A Nuclear North Korea Is Here To Stay

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Doug Bandow via The National Interest,

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test. It was probably a boosted atomic rather than hydrogen bomb, as claimed by Pyongyang, and there’s no evidence that the weapon has been miniaturized to fit on a missile. But the test was the North’s most powerful yet. And it follows steady North Korean progress in missile development.

Despite matching Kim Jong-un bluster for bluster, President Donald Trump is doing no better than his cerebral predecessor in halting Pyongyang’s military developments. President George W. Bush had no more success, first targeting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a member of the infamous “axis of evil,” before flip-flopping to negotiate with the current ruler’s father. At least Bill Clinton achieved a temporary freeze of the DPRK’s plutonium program with the Agreed Framework, which ultimately was undermined by both sides.

Despite its relative poverty and isolation, North Korea has confounded the experts and made surprising advances in both nuclear and missile technology. While all projections are conjecture, Pyongyang may become a medium nuclear power with an effective deterrent against the United States.

That doesn’t mean Kim Jong-un intends to wage war on America. Rather, he hopes to prevent Washington from attacking the DPRK. It’s an important distinction. Kim may be evil but, like his father and grandfather, there is no evidence that he is suicidal. They all appeared to prefer their virgins in this world rather than the next. Indeed, Kim may hope to extend the dynasty: his wife is thought to have given birth to their third child earlier this year.

Unfortunately, negotiated denuclearization is dead. North Korea has invested too much and is too close to creating a nuclear deterrent. For the nationalistic, isolated and fearful—even paranoid—regime to stop now would be unthinkable.

Moreover, Pyongyang faces greater threats today than ever before: the Republic of Korea has continued to race ahead economically, China and Russia are undependable friends if not frenemies, and the United States is far more aggressive internationally. Washington dismantled Serbia, imposed regime change on Afghanistan and Iraq, and took advantage of Libya’s voluntary denuclearization to oust the latter’s dictator. The North demonstrates that even paranoids have enemies.

Despite the president’s insistence that “all options are on the table,” there is no politically viable military option. The United States could attempt to destroy nuclear facilities and missile sites as well as decapitate the highly centralized North Korean regime. However, Washington may not know the location of all the North’s nuclear operations, be equipped to reach those deeply buried, or be able to fully track the movements of Kim and his chief lieutenants. Moreover, any such strike likely would trigger full-scale war.

Even if the U.S. government insisted that it planned no further action, the North would suspect that Washington intended regime change after taking out the DPRK’s best weapons and top leaders. Pyongyang is aware of America’s capabilities and if faced with U.S. military attack, then it would not likely allow Washington to build up its forces and strike at leisure. The Pentagon might hope to scare the North into restraint, but on such a faint hope tens or more likely hundreds of thousands of lives—American, South Korean and North Korean—would depend.

Increased sanctions would hurt North Korea but probably not stop its nuclear and missile programs. Two decades ago famine killed at least a half million people, without changing Pyongyang’s course. Although the DPRK’s elite is enjoying a bit more of the good life, its members are unlikely to revolt if conditions worsen. And China is not yet ready to impose the sort of economic penalties that could cause a North Korean implosion. Using secondary sanctions against Chinese and Russian enterprises risks ending cooperation by those nations with Washington’s efforts.

President Donald Trump should follow his earlier instinct for engagement. To start he should stop threatening war. Doing so reinforces the Kim dynasty’s case for building nukes and missiles. Also, the more the administration talks about the “many military options” possessed by a president few Americans or foreigners trust with the nuclear codes, the more it is likely to unsettle Washington’s allies.

The United States also should talk to Pyongyang. There doesn’t have to be a Trump-Kim summit, just an open and regular communication channel for the practical, such as detained Americans, the recovery of the remains of U.S. military personnel, and nuclear weapons. To encourage substantive talks, Washington should freeze joint U.S.-ROK military exercises in return for suspending North Korean missile and nuclear tests. The further its programs develop, the less likely it is that Pyongyang will ever halt them. Moreover, the steady increase in regional tensions and rising panic in Washington makes foolish and reckless confrontation more likely.

