World War 3: North Korea The War Machine
With 5,889,000 paramilitary personnel, North Korea is the largest paramilitary organization on Earth, this number represents 25% of the population.
North Korea has biological, Chemical, Nuclear, and even radiological weapons. Unfortunately, there is little chance the regime will voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un is very aware of the fates of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who were both toppled after abandoning their nuclear aspirations. He believes a nuclear bomb guarantees the security of his regime, and he might be right.
North Korea claims it has successfully “miniaturized” nuclear warheads – but this has never been independently verified.
September 2016’s test has indicated a device with an explosive yield of between 10 and 30 kilotons making it North Korea’s strongest nuclear test ever.
Mr Tillerson indicated that he thought China, North Korea’s major ally, might be starting to see the regime as a “liability” or a security risk.
“What China is beginning to re-evaluate is whether North Korea is any kind of an asset to them, or whether North Korea themselves and the regime have become a liability to China’s own security,” he said.
Shortly after being elected, Mr Trump accused China of not doing enough to rein in North Korea and suggested the US could take unilateral action.
But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula risk getting out of control, and ahead of Friday’s meeting he said negotiations with North Korea are “the only right choice”.
According to Mr Tillerson, China has told the US it will impose sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.
Other developments have raised tensions in recent weeks:
- North Korea executed a failed missile launch and held a massive military parade in an apparent show of strength
- The US deployed a group of warships and a submarine to the region
- Pyongyang reacted angrily, threatening a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike”
- The US began installing a controversial $1bn (£775m) anti-missile system system called Thaad in South Korea – which Mr Trump said South Korea should pay for. Seoul said on Friday there was “no change” in its position that the US pays for it
- Mr Tillerson and US Vice President Mike Pence visited South Korea, reiterating that “all options are on the table” in dealing with the North
In February, China banned coal imports from North Korea – one of the country’s key exports – and is reportedly also considering restricting oil shipments if Pyongyang continues to behave belligerently.
All this shows the amount of fear there is towards North Korea. North Korea’s system might look bizarre to us from the outside, but the Kims are the ultimate political survivors, hard-edged rationalists whose actions have always had a clear purpose: keeping the family in power. Seeing them as madmen is not only wrong, but also dangerous; any successful policy should be based on understanding the logic of the opposite side, not on discarding it as “irrational” Seeing the Kim family as lunatics with nukes makes them more threatening, and raises the risk of war, but it can also promote unrealistic expectations of compromise thinking “if only the North comes to its senses.”