Guest Post By Brandon Smith
Whenever discussion over North Korea arises in Western circles, it always seems to be accompanied by a strange mixture of sensationalism and indifference. The mainstream media consistently presents the communist nation as an immediate threat to U.S. national security, conjuring an endless number of hypothetical scenarios as to how they could join forces with Al-Qaeda and attack with a terroristic strategy. At the same time, the chest puffing of the late Kim Jong-iL and the standard fare of hyper-militant rhetoric on the part of the North Korean government in general seem to have lulled the American public into a trance of non-concern.
In the midst of the latest tensions with the North Koreans, I have found that most people are barely tracking developments and that, when confronted by the idea of war, they shrug it off as if it is a laughable concept. “Surely” they claim, “The North is just posturing as they always have.”
The high-focus propaganda attacking North Korea on our side and the puffer fish methodology on their side have created a social and political atmosphere surrounding our relations with the Asian nation that I believe places both sides of the Pacific in great danger. North Korea has the potential to become a trigger point for multiple economic catastrophes, and there are people in this world who would be happy to use such crises to serve their own interests.
The mainstream view being espoused by globalist-minded politicians and corporate oligarchs with an agenda is that North Korea is a nuclear armed monstrosity ready to use any subversive means necessary to strike the United States. The idea that the North is working closely with Al-Qaeda has been suggested in everything from White House briefings to cable news to movies and television. The concept of pan-global terrorist collusion and the cartoon-land “axis of evil” has been prominent in our culture since the Administration of George W. Bush. It has even been making a resurgence lately in the MSM, which presented countries like Iran, Syria And North Korea as the primary culprits interfering with the success of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
Of course, what remains less talked about in the mainstream is the fact that these nations refuse to adhere to the treaty because carefully placed loopholes still allow major powers like the United States to feed arms into engineered insurgencies. Why would Syria or any other targeted nation sign a treaty that restricts its own sovereign ability to trade while giving teeth to internal enemies trained and funded by foreign intelligence agencies?
The establishment brushes aside such facts and consistently admonishes these countries as the last holdouts standing in the way of a new world order, a worldwide socioeconomic cooperative and pseudo-Utopia. The path to this wonderful global village is always presented as a battle against stubborn isolationists, non-progressives who lack vision and cling desperately to the archaic past. The values of personal and national sovereignty are painted as outdated, decrepit and even threatening to the newly born world structure. The image of North Korea is used by globalists as a kind of straw man argument against sovereignty. North Koreans’ vices and imbalances as a culture are many; but this is due in far larger part to their communist insanity, rather than any values of national independence. It is their domestic hive-mind collectivism we should disdain, not their wish to maintain a comfortable distance as a society from the global game.
As far as being an imminent physical threat to the United States, it really depends on the scenario. The North Koreans have almost no logistical capability to support an invasion of any kind. The nation has been suffering from epidemic famine for well more than a decade.
To initiate a war outright has never been in the best interests of the North Koreans, simply because their domestic infrastructure would not be able to handle the strain. However, there is indeed a scenario in which North Korea could be influenced to use military force despite apprehension.
With the ever looming threat of famine comes the ever looming threat of citizen revolution. When any government is faced with the possibility of being supplanted, it will almost always lash out viciously in order to maintain power and control, no matter the cost. Sanctions like those being implemented by the West against North Korea today, at the very edge of national famine, could destabilize the country entirely. I believe the North would do anything to avoid an internal insurgency scenario, including attacking South Korea to acquire food stores and energy reserves, as well as other tangible modes of wealth.
North Korea’s standing army, obtained through mandatory two year conscription, is estimated at about 1.1 million active personnel; very close to the numbers active in the U.S. armed forces. But North Korean reserves are estimated at more than 8 million, compared to only 800,000 in the United States. If made desperate by economic sanctions, the North Koreans could field a massive army that would wreak havoc in the South and be very difficult to root out on their home turf. Asian cultures have centuries of experience using asymmetric warfare (the kryptonite of the U.S. military), and I do not believe it is wise to take such a possible conflict lightly, as many Americans seem to do. It is easy to forget that the last Korean War did not work out so well for us. At best, we would be mired in on-ground operations for years (just like Iraq and Afghanistan) or perhaps even decades. Like North Korea, we also do not have the logistical economic means to enter into another such war.
