Time is Running Out : The War State Looms over North Korea

Map of Far East Command Bases (US Department of Defense)

According to AntiWar.com, White House officials continue to threaten North Korea (DPRK), warning that “time is running out” and that at some point action will be taken unless accessions are made with regard to complete nuclear disarmament.

Of course whether the threat is made by President Trump or by his National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, the 12-day trip to Asia is designed to promote American interests while strengthening and forging new war-time alliances.

There is no question that at present the extent of military buildup off the Korean peninsula is for potential war. At this time, there are several large Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan including USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan, and USS Theodore Roosevelt.  Furthermore, the USS Carl Vinson is said to be joining the group in joint exercises to be held with South Korea (ROK) over the next three weeks.

What 3 US Supercarriers in the Asia-Pacific Mean for N. Korea?

US Military News shows video of each aircraft carrier replete with its cruiser ships, flotilla of destroyers or frigates, and carrier air wing of 65-70 aircraft. CNN has laid out info graphic comparisons of the US/ROK forces versus that of their opponents. These include the US also having deployed a number of class-attack submarines which travel stealthily around the world.


“Rising Military Tensions in Asia: How do the major players compare?” (Source CNN/IISS https://tinyurl.com/y9s6ke7b)

Com North Korea military forces (IISS)

 North Korea (DPRK) military forces (CNN/IISS)

In fact since President Trump has assumed office, the North Korean conflict has grown to crises levels in tension and signatory exchanges. Not least are the clumsy launches by the DPRK and the round condemnations by the United Nations, including ratcheting up sanctions in August and September against North Korea . (UN observers have noted that no such sanctions were required on other nuclear missile testing countries, such as France, India, Israel, or Pakistan.)

Meanwhile, the American public remains as ill-informed as ever on the naval exercises and simulations being carried out almost monthly. There is no doubt that the number and scale of international naval operations have intensified according to alternative sources. Such a massive parade of force requires that all regional military bases including all types of military personnel are placed on high alert.

Massive monthly expenditures appear to fulfill the pattern of the elite’s expectation for hegemonic recoup on costs after North Korean is “forcibly reunified.” For example, The Diplomat.com noted a sampling of drills in October being Maritime Counter Special Operations exercise (MCSOFEX) between October 17-20, and Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MN MIWEX) from October 15 to the end of the week. The ROK Navy is not inconsiderable in size: for this exercise alone several warships and several destroyers are included along with missile defense systems and military aircraft.

According to Jan Oberg, founder of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research the American commitment to diplomacy is nil if President Trump has yet to appoint a U.S. Ambassador to North Korea—another indication how Washington views the DPRK national sovereignty as defunct.

Aggressive rhetoric in place of diplomacy includes the fact that Defense Secretary James Mattis calls on the armed forces to stand ready, while Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) supports the ramping up of naval forces because the U.S. must be prepared to “imagine the unimagined” (a prolepsis of the “fire and fury like the world has never seen” threat famously uttered by President Trump).

In “Unparalleled Catastrophe”: The Possible Use of Nuclear Weapons by the US Within Months? Why?” Mr. Oberg shares his perspective that the atmosphere of denial is taking the world closer than ever before to the brink—and it is due precisely to the United States’ asymmetric military advantages and superiority against North Korea, even before factoring in fresh sanctions.

A possible World War III scenario is that the comparably diminutive North Korea, much like a cornered dog and with its handful of nuclear weapons, will finally feel compelled to strike first, thereby unleashing all-out attack and obliteration, including sending in the death squads.

No mention is ever made on the part of the American media on how many innocent Koreans will die. Or how superpower countries such as China and Russia will become embroiled in defending their geographic and historic regions including shared resources.

In fact in Killing Hope, renowned author William Blum examined how this happened during the first Korean War after China had had enough of the provocations:

The predicted Chinese aggression manifested itself about four months after the war in Korea began. The Chinese entered the war after American planes had violated their air space on a number of occasions, had bombed and strafed Chinese territory several times (always “in error”), when hydro-electric plants on the Korean side of the border, vital to Chinese industry, stood in great danger, and US or South Korean forces had reached the Chinese border, the Yalu River, or come within a few miles of it in several places. —Chapter 5: Korea: 1945-53

Jan Oberg also mentions how likely this is because of evidence the United States is not genuinely interested in pursuing peace right now, especially with the DPRK:

[S]ince the US of today is inept at diplomacy and second to none in only one field, namely the military, hubris is a factor that can’t be excluded; additionally, the US has not yet bothered to appoint an ambassador to Seoul. One indeed wonders what kind of contacts there actually are beyond the North Korean ambassador to the UN; the risk of the parties getting their lives crossed is immanent and large;

While it hurts to have a foreign expert tell us that “the vastly superior US is run by what must in a historical perspective be close to a kakistocracy” that fact can be mildly contested due to the altruism of at least a few members of Congress busy drafting contingency bills and letters to revoke President Trump’s power to authorize pre-emptive strikes on North Korea.

No more powerful a reflection than this quote, however, ought to emerge upon reflecting on the level of anxiety and frustration currently experienced on the Korean Peninsula as expressed by Mr. Blum in Killing Hope:

How long would the United States refrain from entering a war being waged in Mexico by a Communist power from across the sea, which strafed and bombed Texas border towns, was mobilized along the Rio Grande, and was led by a general who threatened war against the United States itself?—Chapter 5: Korea: 1945-53

Unfortunately, the Americans are so far gone in waging offensives, that most cannot even imagine such real aggression were it to take place. And where the DPRK is concerned, or China, or Russia, the extent of their military expenditures and deployments leave much more to be desired before they approach something like a “Gulf of Mexico Command.”

Above adapted map of Far East regional bases from US Department of Defense