Is War with North Korea Unavoidable?

Is War with North Korea Unavoidable?

Crispin Rovere

Security, Asia

Reuters

North Korea’s nuclear weapons are not merely about regime survival, for all would agree that its existing capabilities are more than sufficient for dissuading unprovoked regime change. Rather, it seeks mutual nuclear vulnerability with the United States to prevent military responses to North Korea’s current and future aggression towards U.S. allies in the region. 

Key point: Pyongyang might not be subject to the same constraints as other nuclear regimes.

Many believe that North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, along with its conventional arsenal, rules out war.

A conflict would indeed prove more horrific than many apprehend, and being enthused by the prospect of another Korean war would truly be insane. However, what is even more insane is telling the President of the United States that the greatest nation in history, and all its 300 million+ citizens, must live in the shadow of annihilation at the whims of a sadistic cult. This is simply not going to happen, and observers insisting that there is no military option ignore reality and all senior members of this administration and the president himself. The United States will not live with a North Korea that can destroy American cities with a nuclear-tipped ICBM, end of story.

Those arguing against war insist that traditional nuclear deterrence with North Korea can work, just like with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Before proceeding everyone should re-read the last paragraph and understand fully that their argument is an academic exercise and not a realistic course of action. They are also totally wrong, for these reasons:

1. Deterrence has already failed

North Korea’s nuclear weapons are not merely about regime survival, for all would agree that its existing capabilities are more than sufficient for dissuading unprovoked regime change. Rather, it seeks mutual nuclear vulnerability with the United States to prevent military responses to North Korea’s current and future aggression towards U.S. allies in the region.  

This is already being demonstrated. On September 14, North Korea stated that:

“The four islands of the [Japanese] archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”

Hardly a declaration that nuclear weapons are for deterrence! The very next day residents on Hokkaido island received a text – ‘a missile from North Korea has been detected, take cover.’

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