Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The final cut

2 new additions today. Oh my news last year, with an unified Korea.

Dokto is at the point of geting weird. When you see in a Korean movie chain (CGV)a comercial about a Korean robot that protects Dokto from Japan's invasion and it is sponsored by a chain of apartments. (I know this sounds crazy but it actually happened for months, I was thinking OMG, every sterotype of the people from Japan was showed, and the sea-gulls were cheering because they were Korean) Now South Korea may ask the North for help with this matter. Are they crazy and what about 2002 when North Korea attacked South Korea. A car accident with US topps that kills 2 little girls and Korea goes anti USA, while a raid kills South korean soldiers and the goverment does nothing. This should make for some very intresting watching.

Gi Korea

With the current interest in Korean reunification theories, I have decided to repost a reunification theory published last year by the Korean publication Oh My News that I found many reasons to dispute. These disputes are what initially sparked my interest in what would happen if China ever got involved in peacekeeping operations in North Korea.

United Korea

Oh My News, has an article discussing how to properly reunify the Korean peninsula. This is how the article opens up:

By using Germany as a template on what to do and what not to do, we can minimize the problems of reunification by delaying it for several decades. A divided Korea will be needed to minimize the burden to South Korea's economy when the North does collapse. This is the general consensus among South Koreans -- even though they do genuinely care about the harsh conditions in the North -- but they are not willing to give up their luxury cars and vacations to help them. This may seem heartless and cold but it is also reasonable. (*)

I really don't consider keeping your luxury cars and vacations despite the suffering of the North Korean people as caring in general about the conditions in North Korea. I pretty much consider that as not caring at all about North Korea. Which is fine, but at least be honest about it.

The writer goes on to discuss how after reunification internal security should be handled in North Korea:

One of many important aspects needed to be considered by South Korea and the U.S. is internal security. The U.S. should play an integral role in the planning of internal security in the same way it has invaded and occupied Iraq, Japan and Afghanistan. Public relations should be on the minds of the U.S. when organizing internal security. Many anti-U.S. supporters may disagree with this statement, but you have to ask yourself this, "Which country has the expertise in this area?"

South Korea should handle all internal security because after reunification North and South Korea should technically be one country with the legimate government being the elected government in Seoul. A state of marshall law will probably have to be declared for a period of time to prevent looting and a mass refugee exodus to the south. The ROK Army has more than enough man power to handle this. During the period of marshall law the local North Korean police structure will have to be rebuilt to purge people guilty of atrocities and to train new policemen in the ways of modern law enforcement including such basics as, executing people is not standard police practice.

Here is something I can agree with the writer on:

The U.S. should not enter North Korea territory. The reason for this is because the North Korean government has used heavy anti-U.S. propaganda on their people for 50 years and the sight of a U.S. Marine could incite panic among North Koreans, especially in rural areas.
With the U.S. taking a prominent role in maintaining South Korea's side of the DMZ....

There is absolutely no reason American soldiers should enter North Korea. The amount of propaganda taught to the people in the North is sure to cause many problems if American soldiers enter North Korea. This will also cause the North Korean public to wonder if the South Korean government is really legitimate and not an American puppet.

It would also be foolish to have American soldiers secure the entire DMZ. First of all there are not enough US soldiers here to even do it, so more GI's would have to sent here creating a larger US footprint in Korea. Plus does anyone beside this reporter think it would be a good idea that the first person a North Korean refugee would meet when trying to enter South Korea would be an American GI? If that doesn't reinforce the image of an American puppet regime in the south then I don't know what will.

The best thing the US Army could do is just stay on post and speed up the current down sizing of forces on the peninsula. This would free up more needed soldiers for the War on Terror plus reduce the US footprint in Korea, and put China at ease that the US military isn't trying to move into North Korea.

All the shots including internal and border security issues in North Korea needs to be called by and executed by the South Korean government to build legitimacy in the eyes of the North Korean people.

The Oh My News reporter thinks otherwise:

United Nations peacekeepers will be needed to ensure stability in the region. All internal security matters should be handled by the UN behind the scenes for PR purposes, since the United Nations did fight against North Korea during the Korean War.

This is the last thing South Korea should send into North Korea. To the North Korean public it would just look like another foreign occupation army wanting to take over Korea. Plus how would foreigners from third world countries like; Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc. that make up the majority of UN peacekeeping force handle enforcing the peace in North Korea. They can't speak the language, don't know the history, or the cultural differences in North Korea. Worse yet what if they get caught raping girls like they did in the Congo? It would be a PR nightmare for the Korean government.

The UN is successful in executing operations like caring for refugees and providing food aid. However, there is no government body worse at handling peacekeeping than the UN. Does Rwanda, Bosnia, and Somalia ring a bell? All collosal UN peacekeeping failures, especially Rwanda. Check out this PBS Frontline report to see how effective UN peacekeeping is.

