Monday, September 4, 2017

What everybody is getting wrong about North Korea right now

Yes, North Korea tested another bomb.

Calm down.  Long term, there are reasons to be scared shitless, but this isn't the time to run for the commode.  As Trump started making his own little Charlottesville disaster, I posted this about how the distraction would allow him to divert his attention away from North Korea, and let the situation calm down.  Immediately afterwards, North Korea de-escalated, and I posted this little prognosticating victory dance.

So... what's the deal with North Korea's test?  The deal is what they didn't do.  Remember what the threat was a few weeks ago?  The threat was to shoot a missile at Guam.  They didn't a few weeks ago, and they didn't over the weekend.  They tested a bomb.  This serves two purposes.  First, it makes North Korea look like they are still confronting the US, but second, it does so without actually doing anything.  There is no attack.

North Korea will. not. attack. first.  Period.  (Was that enough periods?)  Why not?  Because Kim Jong Un would like to, 'ya know, not die.  North Korea has nuclear weapons as a deterrent, not as a first strike weapon.  By having them, they are safe from first strike... by any sane actor, because the consequence of a first strike on North Korea is retaliation by nuclear attack.  You get nukes, you get a free pass.  Economic sanctions?  Maybe.  Probably, even, depending on what else you do, but you won't get attacked.  (Again, by sane actors...)  Nukes don't give you the capacity to launch unprovoked attacks, though.  That's why it is important to pay more attention to what North Korea didn't do-- anything related to Guam.

I told you so.

However...  Notice that the rhetoric now isn't so much about "fire" or "fury?"  Sure, we get a bit of generic stuff about military options, but at least Trump is now just threatening things like a trade war with China if they do business with North Korea.  Cutting off trade with China is... not going to happen.  But neither is a North Korean attack on Guam.

I told you so.  Drama queens with nukes...

No comments:

Post a Comment