City Journal Autumn 2014

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Judith Miller and William H. Tobey
Peninsula of Fear « Back to Story

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China being the linchpin has never been a secret and validates GWB's demand for 6 party and not bilateral talks, which Obama and the Dem's denounced. China's position given, then the meat of the article is "whats in it for China." Here, their downside is listed as more US troops (on the peninsula?) and enhancing the bond between Japan and South Korea. China's upside is, reduced North Korean refugee's into China,the diminished international perception of US influence and power plus the US's need for increased spending. China is more than just the solution to North Korea, it's also the problem!
Jimmy Carter and Madelien Albright should be sent back to North Korea to work the magic that once brought relative peace between our countries. If they fail, they should be left there this time.
Our problem is centered on the extremely face-conscious Chinese and Koreans who are smugly satisfied right now at the idea of Americans coming to them for help, in the guise of "consultations".

I think we Americans have been right smartly boxed in by both the North Koreans and the Chinese, together...in conjunction, while neither country has the slightest concern over what constitutes an "abrogation" of any prior agreements between anyone at all. They simply ignore these at will.

Compounding this mess is our own treaty obligation to defend South Korea. Say, then, that we've been outwitted by the very "entangling agreements" which this country's Founders warned against.

All of the above will be vigorously denied by the Hillary State Department, who're manifestly not as smart as the think they are. Obama himself won't have a clue. Was he even born when the Korea's were divided?

My own preference would be to let those three very manipulative countries settle things among themselves...with the obvious attention-getter of a South Korean, without American involvement, pre-emptive strike against all suspected North Koream nuclear sites, with an accompanying pre-emptive strike against the so-called "blackmailing" artillery positioned against Seoul.

The sooner....the better.

Above all, we do not want American involvement in yet another Asian ground war.

We never learn from History.
Hogwash. How many times does this have to happen until the "really smart people" in the punditry world (let alone the diplomatic corps) realize that China *has no interest* in reigning in North Korea.

China isn't afraid of refugees or instability. They're afraid of a democratic unified Korea with a U.S. ally. They're afraid of a U.S. unencumbered by wars in the Middle East sapping its strength and attention. For the last decade, China hasn't allowed North Korea to be a nuisance, it's *enabled* North Korea to be a nuisance-- a proxy state keeping the U.S. and its allies on their toes.

In exchange for foreign aid (and *always* looking the other way), North Korea gets to be China's bad cop. China has no interest in losing that flexibility, and they will continue to laugh in the face of American and ROK entreaties to "stop... or I'll ask you to stop again."
I'd guess this is a high priority for the administration. After all, Obama has made it a signature of his foreign policy to oppose the spread of nuclear weapons. START stalled in the Senate, his endless dance with the Iranians, the impossible situation with N. Korea...I'll say this for the man, he certainly didn't pick an easy issue to be his crowning achievement.
Obviously giving up nuclear weapons is a utopian fantasy for the U.S., but I'm still wishing him luck with all the goals above.

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A very realistic view of the limitations of US leverage absetn cooperation from our largest creditor, who one would think would value our stability pretty highly