The president tweeted his threat to end trade with “any country doing business with North Korea,” no doubt aimed at China. If the administration wants support for tougher measures, it needs to negotiate with Beijing. The People’s Republic of China is not happy with its nominal client state, over which the PRC actually has limited influence. If the DPRK was inclined to listen to its large neighbor, it would have abandoned nuclear weapons and adopted economic reforms years ago.

Moreover, the DPRK’s survival is a security issue for China, which wants neither a failed state nor a united U.S. ally hosting American military forces on its border. Relations with the North also are sensitive politically: both the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army have long-standing ties to Pyongyang.

Worse, attempts to threaten and browbeat China’s nationalistic leadership are likely to backfire. President Trump should consider how he would react to similar threats. In this case the PRC likely would find support and aid from Moscow, which has its own reasons for making life more difficult for the United States. In recent years Washington has turned Richard Nixon’s famous outreach to China on its head, pushing America’s two Cold War antagonists back together.

In return for Chinese support, Washington should lower the peninsula’s rhetorical temperature, offer to talk with the North, and develop a comprehensive benefit package in return for denuclearization. The United States also should accommodate the PRC’s interests: For instance, offer to help care for refugees from a North Korean collapse, give Beijing a free hand intervening in the DPRK, and promise to remove U.S. forces in the event of reunification. Then press China to act.

In case the North forges ahead, U.S. officials should consider how to deal with a nuclear North Korea. Bilateral communication would become even more necessary, like with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Improving missile defense would take on greater urgency.

Most important, Washington should reconsider outdated policies which endanger the United States. America should phase out its security treaty with and military deployment in South Korea. The ROK is capable of its own conventional defense; without the Cold War the peninsula looms much less important for U.S. security. If the North develops the ability to destroy American cities, Washington’s participation in another Korean War becomes more dangerous than any conceivable geopolitical stakes for the United States. The moment Pyongyang found itself to be losing it could target America’s homeland.

Even Washington’s long-standing nuclear umbrella would become a problem. Although nonproliferation remains a worthy objective, in Northeast Asia it has had an effect akin to that of domestic gun control: ensuring that only the criminals have guns. China, Russia and North Korea now possess the world’s most fearsome weapons, while South Korea, Japan and others (Taiwan and Australia) do not. Instead, they rely on America. But if nuclear war arrived, would this or any other president sacrifice U.S. cities for a cause which did not pose an existential threat to America? Hopefully not.

It is time to debate the unthinkable: acquiesce in, or even encourage, creation of countervailing South Korean and Japanese nuclear deterrents. Public opinion appears far more favorable to such a possibility in South Korea, but if the latter acted, Tokyo would be forced to consider a similar course. If Beijing saw such action as likely, it would have greater incentive to act against the North to preclude the threatened spread of nukes. More nuclear weapons would not be a good answer, but long ago Korea became the world of only second best solutions.

The latest nuclear test provided no surprises. But it dramatically reminds us of the DPRK’s growing nuclear capabilities. There is no easy way to disarm North Korea. Washington must rethink assumptions and policies which have manifestly failed.

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jump_mutha_fukah's picture

None of this is NK...its all CHINA...when will people wake up. Gog and Maygog...NK is just a pawn. forgive my attrocious spelling.

stizazz's picture

China is ALL business. US is ALL warmongering. http://wp.me/p4OZ4v-2g9

wee-weed up's picture



"A Nuclear North Korea Is Here To Stay"

Most disgusting shame on you if you accept that bullshit...

Wussy appeasers everywhere salute you!

Ol' Neville Chamberlain would be so very proud of you!

totenkopf88's picture

Chamberlain was right. Churchill was a warmongering Zionist tool that ensured the destruction of white Christian Europe. 

