Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kim Jon Un's Unification Strategy --- Critical Flaws


Trump's Strategy:  U.S. strategy has been to create enough internal strife in North Korea's poorly fed underclass to foment a coup by some disenchanted generals.  Spies, Agent provacateurs, and heating oil sanctions were in place and due to exacerbate the unpopularity of Kim's harsh treatment of his vital hard labor workers this winter.  

Kim's Delaying Tactics:  North Korea's co-participation in the Winter Olympics with its South Korean host brightened peasant morale in hopes of continued peace and brighter economic prospects of  re-unification. Continuing shipments of oil to the DPRK in violation of U.N. sanctions, also aassures much needed heating supplies for peasants merely trying to survive another winter.   

Kim appears to have averted a coup, at least this winter.

Kim's Longer Game

Reunification with South Korea:  Kim's sister Yo-jong extended an invitation last Saturday to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in for a two Koreas summit.  During the summit Kim may entice Moon with an offer to an offer to remove heavy artillery now aimed at the South, which would be very popular with the South's citizen's and businesses. In return, Moon would be asked to accept North Korean businesses in the South, and perhaps agree to get the U.S. out of the DMZ.

Suppose President Moon Jae-in leaves rejects Kim's proposals and departs the summit. Kim will publicize his offer and Moon's rejection--- not positive for Moon's electoral prospects.  Moreover, Moon could suddenly fall ill and die like Kim's step brother last year.
If Moon's replacement were more receptive to Kim's proposals he might also be more popular with South Koreans.

Kim's long term strategy is simply to survive and rule a unified Korea on a more prosperous footing to threaten the U.S. and its Asian allies.

Obvious Flaws in Kim's Longer Game

President Moon Jae-in well remembers Kim's capacity for homicide: North Korea's 'gruesome' murder of Kim's brother Kim Jong Nam in February 2017.  Why would Moon ever go to North Korea to ingest a slow-acting poison or a contract a fatal virus?

Without U.S. forces on the DMZ, the DMZ would not be viable, and Moon knows this.  All the more reason for any summit to be held in the DMZ under watchful eyes, ears and video.


1- As Kim's PR strategy evaporates due to South Korea's reluctance, Kim must quickly restore his harsh reputation.  He will authorize publication of interim executions within the ranks of his military, as well as civilian for crimes like theft and murder (rather than for growing desertion attempts).  Time table: Probably before the end of 2018.

2- Kim's vaunted submarine fleet will experience accidents and disappearances due to growing age and maintenance issues.  Time table: whatever remains of Kim's life.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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