The Specter of US Expansionism Prevents Resolution to North Korea Tensions

John Glaser, April 03, 2013

As tensions with North Korea continue to intensify, some have suggested the US press China to influence Pyongyang to calm down.

KimJong-un-480x345The first problem with this is that the US doesn’t have the best relationship with China right now because of a little thing called the Asia-Pivot, a hostile and confrontational foreign policy meant to militarily contain a rising China that poses no direct threat to the US. Washington has been using its military and economic might in Asia-Pacific to bolster China’s regional competitors. Beijing might not be in the mood to do Uncle Sam a favor.

The second reason such an approach is unlikely to bear fruit is because the US has insisted on maintaining a massive military presence and diplomatic base in South Korea ever since the unnecessary US intervention in the Korean War, for which Truman never sought formal approval from Congress. The remaining US stake in the Korean peninsula is perceived as a geo-political threat to neighboring China, which is wary of American dominance in the region already.

Matt Schiavenza at The Atlantic explains (via):

If China suddenly decided to cut ties to its mercurial neighbor, North Korea would almost certainly collapse.

That, precisely, is the point: China really, really doesn’t want North Korea to collapse. For one thing, the trickle of North Koreans currently crossing the border would turn into a flood, leaving China with a messy humanitarian situation on its hands. Secondly, a North Korean collapse would no doubt foster the creation of a unified, pro-U.S. Korea on China’s northeastern flank, depriving Beijing of a valuable buffer against American interest. For these reasons, China needs North Korea to stay alive — and North Korea knows it.

Like in Syria, where a political settlement assisted by world powers never materialized due to (justified) Russian and Chinese skepticism of letting Washington create another client state in the Middle East, the situation with North Korea is being perpetuated because everybody knows the US will stop at nothing to expand its empire.

As I’ve written, another option that would be very likely to mitigate the tensions with Pyongyang would of course be for the US to not constantly antagonize the North through provocative military activities with the South and, um, sending nuclear capable B-2 stealth bombers to drop munitions on a nearby island. That might work too.




28 Responses to “The Specter of US Expansionism Prevents Resolution to North Korea Tensions”

  1. "Like in Syria, where a political settlement assisted by world powers never materialized due to (justified) Russian and Chinese skepticism of letting Washington create another client state in the Middle East"
    not quite sure what you mean by "political settlement", unless you mean the UN resolution that Russia and China vetoed. If that is the case it does not seem at all political to me because the result would have been the bombing and military destruction of the Syrian state.

  2. [...] Specter of US Expansionism Prevents Resolution to Korea Tensions [...]

  3. Normally, I'd agree with the gist of your message above. This specific case of N-Korea is not the 'standard scenario' of installing puppets in ME or bombing brown people all over the world because of their belief. Rather, this issue should and must be addressed by China: the only power NK will respect. So, my conclusion would be to put international pressure on China to reign in their bloodhound.
    I mean, when Israel has their yearly Palestine-Slaughter-Party, the world tries (without success) to ask US to reign in their butcher-of-the-middle-east. Analogously, the world shuld ask China to restrain their Nuke-Kid-On-The-Block.
    I therefore disagree with your standard US bashing in this specific case.

  4. What is there to resolve? North Korea didn't make any demands. It announed it's going to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Then nothing happened. Now it's announced it's going to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons again. Now everyone is waiting to see whether they will or not…

  5. Seems to me if the Chinese want to avoid the "Asian Pivot", and more militarization of the Korean peninsula, then pressuring the N. Koreans to calm down is a no brainer.

  6. Cutting slack to whatever despot is standard operating procedure for Anti-war so long as it bashes the American Empire.

  7. [...] China has many cultural and historical connections with North Korea and does not want a unified Korea that is friendly to the US on its border. China is in a tough spot because it has a defense pact with North Korea even as it recognizes that North Korea is a mess. China really wants North Korea to stay as it is and the North Koreans boldness probably rests partially on its knowledge of China’s wishes. READ MORE… [...]

  8. Go back to sleep…if you are unable to accept that the US is the prime instigator in all of this then continue to believe US propaganda and outright lying regarding this situation. ZZzzz

  9. You say in the same breath that the world seems incapable of getting the US to rein in Israel but should pressure China to do the same with North Korea.