Mango327's picture

"Ok China, here's the deal: get Kim to denuclearize voluntarily in exchange for Scarborough shoal and withdrawal of THAAD, or we fire the hurricane gun and hit Kim with a tactical nuke as the eye passes over Pyongyang." - With Love, Donald J Trump



philipat's picture

Unless the MIC and Deep State is prepared to sacrifice SK and the City of Seoul with a pre-emptive strike NOW before the weapons in NK get sohisticated enough to represent a real threat to the US. And we all know how the evil bastards in the Deep State think? IMHO Kim isn't irrational, he just doesn't want to be the Ghaddafi and once he is accepted as a nuclear State he will not be a threat to anyone.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

A Nuclear North Korea Is Here To Stay

My response: A NUCLEAR DPNK is hear to stay only if it is the WILL and PURPOSE of GOD. Nothing else matters and the jury is still out. We saw what one storm could do to Texas and Florida, so the conclusion is that nothing is certain.

As of right now, DPNK is not mentioned in the anywhere in Prophecy that I can see. Therefore, something happens that is yet to be seen.

yomutti2's picture

Kim now has th elife expectancy of a ham sandwich. Once he's dead, and a Chinese puppet is installed, the process will go smoothly.


idahobandito's picture

Kim is the chinese puppet. Put nukes in SK and Japan, and kim will go away under the condition we remove them. All of Kim's technology/manufacturing of nukes and missiles have come from China. Engines may have came from Ukraine.....probably after a healthy donation to the Clinton foundation.

Swampster's picture









and you certainly can't have a Bill of Rights, a middle class or a 2nd Amendment....

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

NK has been invaded so many times in he last 60 years I can see why they believe that they need a nuclear deterrent to prevent these invasions.

Oh, wait...


Keep building up the NK dictator shield.  Keep your enslaved NK people eating tree bark and grass. 


ebworthen's picture

I have to agree with you.

The Korean War was a proxy war with Communist China, and instead of winning we folded, then sold out our manufacturing and career employment to the Chicoms (Chinese Communists or the P.L.A. for those of you in Rio Linda).

North Korea is still a proxy, China is happy to let them shoot off missiles as they keep sending boatloads of plastic crap over to the U.S.

"A Nuclear North Korea Is Here To Stay" - ah...sure...as long as Kim is alive.

The globalists want continued unfettered trade and 30 more years of talk.

My kids and I don't have 30 years to waste.

Eyes Opened's picture

"North Korea is still a proxy, China is happy to let them shoot off missiles as they keep sending boatloads of plastic crap over to the U.S."


Ebworthen.... re-read your own words above ....


**IF** u believe NK is merely a pawn in a proxy war then the US should , oh I dont know, maybe not be engaging in proxy wars ?? If u want to pick a fight why not pick on someone yer own size.... oh I forgot .. US bully only fights with countries that can't defend themselves...


Little Kim has given the bully a bloody nose & he doesn't like it ... BUT the bully will think twice from now on... maybe move on to bullying some other vulnerable country... like Yemen ?? 

As for China "sending loadsa plastic crap" ... its YOU who buys this stuff & prefer to pay less for crap than buy more expensive & more durable american-made products. 

America the exceptional victim...

Everyone else to blame, but no blame here....

USA !! USA !! USA !! 

ebworthen's picture

I have no control over the corporations and the lobbyists that push this crap - that is the problem.

No, not "USA!  USA!" but "U.S. Legal Citizens!".

If you aren't from here S.T.F.U.

If you are, get a fucking clue.

Eyes Opened's picture


"If you aren't from here S.T.F.U.

If you are, get a fucking clue."


You're right... I'm NOT from "there" ... but... when 'Murica fucks up, the rest of the world has to live with the consequences....so I have as much right as u to comment....

As a consumer u have control over what purchases u make so don't play the victim of corps...

It's about accountability... and American citizens seem to think they have no responsibility for their governments actions.... WRONG !!!

lucitanian's picture

You are totally right.

