I would word this a little differently. North Korea wants the productivity of the South, but they don’t want to grant the freedom that it takes to get there. Fat little Kim needs to keep his Stalinist regime intact. To do that he needs to collect money and goods from those who want to or are blackmailed into keeping his rotten government afloat.
My daughter was there (S. Korea) 10 years ago and actually went to the DMZ, inspected the collapsed tunnel the NoKos had dug under the DMZ and brought back a few rocks she picked up from the NoKo side. She brought back a few pamphlets put out by NoKo in broken English, as well. Their behavior hasn’t changed one iota since I was there–other than they are punishing their own people even more severely for perceived strays from Kim-worship.
That video and others by that reporter are just bad interpretations of very complex situations. He said Iran stopped it’s nuclear program because they believed their conventional forces were a sufficient deterrent - and that NK doesn’t have that deterrent option.
Let’s take a historical example. The Yom Kippur war was waged with conventional weapons. Israel had nuclear weapons and Syria did not. There is evidence that at the low point in the war, when Israel was facing annihilation, they made preparations for nuclear strikes against Syria and Egypt. The war turned around and nothing happened. Syria felt compelled to embark on a nuclear development program which the Israelis destroyed. If Syria had nukes would they launch the pre-emptively? Probably not. Net effect: The Syrians diverted money and manpower that could have been used for more and better conventional weapons. A somewhat similar situation with the Soviets and Star Wars.
If Iran is getting nukes, the Saudi’s will divert a lot of money that could have been used on a conventional buildup. The Saudi’s have deep pockets but not unlimited.
bottom line: Getting nukes can help to gain or maintain a conventional advantage. And there is the psychological advantage: Your enemy has nukes and you don’t; at what point in a conventional war, that you are winning, will he use them?
The quality of the weapons themselves isn’t the issue.
Saudis have some of the best weapons around; our weapons. Our tanks, our missiles, our aircraft. The problem is their culture, where the military is little more than a patronage society that doesn’t promote, prize or train competence.
Soldier for soldier, the Saudis might be even with the Iranians. But in terms of their leadership? Of their Combined Arms doctrine? They’re ability to respond to requests for strategic munitions deployment? E.g. “I need an airstrike at such & such position at this & this time”?
They’re severely lacking, and there’s little to indicate that they’re improving. Because the Saudis never developed a culture that was literate with technology, or in promoting best practices.
The evidence right now, is that Iran’s strategy of instead emphasizing conventional warfare through hegemony, is working.
Saudis have basically lost the fight in Yemen. They have the Houthis outnumbered, severely outgunned, and yet, they’re steadily losing. It’s the Saudi Vietnam.
Having the Saudis waste billions on weapon systems that produce ineffectual results? That’s clearly a win for the Iranians.
Provoking the Saudis into acquiring a nuke that would make Iran’s “vassals” think twice about fighting the former? It would promote stability, and that’s not what Iran wants in the Arabian peninsula. They want instability that they can seize upon, & promote their geopolitical interests through, if not give them a window to seize territory.
North Korea isn’t a modern power, with an advanced military that can back ideological claims of “living space”.
It’s a weak, decrepit nation, that clings to nukes as the only permanent deterrent they have to prevent themselves from being wiped off the face of the Earth the same way Qaddafi and Saddam were.
Hitler had storm troopers and elite panzer dvisions at his beck and call; North Korea has soldiers who die from starving in peacetime, and who fling themselves across the border in droves to get away. They have rusting tanks strewn around in pits for want of fuel.
Not the same situation, at all.
No… that overestimates our ability to control the situation.
Whatever North Korea’s atrocities, that’s far less bad than that PLUS 300,000 in Seoul die from an artillery barrage.
North Korea has been readying itself for an invasion for over 50 years; it has bunkers and gun emplacements built into mountains we don’t have enough munitions to destroy in a month, much less the less than half a day it would take them to fire out of just once.
The know they can’t win a war; their entire strategy is built around making the first round of exchanges hurt, then having the rest of their military play at asymmetrical warfare.
North Korea is allied with China, they have no more reason to fear invasion than Canada.
The absolute worst possible strategy that can be employed to deal with dictators who openly threaten to attack you is to pretend they are worthy of diplomacy, those who want diplomacy do not make catastrophic threats; only fools, drunks and children reward such dictators and in so doing they encourage more of the same from others.
It’s true that North Korea got it’s head handed to it by the UN allies during the Korean War. It was ONLY the intervention of China that saved their bacon for them. That and the war-weariness of the American people and perfidy of some of the allies. It should be noted that on the very DAY that a British unit was nearly wiped out to the last man in Korea, a British company delivered a ship-load of tires for military vehicles to Hong Kong which were destined for Communist China. That is why the DMZ is where it now is. NOT because the NoKo military were such great shakes. Watch them sometime. They haven’t been in military action of ANY sort since 1953 and each and every one of their senior generals wear enough medals to sink a normal-sized rowboat. Some ran out of room on their uniform blouses so started pinning them to their trouser legs! How do you suppose they EARNED those medals? It sure wasn’t because of any military prowess! They’ve been so isolated for so long that they wouldn’t HAVE a nuclear program, let alone ballistic missiles, without the intervention of China, Russia and maybe Pakistan.
North Korea invaded the south to START the Korean War–with the encouragement of the Chinese and Russians. Nobody has any desire to “invade” North Korea. Not even South Korea at its most belligerent during the Park regime. North Korea has nothing the South wants except for some relatives or their gravesites. All WE would want with it is the ability to insure the North has no nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles that can be used against us or our allies. Other than that, they (the North Koreans) are welcome to devote their time and energy towards feeding their population and developing their own industry.
… Uh, Chinese President Xi Jingping tried to have Kim Jung Un Killed ; he and Kim Jung Un’s Uncle ( the one supposedly eaten by dogs?) were together in a plot where they would replace Un with his half-brother.
The half-brother Un had killed in Malaysia.
So the result of this is…
Oh, and Chinese citizens are up in arms about the Norks building Nukes; they’re afraid the fallout will creep across the border.
China and the Norks are still “nominally” allies, but the relationships continues to grow colder.
Unbelievable, you try to justify the North Koreans actions by citing “30 years of invasion prep”; then when it is pointed out how ludicrous that is you cite the developments of LAST YEAR when they have finally frustrated their own allies as well.
You are wrong, North Korea has no defensible excuse and we owe them zero respect.
… No, I’m saying invading is a bad idea because of their invasion prep. Which you can’t ignore.
Their actions, that of building a bomb, are a consequence of them knowing that their conventional deterrent is deteriorating rapidly.
A nuke offers the regime security like nothing else. It’s the only play they have, going forward, that could prevent us from invading in the event of a rebellion within their own ranks.
That’s what they’re afraid of. That’s what killed Qaddafi. Even though we made an explicit promise to stay out of Libya’s affairs, the moment a rebellion hit, we helped get him overthrown. The Norks don’t want to be that, so this is how they seek to prevent it.
I’m not saying give them respect.
I’m saying, don’t feed trolls (and everything their state media puts out is nation-state level trolling), and quit pretending that them building this nuke isn’t due to rational motives on the part of a regime afraid of being ripped from power.
Being evil isn’t the same as being irrational; if that were the case, the Soviets would have keeled over in a month after fighting with us over the remains of Europe in 1945.
Have you ever had occasion to read the book MiG Pilot by John Barron (true story of a Soviet fighter pilot who defected by flying his MiG-25 to Japan in 1976)? The Soviet generals had done the same. From the book: