SOUTH KOREA DOES ABOUT FACE ON US MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM

Mr. G.B. sent this article which appeared at our friends at Zero Hedge, and it's worth passing along, because, as I shall argue in today's high octane speculation, it appears to be part of a global pattern that is emerging:

In Major Blow To Washington, South Korea Suspends Deployment Of US Antimissile System

Zero Hedge is right; this is a major blow to Washington's regional geopolitical policy:

In a stunning blow for US diplomacy in the Pacific rim region, Yonhap reported that South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in said he has suspended the deployment of American THAAD anti-missile defense system, a major concession to China and a significant break with the United States on policy toward North Korea.

“We are not saying the two launchers and other equipment that has already been deployed should be withdrawn. But those that have yet to be deployed will have to wait,” a senior presidential office official said, according to the news agency. The remarks come as the presidential office is examining an allegation South Korea’s defense ministry may have kept the delivery of four further Thaad launchers secret in an attempt to protect the project from an environmental impact evaluation, Yonhap said.

As noted previously, the THAAD missile defense system has been controversial in South Korea where thousands have protested the deployment, while also drawing sharp criticism from China, which views the system’s radar as a threat to the regional balance of power. In response to the initial deployment, Beijing had taken retaliatory economic measures against Seoul, including curtailing the flow of Chinese tourists and punishing South Korean companies in China. The defense system officially went into operation late last month on an abandoned golf course in Seongju, 135 miles southeast of Seoul, when two of six launchers were installed. United States military officials have said that the system is already “operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles.”

This move by Seoul appears to be in response to the typical Chinese pattern of diplomacy, a pattern based on offering lucrative commercial benefits to countries in return for those countries distancing themselves from Washington. It's a pattern we saw implicit in yesterday's blog about Qatar: the Chinese are offering deals to develop infrastructure and water resources to Israel and Jordan, and those two nations are listening. The USSA offers what it can: weapons. No resource development, no automobile or other manufacturing bases (except weapons, of course). In short, the pattern is clear: China is exporting stuff, developing stuff - resources, infrastructure, and so on - and the USSA is exporting war. Over the long term, which would you choose?

There is a larger pattern here, and we'll get back to that in a moment, but notice something else. While Seoul is definitely making a bit of a break with Washington over the missile defense system, it would be folly to assume the South Koreans are in a hurry to drop Washington altogether. I suspect something much more subtle is going on, and perhaps even with Washington's (and, behind the scenes, Tokyo's) blessing and connivance, for in return for this halt to the deployment of the missile defense system, China now has to deliver something more than just continuance of the commercial status quo to South Korea, namely, real and genuine moves on the part of North Korea.

In short, while Seoul may look like it has capitulated to Beijing, it could be argued that it has just served a hard volley into China's court, and put it on the spot to deliver something of substance. Mr. Xi has certainly been up to challenges like this before, but it still remains how he is going to return the serve. And he must do so, for doing nothing only plays into Washington's hands.

But back to the deeper pattern: if one looks at what has happened since the summit in Paris, and Chancellorin Merkel's response that the USA and UK are no longer reliable allies, then it would appear, that Seoul likewise might be thinking along similar lines for the long term, and has embarked, like Mr. Abe, on a careful long term readjustment of Korean diplomacy along the Abe pattern: keep the lines to Washington open, but actively engage Beijing and Moscow, and rearm ream rearm. Recall from yesterday's blog the strange water deal that is perhaps in the offing between China, Jordan, and Israel, a deal that makes one wonder if Ms. Merkel's evaluation is shared in Amman and Tel Aviv.

See you on the flip side...

18 thoughts on “SOUTH KOREA DOES ABOUT FACE ON US MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM”

  1. There are deep political currents in the THAAD decision, of course. But the irony is that the THAADS batteries will be near-to-useless where it matters: Seoul. And for what is important: Artillery.