This article starts well laying out the logic, why N. Korea adopted nuclear weaponry, and faced the fact that it is now a nuclear state. Why, because the US threatens it, and non-nuclear countries are squashed like flies by the US.

But then it fails by falling into the delusional trap of white hat, black hat exceptionalism, that the US and its allies are the good guys:

"in Northeast Asia it has had an effect akin to that of domestic gun control: ensuring that only the criminals have guns. China, Russia and North Korea now possess the world’s most fearsome weapons,"

It is this imperialist neo-colonialist doctrine that cannot except equality or respect other values or systems even outside its own borders in the wide world, other than its own global usury and exploitation controlled by Washington and its global partners in crime, that has in fact created this situation.

This is not about N. Korea, its about the US loosing its possibility to determine the future of rising multilaterallism, and dictating through its weakening position as the controller of the petrodollar, having abused its position vis-a-vis a global reserve currency.

No, China and Russia, even N.Korea are not "the bad guys" in black hats, and N. Korea is not attacking or invading Syria or the Yemen. They are all in fact reacting to the "threat" of the last 70 years of US policy.

The US needs to take a long look in the mirror and see just how the swamp fever has taken over and ravaged the entire being. It's now rotten from top to toe. Yet still, its only reaction is to lash out and blame the rest of the world.

As you say "Everyone else to blame, but no blame here...."

OpTwoMistic's picture

OR  it is none of our business.  There fixed.

HRClinton's picture

China is all about The Art of War.

lucitanian's picture

And what is the first rule of the "art of war"?

Avoid it!

earleflorida's picture

indeed,... ironically its 'OK' for zionist israel to have had a 'monopoly on nuclear/wmd' in the entire mena! they dtroyed Iraq's nuclear power house in 1981 without blinking


JuliaS's picture

There is no single country that is a target, it's a list containing all of them in sequential order. Destroy one, build bases and airfields. Move troops. Redeploy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Hans-Zandvliet's picture

I won't comment on your spelling, because that shouldn't be more relevant than your train of thought (mine might not be perfect either).

I don't believe it's "all China". One really should take notice of the history of the Korean War of the 1950s. Did you know that in this war one third of the entire population of Korea got killed (really, please, think about that: one out of every three Korean citizens was masacred, mainly due to Amerikan bombing raids!!!)? Have you ever tried to imagine the impact (on people and government) of such a massive trauma? No wonder, I would say, that North Korea is obsessed with protecting itself.

Robert Parry explained NK's behaviour quite eloquently in this article: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/04/how-regime-change-wars-led-to-kore...

It's the US that doesn't want to SIT DOWN AND TALK with NK. NK just wants to defend itself against the (by now) standard "regime change" procedures of the US. President Kim Jong Un is not crazy (very much to the contrary!), nor is he a warmonger, least of all does he have any plans to conquer South-East Asia or anything beyond. He has just seen what happens to presidents who try their best to comply with US demands of disarmament (Sadam Hussein was hanged, Muammar Gaddafi got linched by a CIA-supported mob, Bashar al-Assad barely saved his skin thanks to Russia's intervention). It's cristal clear to governments unfavourable to and independant of the US-empire, that disarmament (just to please the US-Empire) is just no sensible option. The most sensible option to protect yourself against US-aggression, is to arm yourself with nuclear arms and that's just the most rational option that Kim Jong Un is persuing.

