This comments on the following articles published 2/18/2016 and 2/19/2016 at 38North.org.
North Korea doesn’t matter because it’s not a viable threat and everyone knows it. The ~$100 million loss to the DPRK can be made up quite easily in other ways. Indeed, the idea that closing Kaesong would pressure or force the North to do anything at all except become more militant is silly. Any of North Korea’s major trading partners could make up that trifling amount in a month, and most certainly have done so.
Kaesong was an excuse to establish a large US missile and larger military deployment to South Korea against China and Russia. That’s the entire point. And that’s the reason Japan has re-emerged as a military power.
Kim Jong-un will not hesitate for a second to use nuclear weapons against the South when he stockpiles enough. He can deliver them without ICBMs at the cost of a couple of cities – but no lasting damage to most of his rural, poorly industrialized state.
A better plan is for the US to stop waving swords at China and Russia and work toward an accommodation. They are NK’s neighbors and will ultimately decide the North’s fate.
The simple fact is that a nuclear confrontation between the US, Russia and China, beginning with the US proxies Ukraine, Turkey, Japan and Israel; the Russian proxies of Syria and Iran, and the Chinese proxies North Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the area of the South China Sea cannot be won by any side.
Nuclear war is a global lose-lose. It would draw in every NATO country which has nuclear weapons, or in which the US has forward-positioned nuclear weapons. In addition to Russia and China, that includes the UK including Scotland and Canada, Germany, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran probably Taiwan and South Africa and that is not an exhaustive list.
The US, with ~1,000 foreign military bases, is hot on the course of confrontation. That strategy might have worked in 1940. It won’t now.