    In very round numbers: NK is guessed to have around 10,000 carefully-hidden (back-slopes of hills) artillery pieces within range of Seoul. These are probably 5 rounds per minute guns, so the initial firing-rate is around 50,000 rounds per minute. Estimate that each has an on-site shell magazine of 500 rounds. That is 5,000,000 shells.

    Counterfire artillery is probably useless, considering that NK artillery is on reverse slopes of hills. That leaves aircraft. Say SK and US can put up 350 aircraft on short notice, carrying an average of 6 missiles/bombs per aircraft. That is around 2,000 targets destroyed per group-sortie. (Given that two missiles/bombs are usually dropped on a given target to ensure destruction, that is likely-closer to 1,000 targets destroyed per group-sortie.)

    So, say it takes five minutes to get to the artillery (more likely, it’s twenty minutes average). NK artillery has already lobbed 250,000 rounds into Seoul. Say you take-out 1,500 artillery pieces total with all the sortied aircraft. That leaves 8,500 artillery pieces still firing at 5 rounds/minute.

    Give a generous twenty-minute turnaround time for the average aircraft to get back to the artillery (more likely 40-60 minutes). 8,500 artillery pieces have been firing for twenty minutes at 5 rounds/minute. That’s another 850,000 rounds into Seoul.

    Say you takeout another 1,500 artillery pieces total with all the sortied aircraft. That still leaves 7,000 artillery pieces steadily firing at 5 rounds/minute.

    Given another generous twenty-minute turnaround time for the average aircraft to get back to the artillery, 7,000 artillery pieces have been firing for twenty minutes at 5 rounds/minute. That’s another 700,000 rounds into Seoul.

    Say you takeout 1,500 artillery pieces again with all the sortied aircraft. That leaves 5,500 artillery pieces still firing at 5 rounds/minute.

    Give a generous twenty-minute turnaround time for the average aircraft to get back to the artillery. 5,500 artillery pieces have been firing for twenty minutes at 5 rounds/minute. That’s another 550,000 rounds into Seoul.

    Say you takeout 1,500 artillery pieces total with all the sortied aircraft. That leaves 4,000 artillery pieces still firing at 5 rounds/minute.

    Give a generous twenty-minute turnaround time for the average aircraft to get back to the artillery. 4,000 artillery pieces have been firing for twenty minutes at 5 rounds/minute. That’s another 400,000 rounds into Seoul.

    Somewhere around three group-sorties in, the NK artillery has run out of ammunition. 3,000-4,000 artillery pieces are left. Seoul-area has been hit with 3,000,000-4,000,000 shells. It doesn’t exist. And the NK armies have yet to move out.

    Oh, and THAAD missiles have shot-down say 20-30 NK rockets…

  2. Robert Barricklow

    On the positive side my moderations are down to 33%.
    [comment here went bust]
    That’s why its best to keep it short and sweet.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      By the way the Bugs Bunny line fit right in to the context.
      [nothing to do w/ Dr. Farrell]

  3. Robert Barricklow

    Whereas the U.S. offers deals to the country’s 1% oligarchies, to sell out their country for lucrative dollars. Later to suffer austerity for the 99% as those lucrative loans cannot be paid by design.
    To throw their country into the Greece frying pan, to be privatized? Or, engineer an updated public infrastructure to benefit 100% of the country?
    The Stick = U.S.A
    The carrot = China.

    Many countries chewing some choice carrots, commenting to everyone and anyone
    What’s up Doc?

    Soon, their currencies will match their carrot appetites.
    But, beware the acts of the Gods. Like Fukushima and an uptick in Gladio operations.

    1. Not since the Astors made a killing on the Opium Trade into China… I don’t think that the Bushes did anything .. ‘new’.

  4. Could this be a secret plan by Trump to dismantle the garrison state. By making it look and to a large extent will be the locals closing down all these parasite military bases around the World just speculating.

  5. Maybe these countries are sensing a power vacuum in the US and exploiting it. Far worse than US missile defense on their doorstep, I don’t think the Chinese would like to see a nuclear armed reunited Korea.