Think about it like a police crime-inspector: motive, means and opportunity:

  • NK motive: NK does have a motive to develope a nuclear capacity to defend itself against the decades long US aggression, but it does not have any motive whatsoever to use its nuclear capabilities to attack and/or conquer any of its neighbours (Kim Jong Un understands very well that that would result in national suicide and he is anything but suicidal).
  • US motive: the US does have a motive to bring down the NK government. No need to argue about it; the US has never made a secret of this motive. But maybe more importantly: racheting up the tensions with NK results in more demands for weapons' sales, from which the US-economy can profit. Great oportunities for the Military-Industrial-Complex to make a killing! Strong economic motive to rachet up the tensions, to support the US-economy (but we don't do body counts...).
  • Means: let's assume (generous assumption...)  that NK has gathered the means to effectively launch nuclear ICBMs reaching the US. Still, it can't be more than a few dozen small ones and the US has vastly superior means to retaliate (by numbers and explosive power). As a side-step here, this reality smothers any possible agressive motive of NK.
  • NK oportunity: NK does not have, or cannot create any oportunity to justify a war with any other country in the world, so it does not have any oportunity to start any such war.
  • US oportunity: Being in control of the MSM presstitutes, the US government is able to distort the news to such an extent that they are capable of justifying an attack on NK, thus creating the oportunity to do so with impunity.

To make a long story short, it's the same old story again: the US is able to vilify a small and poor country that refuses to get back in line and is able to do so with impunity (with a little help from their European vazal states). In this case, NK is NOT the agressor. It's the US that refuses SIT DOWN AND TALK to turn the 1953 cease-fire into a lasting peace-agreement, just because the arms sales of this conflict are very beneficial to the US' economy...

tion's picture

Yes but you need to go back to 1945.  The North and the South decided how they would each govern themselves but the US decided that was a problem, and installed murderous puppet Syngman Rhee, who had spent much time living in the US and getting degrees from George Washington University, Harvard University, and Princeton University,  as leader in the South.  Murderous puppet wanted to take/conquer the North.  Many in the South did not approve of puppet installation. Those opposing him were labeled communists and jailed.  There were scuttles between both sides at DMZ.  

Murderous puppet started trying to build forces for an attack against the North.  It's hard to know the timing of what follows, history revisionism lists the beginning of the genocide that the US puppet committed as being the same day that the North 'attacked and started the war', there are reports of an ROK attack against DPRK at the DMZ before the North started marching.  I believe it is possible the genocide of the rural people who would not take up arms to attack the North may have also begun before the North started marching. Authoritarian bloodthirsty puppet was not welcome by large swaths of the South's population, the North thought their presence would be welcomed by the people South of the DMZ.  

The people in the South who would not take up arms to attack the North were labeled communists and brutally murdered by the ROK regime, the opposition that the bloodthirsty puppet had previously jailed were brutally murdered, people in the wrong place at the wrong time were brutally murdered, 100k-200k+ were murdered by the US installed ROK regime, sometimes as US forces watched on.  

History will try to deny their existence but there were still thousands of Japanese soldiers present in the South who were involved in this genocide, they could have only been present with US and ROK approval.  The Summer of Terror.  People who ceaselessly demonize the Norkos should ask themselves why they don't know about this genocide?  Do you actually know a single damned thing about the truth of the Korean War? The lies and inversion we have become so familiar with today have been going on for so long, there's nothing new under the sun, consider taking a harder look at the past.

earleflorida's picture


absolutely fantastic read on the 'Trump'd-up crisis!

Mementoil's picture

I have been considering this possibility, and OMG its a bad one.
If it is China saber ratling with the US then there is no escape from WW3.

But is it in China's best interest to have such a war?
It seems that they are already taking over the world economicaly, without a single shot being fired.
The only reason I can imagine for China to initiate such a conflict is if economic conditions are shaky, and they are seekig to prevent civil unrest by unifying power of war.
Pray that it is not so.

lucitanian's picture

Is China threatening anyone with nuclear inhalation?

Déjà view's picture

Mr. Xi...Tear Down This Wall!

