IN THE HOT SEAT: NORTH KOREA

IN THE HOT SEAT: NORTH KOREA

January 10, 2017 By Joseph P. Farrell

Readers of this website will have noticed that during the past week I've been blogging about Mr. Trump's infrastructure development plans, the Chinese silk road project, and the rumblings of sweeping geopolitical and economic changes that appear to be on the horizon. This has been, admittedly, our usual exercise in high octane speculation and attempting to read all sorts of tea leaves. Much of this speculation has a sub-text, and that is, stabilizing the Pacific rim, for if China's gigantic economic project is to have any chance of succeeding, the region must be stable in order for trade to occur.

And the odd man out here is, of course, North Korea and its always psychophantic and pathological "leadership".  In a world where Japan and Russia are inking deals, and Russia and China are inking deals, and possibly, the USA and Japan are inking deals, none of these powers can be terribly happy with the idiot in Pyongyang. In short, it's one of those countries - like the (out)house of Saud - that might be "on the menu."

And it's looking increasingly like that might be the case, if this article which appeared in Russia's Sputnik site is accurate:

China Plots ‘Decapitation’ Strike on Kim Jong-Un Regime in North Korea – Reports

The opening paragraphs here are nothing less than eye-openers, and in spite of the low-key "academic" style of the reportage, surely have to fall into the "wow" category:

A leading Chinese professor Zhe Sun said at a security forum in Washington that Beijing has already begun contemplating ‘decapitation’ strikes against the dictatorship in North Korea after Kim Jong-Un’s regime conducted two nuclear tests in less than a month.

According to a report by the Korea Times, Professor Zhe Sun told a security forum in Washington that Chinese leaders are debating the best way to deal with an increasingly unhinged North Korean regime that has escalated its march towards fielding a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the mainland United States. This combination image of two photographs taken on September 5, 2016 shows, at left, US President Barack Obama speaking during a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, and at right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a press conference in Davao City, the Philippines, prior to his departure for Laos to attend the ASEAN summit.

"Some Chinese scholars and policy makers began to talk about supporting ‘surgical strikes’ and decapitation’ by the US and South Korea as one policy option," said the esteemed professor. "More radical proposals indicate that China should change the leader, send troops across borders and station in DPRK, force DPRK into giving up nuclear and beginning opening up and reforming."
The statements that China may be considering regime change in North Korea are unprecedented with Beijing long serving as the vital lifeline to Pyongyang dating back to the Korean War in the 1950s and with accusations even being leveled against China that they are aiding Kim Jong-Un’s march towards fielding a destructive nuclear weapon by side stepping sanctions.
The fact that this would be reported in Sputnik, one of the Russian government's numerous media outlets, and that the remarks came from a Chinese professor attending a "security forum in Washington" means that already there is tacit approval perhaps being given for the idea, even for America and South Korea to "do the deed".
Yesterday, however, I blogged about the wild and very high octane speculation that Mr. Trump could widen the discussion in the Pacific, not only with countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, who view growing Chinese power and economic strength with a skeptical eye, but with China itself as a potential participant in his infrastructure development plans. If such discussion did occur, it would inevitably have to include not only "sticking" point like Taiwan, but would have to include the question of North Korea, on which there already appears to be substantial agreement: something must be done about the nutcase regime in Pyongyang. On this point, virtually every power with a stake in the region, Russia, Japan, China, and the USA, would be agreed: their trade projects are threatened by the idiots in Pyongyang.
The disagreement about what sort of regime takes its place, and to whom it will be most subservient, is the real sticking issue.
And if they're smart in Pyongyang - and the evidence has yet to be forthcoming - while the other powers deliberate, a march could be stolen to change regimes, open up to South Korea, and to the other powers, and thereby retain a measure of independence, rather than face a forced change that will leave Pyongyang's nomenlkatura out in the cold.
The bottom line is that in all the changes taking place and the geopolitical realignments that seem to be taking place in the Pacific, no one likes Pyongyang, and no one trusts its leadership. And that means one way or another, its days are numbered.
And those numbers are probably not very high...
See you on the flip side...