Will America go to war with North Korea? A Diasporan perspective

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By Wamuyu Njeri

Unlike in the Middle East where the US has been fighting their own creation, thereby having an advantage to control the direction of the war, North Koreans are their own creation and America will not be able to control the war.

History facts show Middle East wars are part and somewhat a creation of the West and in large extent the US. Examples include – Al Qaeda who were originally created to help US fight Russians in Afghanistan. During in the 1970s, when the Soviet Union was the biggest threat to America and radical Islam was not America’s concern, the USA began funding and training Islamic militants to fight our Russian enemies in Afghanistan.

America’s feud with Iran started in 1953, when US overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi . There is a clear pattern in Middle East on how the relationship between US & later adversaries, starts and progresses to full blown war.

However, North Korea they are their own creation (With some China Support), and as such the US does not have the same leverage of control since they dont have inroads like in the Middle East. Good to note that, while North Korea would most certainly lose any military confrontation with the United States, they could inflict heavy damage to South Korea and Japan and kill millions; they have enough heavy artillery within range of South Korea or Japan to raze them down.

It’s even more complicated that China/ Russia will not allow a preemptive strike against North Korea by the United States. In reality, China is not as threatened by an nuclear armed N. Korea, as it would be by a united South & North Korea under US influence. Should US set base in N. Korea like they have been doing in Middle East, this would be a real headache to China and Russia. If the two Koreas were unified, as we assume they would be, this would create a formidable new power in the region.

More importantly from a Chinese perspective perhaps, the North Korean buffer zone would disappear and China would find itself with – yet another – potentially hostile power on its borders. Even more significantly, unless the US withdrew its forces from the South, China would also have to contend with an American military presence in its own back yard. It is believed the need to preserve current geopolitical influence, is part of the reason Russia vetoed UN Security Council statement that would have condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch test. On its part, the US would be committing  suicide by trying to go to war with China or Russia.

Russia alone has enough nuclear firepower to turn the United States into an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland and China is no slouch either. According to China, their Dong Feng-5 ICBM, carries 3 to 5 warheads of 5 megatons each. A drop of a single warhead to a city of 2 million people could reach 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a second. Another 4 million would be severely burned and dying or dead. Peak over-pressures of 20psi would spread out over 28 square miles. Over-pressures of 20psi are instantly fatal to humans and will severely damage if not destroy reinforced concrete buildings. Over-pressures of 5psi would spread out over 170 square miles. Over-pressures of 5psi will destroy most residential structures and the fatality rate is almost 90%. I haven’t even talked about the heat blast, or the air blast, or the radiation. Keep in mind, this is just one warhead, just one.

This is not a game , this is as real as it gets. Iraq and Afghanistan were nothing. Currently, despite tough US rhetoric, US seems to be seeking a ‘peace agreement” We know that by the fact that US aircraft carrier-led flotilla that the White House said last week was “steaming” towards North Korea to increase pressure on Pyongyang was actually thousands of miles away heading in the opposite direction. This gives a clear indication that US was not fully committed to escalate to war. However, it appears US want to keep hawked to the situation.

Its therefore expected US will continue to deploy their war assests to the Korean Penisula. Its likely, N. Korea issue will be brokered through China and may remain a “SILENT” nuclear power, with no or few missiles tests. If N. Korea remains a nuclear power against US interest, then it will be interesting to watch and expect US to ratchet up war with countries like Iran in a bid to destroy the possibility of N. Korea working with Iran to build up weapons.

It looks like US/Iran conflict will be the next crisis to hit our screens

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