Billy the Poet's picture

Offer a bounty payable to survivors. Caligula his ass.

jump_mutha_fukah's picture

Anyone ever wonder how all of a sudden NK has enough ICBM's to launch like fire works, has nukes to waste on  "testing" and majically happened just about the time DJT was stumping on labeling China a currency manipulator/ pissing up that rope. funny ...guess it must be a coinkidink

Billy the Poet's picture

Certainly is fishy. At least this article admits that all the claims might not be true. There was a ZH story that the missile engines came from the US backed government of Ukraine.

jump_mutha_fukah's picture

That wasn't a happless plug for Donald...geesh, just a fact, that this bowl headed mother fucker wasn't talking or doing shit when the Mulato was occupying the whore house.

Golden Showers's picture

North Korea is way more honest than Israel.

FoggyWorld's picture

They may be more honesst but they also are more trigger happy.

totenkopf88's picture

LOL- sure, Israel isn't trigger happy.

Fake Trump's picture

So far they have not strike or attack any country. They are just launching their missiles to the sea. They might have killed some fishes. How many countries America have attacked in the past and how many people they have killed. Maybe none according to them..Don't expect me to  believe that. I don't know about people out there. They may believe. I don't know. 

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Just cuious... has the U.S. struck or attacked NK in the last 60 years?  I might have missed it or it was decades before I was born.

booboo's picture

Nothing as scary as a rogue super power being backed down and put back in their own box. The world is getting much smaller for the U.S. and the global boot stompers in DC don't much like it.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

Fuggitaboutit neo-cons. Nuclear Nork is now too messy. You ain't gonna get your war here.  Better luck trying to scare up some scuffle in the desert.

HardAssets's picture

There was a great opportunity for lasting peace after the fall of the USSR. There was the opportunity to reduce the danger of nuclear war. Unfortunately, the banksters and neocons just had to push for their b.s. new world order. They just had to try to control everyone, all the time, everywhere.

The #1 Purpose of the national government is to protect its citizens. In this, decades of US politicians have failed miserably while bankrupting the nation with fraud and wars that served no purpose but their own enrichment and lust for power.

And now the American people are nothing but serfs, with no real say in how they are governed at all. How can a nation survive decades of corruption & treason ?

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

It shouldn't, it can't and it likely won't.  We are heading for divorce court.

Mineshaft Gap's picture

It is time to debate the unthinkable: acquiesce in, or even encourage, creation of countervailing South Korean and Japanese nuclear deterrents. 

The disaster capitalism security blanket.

If you can't beat 'em...sell everybody nukes!

PitBullsRule's picture

Yeah you can't do shit now.  You had a chance to get rid of this guy a few years back, but the peaceniks got in your head.  Those peaceniks will get you every time.  

Now he has nukes, he can blow the living shit our of us here in the good old US of A.  All he has to do is buy a Russian submarine and put a nuke on there, park it off the coast of CA or Oregon, and you are fucked.  

Americans always talk themselves into a positive scenario.  Kim Jung Un shoots a missile that goes 1500 miles and they say, "Well, he'll never be able to get it the 2000 miles needed to hit the US!".  Yeah moron, unless he puts more fuel in it!  "Well he may have a nuclear bomb, but he doesn't have a small one!"  Yeah moron, unless he scales his model down and machines out a smaller one.  That should take him a week or two.  "Well, he doesn't want to die either!"  And how do you know that moron?

You blew it, you can't do shit to him now.  You had your chance and you blew it.  Now its Mutual Assured Destruction.  Get used to it.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

Uv'd, but why is it always Cali, they NEVER push for war, why not take that sub up to galveston and let 'er rip?

Anteater's picture

You are describing Israel, which bought German nuclear submarines

and then planted mole nukes off Indonesia to test nuclear tsunami

theory, then when Japan said they would sell enriched uranium to

Iran, that's when the 'earthquake' that measured less than 7.0, and

leveled no buildings, suddenly became a '9.0' and massive tsunami.

Maybe Israel is the one giving DPRK the nuclear technology? It puts

them in a great position to double and quadruple their arms sales.

The Soviet Khazar Israelis, after all, worship only Moloch (Satan).

They set it off on 3/11, after they evacuated all their site personnel.




Father ¢hristmas's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, the President and Vice President of the United States of America