearisation needs to occur is verbal masturbation. As far as de-nuclearisation goes, the only party with a vote is N. Korea.

    “Beijing has said it is complying with United Nations Security Council sanctions and doing all it can to curb the isolated state’s provocative actions.”

    Bilgewater.

    “Xi urged South Korea to take a “responsible attitude on THAAD that stands the test of history”

    THAAD is entirely defensive. It poses no threat whatsoever to N.K. It does act as an early warning system should China launch a first strike. So Xi’s “responsible attitude” is an implication to get rid of it as soon as politically doable.

    This is an attempt by the Chinese to block deployment of US nukes in S. Korea. The ‘pressure’ by China is on S. Korea.

    IMO, the only problem the Chinese have with a nuclear N. Korea is Kim’s premature bluster. They want Kim to emulate Iran’s pretense of only wanting a nuclear ICBM arsenal for ‘defense’… once that have a large arsenal of nuclear ICBMs, then the nuclear blackmail will begin.

  3. M Williams Says:

    Agree 100% with GB.

    The status quo costs Beijing very little and is a non-trivial ongoing cost to the US. Beijing likes the status quo.

    I think there are two things to watch for … 1) when the US becomes convinced that Kim can do major damage to America and/or American interests, and 2) Japan. Since I don’t think NK is going to concede and Beijing doesn’t look too eager to intervene, those seem to me to be the likely game changers.

  4. Cornflour Says:

    From what little’s reported in the story by Reuters, it’s hard to know the primary motives behind the announcement of more talking between China and South Korea. Even so, it’s safe to assume that there will be no denuclearization of North Korea, and that Xi and Moon will be talking about how best to avoid the reintroduction of nuclear weapons to South Korea.

    I’d guess that North Korea, South Korea, and China have all concluded that Trump is just the latest in a long line of American “paper tigers.” South Korea’s immediate objective is to re-establish its Chinese business and trade connections that were threatened by China’s objection to the THAAD deployment.

    As far as I know, that’s a widely held opinion. Where I differ from most pundits is that I take the threat of North Korean ICBMs seriously. Since the armistice, North Korea has had no reason to fear the United States. I think they really plan to use ICBMs against American cities, not just employ them for nuclear blackmail, and that the Iranians will follow suit. They expect the Americans to surrender, and I think that their expectation is rational. Americans have no appetite for a serious war. The country has been successfully divided by race and gender. Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, and women would never support a nuclear war against North Korea and Iran. Most white men have been pacified and feminized. If a unified country survives at all, it would be as a left-wing authoritarian government.

  5. parker Says:

    Verbiage. GB is correct, it hinges on what fat boy wants. Fat boy wants to rule with an iron fist, taunt the world with threats, and receive gifts to appease his strident agression, and continue to develope his ability to pose a nuclear threat.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    M Williams,

    By the time that the US becomes convinced that Kim can do major damage to America and/or American interests… it will be too late. Kim has the nukes and the missiles. All that remains is putting them together. Russia and China stand ready to help if needed.

    Cornflour,

    “it’s safe to assume that there will be no denuclearization of North Korea, and that Xi and Moon will be talking about how best to avoid the reintroduction of nuclear weapons to South Korea.”

    Agreed. Moon is a liberal whose inclination is to appease. The reality is that only unconditional surrender of the South to the North is sufficient appeasement. The ancient Roman’s knew well that, Si vis pacem, para bellum; “If you want peace, prepare for war”. Absent US Military intervention, S Korea is a dead man walking.

    “I’d guess that North Korea, South Korea, and China have all concluded that Trump is just the latest in a long line of American “paper tigers.”

    Perhaps but I think it more likely that they’ve concluded that consensual political support for decisive proactive military action is lacking. To which you suggest below.

    “I think they really plan to use ICBMs against American cities, not just employ them for nuclear blackmail, and that the Iranians will follow suit. They expect the Americans to surrender, and I think that their expectation is rational. Americans have no appetite for a serious war.

    I do not think that either Kim or the Mullahs are suicidal and that would be the result of using ICBMs on American cities. I do think that if they threaten to use them on non-combatant nation’s cities, that we will yield to their blackmail.

  7. J.J. Says:

    North Korea believes, based on our previous history in Taiwan and Vietnam, that the U.S military will leave South Korea when the North gets nukes and missiles. That is based on their study of U.S. behavior and interpretation of that history. They further believe that, when the U.S. military leaves South Korea, foreign investment will also dry up, making the South an easy target.

    How do I know this. A North Korean defector explained this in an interview on C-SPAN. It sounds like the reasoning of a teen, but he claims it is what they believe and why they are insanely focused on getting a nuclear ICBM capability.

    Right now the Norks are racing to complete their nuclear ICBM. When they have it, they will be willing to talk, believing we will succumb to their nuclear blackmail.

    In the end, a lightning strike to destroy the North’s military capabilities is probably the only way to end the threat. (We have a plan and it is imminently doable. What restrains us is world opinion about first strikes and lawfare.) In the mean time the strictest sanctions must be maintained. It must be made clear that the U.S military will never leave South Korea until the threat from the North ends.

    Kissy face between China and South Korea means little. I have little hope that China will do much to bring Kim to heel. They undoubtedly believe that as long as we have to worry about Kim, China is freed up to continue to steal our technology and clean our clocks on trade.

    Peace, men cry for peace through diplomacy. But this is a situation that can only be solved through war. Complete, lightning fast, war for unconditional victory. The shame is that we didn’t accept this years ago when the cost would have been much lower.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The only time that liberal pacifists accept the necessity for war is when they face an immediate mortal threat coming for them.

  9. parker Says:

    We should be more like Israel. International whines and pearl clutching be damned. GWB was correct, Iraq, Iran, and Nk were the axis of evil. But he foolishly went along with “religion of peace” BS. Hopefully, the sunni states will help with boxing in Iran.

    Conversely China will not help in any real matter to defanging of NK. This will not end well.

  10. Ymar Sakar Says:

    If they aren’t dealing with the Test Ban Treaty or Antarctica, may just have to wait for WW3 and Japan’s mecha forces.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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