  10. I think it is impossible for China to avoid an "Asian Pivot". If they can manage to rein in N Korea then we will just push harder (as we did against Libya after Gadaffi moderated).

    Their only rational course is, i think, to be firm, but not shoot first.

    Eventually we'll run out of funds for these adventures, and that will be the end of it.

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  12. Go back to sleep…if you are unable to accept that the US is the prime instigator in all of this then continue to believe US propaganda and outright lying regarding this situation. ZZzzz

  13. The Asia pivot is not going anywhere, America is too poor to contain China

  14. Please tell me it worked right? I dont want to sumit it once more if i don’t have to! Either the blog glitced out or i am an idiot, the second choice doesnt surprise me lol. thanks for a good blog!

  15. Let’s make one thing clear: these useless military exercises and demonstrations of force do absolutely nothing to alter the reality or Russia’s strategic calculations. They are essentially for domestic consumption, to satisfy political hardliners who are attacking the president for being too weak.

  16. Leta??s make one thing clear: these useless military exercises and demonstrations of force do absolutely nothing to alter the reality or Russiaa??s strategic calculations. They are essentially for domestic consumption, to satisfy political hardliners who are attacking the president for being too weak.

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  20. As I have composed, another choice that would be most likely to minimize the tensions with Pyongyang would of course be to the US never to continuously antagonize the North through provocative army activities using the To the south and, um, sending nuclear able B-2 stealth bombers to drop munitions with a surrounding tropical island. That might work too.

  21. "Like in Syria, where a political settlement assisted by world powers never materialized due to (justified) Russian and Chinese skepticism of letting Washington create another client state in the Middle East"
    not quite sure what you mean by "political settlement", unless you mean the UN resolution that Russia and China vetoed. If that is the case it does not seem at all political to me because the result would have been the bombing and military destruction of the Syrian st

  22. "That, precisely, is the point: China really, really doesn’t want North Korea to collapse. For one thing, the trickle of North Koreans currently crossing the border would turn into a flood, leaving China with a messy humanitarian situation on its hands. "… I dont totally agree. North Korea will collapse in one time or another.

  23. Like in Syria, where a political settlement assisted by world powers never materialized due to (justified) Russian and Chinese skepticism of letting Washington create another client state in the Middle East, the situation with North Korea is being perpetuated because everybody knows the US will stop at nothing to expand its empire.

  24. That, precisely, is the point: China really, really doesn’t want North Korea to collapse. For one thing, the trickle of North Koreans currently crossing the border would turn into a flood, leaving China with a messy humanitarian situation on its hands. Secondly, a North Korean collapse would no doubt foster the creation of a unified, pro-U.S. Korea on China’s northeastern flank, depriving Beijing of a valuable buffer against American interest. For these reasons, China needs North Korea to stay alive — and North Korea knows it.

  25. That, precisely, could be the stage: China truly, genuinely doesn’t would like N . Korea to break down. For starters, the actual drip of N . Koreans presently crossing your boundary would turn into a deluge, departing China using a untidy non profit situation upon its hands. Secondly, the North Korean fail might without doubt create the growth of the single, pro-U.Azines. South korea about China’s east flank, depriving Beijing of a important load against National attention. Thereby, Cina wants Northern South korea to stay alive – and North Korea is aware it.

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  27. Another point to consider this strategy isn't likely to deal with fresh fruit is really because the united states has was adament about sustaining a massive armed service existence and also diplomatic base inside South Korea since the unwanted People involvement inside the Mandarin chinese War, which is why Truman by no means looked for formal authorization from Our elected representatives. The residual Us all risk from the Mandarin chinese peninsula will be considered the geo-political danger to nearby Tiongkok, that's cautious with U . s . importance in the region by now.

  28. In which, precisely, could be the point: Tiongkok really, really doesn’t need N . South korea to collapse. For instance, the actual spill regarding Upper Koreans at the moment crossing the particular edge would turn into a ton, leaving behind China having a untidy relief predicament on the arms. Subsequently, a North Mandarin chinese fall would no doubt create the creation of a new specific, pro-U.Utes. Korea on China’s northeastern flank, starving China of your beneficial barrier towards National interest. Therefore, Cina requirements Upper South korea to keep in existence * as well as North Korea knows this.