Then the reporter thinks that Chinese Army would be a great element to have join in on the peacekeeping operation:

If the UN is the head of this operation, China will be the face of the operation. North Koreans have been taught that the Chinese have helped (not saved) North Korea from the U.S. during the Korean War; China is considered a brother to North Korea.

The People's Liberation Army of China is not known for liberating anyone much less North Korea. Tibet ring a bell? If the Chinese are allowed into North Korea, mark my words, South Korea will have a hard time getting them out.

The reporter then goes on to think that by keeping the country divided, by having the UN govern North Korea, that more international aid will roll in. After the Asian Tsunami in Southeast Asia five billion dollars overall of international aid was pledged to the effected areas. How much of that money do you think those countries will actually see? Probably not much now that the media focus has moved on, plus the cost to reconstruct North Korea will run at approximately $350 billion dollars over 10 years from just South Korea. So Korea shouldn't count on international aid, this will be their financial burden.

Then the reporter continues to go on thinking that neighboring countries will help finance reconstruction in the name of free trade:

You may be asking yourself, why would North Korea's neighbors be willing to spend so much on another country? There are many uses for free trade. It is the view of this writer that trade prevents wars and ensures peace between nations. This view draws on the fact that everyone wants to be rich and people would not look favorably on their government if they took steps that threatened trade. In this instance, trade will be used as a tool to speed up normalization of relations.

Before you can have free trade you need to have something to trade. North Korea won't be in the missile exporting, counterfeit money, and drug trafficking business after reunification which leaves them with nothing to trade. It will take years to build up the economy to attract international investment.

Then the reporter concludes by thinking that money for investment in North Korea's economy can initially be provided by making cuts in the ROK military:

I have mentioned the domino effect. Since the threat from the North would be non-existent, South Korea could redirect billions spent on defense into North Korea.

It would be extremely foolish to cut the military in Korea especially with neighbors like Korea has in northeast Asia. Northeast Asia is a tough neighborhood that requires Korea to have a strong army to prevent past national humilations from occurring again. Plus the money saved cutting the ROK Army would only put a small dent in the overall amount of money needed to fix North Korea.

The bottom line is that Korea sooner or later is going to have to suck the egg and pay for the price of unification. The current policy is to pro-long the Kim Jong Il regime to put that day of reckoning off so that the citizens of Korea can enjoy their current prosperity. I don't agree with it but if that is what Korean government wants to do and they don't represent me, so that is their choice. But when the day of unification does come the South Korean government needs to immediately establish its authority over North Korea to build the legitimacy of the ROK government in the eyes of the North Korean people. Any intervention by foreigners like the US, UN, or China will not be received very well by the North Korean public and will harm the legitimacy of the South Korean government, which needs to be the number one authority over any peacekeeping operation in North Korea.

South Korea May Ask North Korea to Become Involved in the Dokto Crisis
Topic: Dokto Madness

The fate of the entire world continues to hang in the balance due to the latest Dokto crisis between South Korea and Japan. Don't worry though because the South Korean government in their infinite wisdom on this issue may ask Kim Jong Il for help defending the island from those dastardly Japanese oceanic research scientists:

The two Koreas may discuss the threatened incursion of a Japanese research vessel into Korea¿s exclusive economic zone during the inter-Korean ministerial talks starting in Pyongyang this Friday. Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he would ¿talk to the unification minister¿ about the matter.

Ban was answering a question from Uri Party lawmaker Choi Sung in the National Assembly. Asked if Korea will seize the Japanese research vessel if it violates the EEZ in the course of what Japan claims is a hydrographic survey near Dokdo, Ban said, ¿Concrete steps will be determined depending on how the situation progresses.¿ The chief diplomat agreed with commentators that it is ¿highly likely that Japan is attempting to turn the sensitive Dokdo area into an area of territorial dispute by violating our sovereignty over the islets.¿

First of all, what does North Korea have to do with the Dokto controversy between South Korea and Japan. Secondly what could North Korea even do if they do get involved in it? Nuke the research vessel with a No Dong Nuclear tipped warhead? Probably more threatening would be to shut down some pachinko parlors in Osaka? That will really show those wicked Japanese who is boss.

Bringing in the North Koreans into this mess would only play into the Japanese government's hands because it would further demonstrate the ROK government as behaving irrationally over this issue. The more irrational the ROK government is, the more foreign governments will tend to side with the Japanese government on this issue.

Plus the absurdity of asking North Korea for assistance on this issue just cannot escape me. Remember the North Koreans are the same people who deliberately planned, ambushed, and cold bloodedly killed six South Korean sailors in the Yellow Sea in June of 2002 in order to draw attention away from the South Koreans hosting of that year's World Cup competition. No apologies, compensation, absolutely nothing from the North Koreans after that incident. In fact the South Korean government went to great lengths to cover up the attack and keep the grieving families quiet.

So now to go ask the murders of South Korean military personnel to come and help them over a small island territorial dispute with Japan just seems ridiculous to me.


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