    As far as US exports, the US does export progressive mind cancer as well, and the South Koreans apparently have it in droves. Once the caucasian countries are taken down, the Northern Asian countries may be next. These progressive useful idiots should do the trick when they start orchestrating open borders for their countries also. Mr. Long Time Charlie himself, Dennis Rodman, is over there now preparing the North Korea women with fantasies of genetic diversity for their wombs and nation.

    And I seriously doubt anyone in South Korea would abandon a golf course. This golf course has been commandeered and this I wager is the crux of the problem. Being on the front lines of war between the US and China or being exposed to dangerous amounts of EMF from the missile shield is nothing compared to losing a golf course in South Korea.

    1. While I’m not in favor of a multicultural experiment in China, Japan, or the Koreas as this can be done in Indonesia and the Philippines without upsetting their genetic applecart (giving them some Neanderthal genes to mix with the already present Denisoven genes), I do support the genetic colonization of the African continent by the Chinese. This would give the Africans the much needed DNA for successful social organization. Nonetheless, it would be detrimental for both USA basketball and World Cup soccer. In fact it would change the face of professional sports completely.

      1. Phil the Thrill

        Well, your Most Eminent Insolence, the Africans invented Ubuntu, so it may be that their social difficulties are only manifest when outsiders try to organize them. But I can imagine the love child of Manute Bol and Yao Ming. An impressive creature, indeed.

  6. Having had a South Koreen friend… who explained how the society over there worked.. the South Koreens have suffered an enormous moral blow to their psyches, since ther GI’s turned up. Their women have been essentially turned into prostitutes for american GI’s and the boys are seething over it.. (they are particulary anti any-other-race-than-Coreens…-and-South-Coreens-are-even-better)
    It may be good for them to reunite with their cousins and stop all the distrust and hatred..

    That goes for everyone on Earth by the way……….

    1. What do you mean “since their GI’s turned up”?

      From what, and who, I know of South Korean culture, the women over there do not exactly ‘give it up’ to just any foreigner, even though (yes) if they are going to ‘give it up’ to anyone other than fellow Koreans, it will usually be a white European male.
      From what I can glean, they are not exactly screwing their way through the ranks of American soldiers stationed there, if that is what you meant.

      1. I meant since ‘the’ GI’s showed up. Not their.
        Evidently I can only speak for what I was told by one person, but she assured me that there is this sentiment. I may have been a bit ham handed, but I meant during the epoque when they (the GI’s) turned up, and have since been based in place. She was emotive when she was describing what she had lived thru.. Evidently she was with a white european, and I believe she may have had to suffer some v desapproving regards from people back home. Anyway..I dont imply that anyone is doing anything to anyone, I was refering to the actuel women who had turned really to prostitution, in the past, that lead to the feeling of resentment from the male population.
        I apologise if I offended. twas not my intention.
        What I know of army culture, camp followers have been in place for centuries…

  7. Asian astuteness is a many-layered thing; on the other hand, it’s a pity that the political class in Poland and the Baltic States has been so incredibly obtuse as to allow those countries to be placed in the “line of fire”.

  8. Well the MIC, TrumpCo and the presstitute toadies will NOT be pleased! Selling South Korea that THAAD system was the whole point of the whole deafening fear porn exercise being whipped up about North Korea.

    This is totally unacceptable and so expect SK to suffer some terrible mishap (lost airplane, freak earthquake, plague of locusts, etc.) in the next few weeks.

    1. Phil the Thrill

      England has “suffered” three stage shows over the past few weeks, but the latest one, where the slum high-rise was “retrofitted” with “cladding”, smells the worst. I like to entertain the notion that the adults are returning to the room after leaving the ziotoddler unsupervised for too long. These stage shows are becoming TOO sloppy.

      1. Phil the Thrill

        It’s as if the English PTWB are trying to catch up with French, and turn the merry ol’ place into a permanent state of terror alert.

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