The skeptics argue that we will never get to this point, though, because North Korea has brandished and blustered many times before, all resulting in nothing. I see recent events being far different and more urgent than in the past, and here’s why:
1) The West needs to realize that North Korea is under new leadership. The blowhard days of Kim Jung Il are over, and little is known about his son, Kim Jong Un. So far, the young dictator has followed through on everything he said he would do, including the multiple nuclear tests that the West is using as an excuse to exert sanctions. To assume that the son will be exactly like the father is folly.
2) Many people claimed that North Korean threats to abandon the Armistice in place since 1953 were empty, yet they dropped it exactly as they said they would at the beginning of March.
3) The North has begun cutting off direct communication channels to the South, including a cross-border hotline meant to help alleviate tensions through diplomatic means.
4) The North has officially declared a state of war against the South. This has been called mere “tough talk” by the U.S. government, but the speed at which these multiple developments have occurred should be taken into consideration.
5) North Korea has just announced the reopening of a shuttered nuclear reactor used to render weapons grade materials.
6) The DPRK has suddenly locked down the Kaesong Industrial Zone; a region which holds manufacturing centers for both North and South Korea. Southern manufacturers operating there employ nearly 50,000 Northern workers. Nearly 1000 Southerners also work there. The arrangement generates approximately $2 billion a year for the North. The joint industrial zone has existed since 2000, and the North has never locked down access until this past week. The fact that the DPRK is willing to restrict this area and possibly lose a sizable income signals that the situation is not as “mild” as some would like to believe.
7) At the beginning of this year, silver purchases by the North from China surged. For the entire year of 2012, the government purchased $77,000 worth of precious metals. In the first few months of 2013, North Korea has already purchased $600,000 in silver. The exact size of the North’s precious metals stockpile is unknown. Though seemingly small in comparison to many purported metal holdings by major powers, this sudden investment expansion would indicate a government move to protect internal finances from an exceedingly frail economic environment. Metals are also historically accumulated at a high rate by nations preparing for war or invasion in the near term.
Given that the chances of a shooting war are high if sanctions continue, it might be wise to consider the consequences of conflagration in Korea.
Dealing with a large army steeped in asymmetric and mountain warfare will be difficult enough. In fact, an invasion of North Korea would be far more deadly than Afghanistan, if only because of the sheer number of maneuver elements (guerilla-style units) on the ground. But let’s set aside North Korea for a moment and consider the greatest threat of all: dollar collapse.
As I have discussed in numerous articles, China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, has positioned itself to decouple from the American consumer and the dollar. This is no longer a theoretical process as it was in 2008, but a very real and nearly completed one. Mainstream analysts often claim China would never break from the dollar because it would damage their export markets and their investment holdings. The problem is, China is already dumping the dollar using bilateral trade agreements with numerous developing nations, Australia being the latest to abandon the greenback.
China isn’t just talking about it; China is doing it.
The development of a decoupled China is part of a larger push by international banks to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency and replace it with a new global currency. This currency already exists. The International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is a mechanism backed by a basket of currencies as well as gold. The introduction of the SDR on a wide scale is dependent on only two things:
First, China has been designated the replacement consumer engine in the wake of a U.S. collapse. They have already surpassed the United States as the No. 1 trading power in the world. However, they must spread their own currency, the Yuan, throughout global markets in order to aid the IMF in removing the dollar. China has recently announced a program to sell more than $6 trillion in Yuan denominated bonds to foreign investors, easily fulfilling this need.
Second, China and the IMF need a scapegoat event, a rationale for dumping the dollar that the masses would accept as logical. A U.S. invasion of North Korea could easily offer that rationale.
While China has been playing the good Samaritan in relations with the United States in dealing with North Korea and has supported (at least on paper) certain measures including sanctions, China will never be in support of Western combat actions in the Pacific so close to their territory. The kind of U.S. or NATO presence a war with North Korea would generate would be entirely unacceptable to the Chinese, who do not need to respond using arms. Rather, all they have to do to get rid of us would be to fully dump the dollar and threaten to cut off trade relations with any other country that won’t do the same. The domino effect would be devastating, causing U.S. costs to skyrocket and forcing us to pull troops out of the region. At the same time, the dollar would be labeled a “casualty of war” rather than a casualty of conspiratorial global banking designs, and the financial elites would be removed from blame.
Ultimately, we should take the North Korean situation seriously not because of the wild-eyed propaganda of the mainstream media and not because they are “doing business with terrorists” or because they are a “violent and barbaric relic of nationalism,” but because a war in North Korea serves the more malicious interests of globalization. No matter what happens in the near future, it is important for Americans to always question the true motives behind any event and ask ourselves who, in the end, truly benefited.
You can contact Brandon Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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