Test by North Korea of a hydrogen bomb with a capacity of approximately 100 kilotons September 3 brought the crisis around the nuclear program of a rogue state to a new level. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-UN to “ask for war” and the need to take decisive action against his regime.

Now the US is trying to promote the UN security Council a new draft resolution on sanctions, which will deal another blow to the economy of the DPRK. A vote on new sanctions will take place on September 11. North Korea threatens U.S. “the greatest pain and suffering ever moved in history” because of a draft resolution providing for step-by-step introduction of a ban on oil supplies to the DPRK, North Korean procurement of textiles, ban the use of North Korean labor. Unjustified predictions about the trial of a North Korean Intercontinental ballistic missile on September 9, the date of creation of the DPRK, indicate that the North Korean regime wants to deprive China and Russia of the arguments against the resolution prior to voting.

At the same time, it is clear that the recent tests by North Korea drew a line under all the efforts undertaken by the USA since 1994, in order to prevent the emergence of new nuclear States on the Korean Peninsula. Policy of aggressive rhetoric against North Korea by the administration trump gives the opposite result. After the spring aggravation with allegedly sending a nuclear aircraft carrier to the coast of the DPRK, Pyongyang conducted the most successful missile tests, and after the August statements by the US President that the DPRK will meet “with fire and rage that the world has not seen,” the test of a hydrogen bomb.

Depending on how to change the US strategy and will to act, other parties involved, there are several possible scenarios of conflict around North Korea.

Strangulation of the DPRK sanctions

Over the past year, has already suffered two heavy blow to the DPRK by adopting economic sanctions. In November 2016 adopted resolution No. 2321 of the UN security Council, designed to deprive North Korea of $800 million of revenue to reduce exports of coal by 60% to ban the export of copper, lead and zinc.

In August 2017, it complements resolution No. 2731 of the UN security Council, designed to reduce foreign currency revenue from exports to North Korea by a third. According to this resolution banned North Korean coal exports is the main item that contributed in 2015, $951 million from $2,83 billion of export revenue for the DPRK. Also prohibited the export of iron, lead, seafood, restrictions on the hiring of North Korean workers, the creation of new joint ventures with North Korea and investments in existing ones.

The main trading partner of the DPRK – China, which accounts for 90% of turnover – August 15 approved trade restrictions, and August 25, forbade the creation of new North Korean companies on its territory. In addition, in April, North Korea stopped the trade in India, which accounted for 3% of North Korean trade, and in September – Philippines with a share of 1.8%.

A unanimous vote of the UN security Council for sanctions against North Korea, August 5 (photo – EPA)

In the case of adoption of a new resolution of sanctions proposed by the United States, will fall under attack one of the top industries of the North Korean economy – textile – in 2015, exports of clothing brought $833 million from $2,83 billion in revenue. Ban the use of North Korean labor abroad will cause another blow to the income of the regime. According to the South Korean unification Ministry, abroad officially running 148 of thousands of North Koreans in China, 80 thousand, in Russia – 53 thousands, and the rest in Mongolia and the Arab countries. These workers annually pay taxes of $7 thousand, which allows the North Korean regime to another $1 billion that will disappear in the case of adoption of a new resolution. Finally, the ban on oil supplies to the DPRK, will create great difficulties for the functioning of industry and transport in the country.

The question now is whether China and Russia to help the United States to strike North Korea. On 7 September the Minister of foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi stated that “given recent events in North Korea, China agree that the UN security Council should give a new answer and take the necessary measures.” At the same time, the new sanctions will create for the local Chinese economic difficulties in the two-million border town of Dandong, through which 70% of trade with the DPRK, and a complete economic blockade of Pyongyang in Beijing don’t want to. In addition, supply, USA September 8, South Korea launch missile system THAAD, which protested against Beijing, complicates reaching agreement on new sanctions.

North Korean restaurant in Dandong China (photo – EPA)

The vote Russia sanctions after searches in the diplomatic missions of the Russian Federation in the United States even less likely. The Kremlin has the opportunity to avenge the insult. “The use of sanctions of any kind in this case, it is useless and ineffective. Yes, they (the DPRK – ed.) the grass will be there, but will not give up this program if they do not feel safe”, – said the head of Russia Vladimir Putin on September 5. Moreover, in recent time, Russia is stepping up ties with North Korea, twice in the first half increased oil supplies to the country, and indeed the trap of Washington in the confrontation with Pyongyang beneficial to the Kremlin to weaken US attention to other regions.

Perhaps the U.S. can convince Beijing and Moscow to accept some provisions of a proposed draft sanctions. However, the success of stifling the DPRK sanctions is completely dependent on understanding US and China, and President of the trump this seems to be not seeking. On 3 September he wrote on Twitter that “the U.S. is considering, in addition to other options, the cessation of trade with any countries doing business with North Korea”. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced immediately thereafter that is already underway to develop sanctions against countries trading with North Korea. Given that China is the first trading partner for the United States the volume of trade amounted to $648 billion in 2016, it is difficult to understand how the White House is going to implement this idea without trade wars with China and not incurring the wrath of a powerful China lobby in Washington.

“Double freezing”

The idea of a “double-freeze” was announced by the representative of China to the UN Liu Jieyi, and it is supported by Russia. It is to stop development of the nuclear missile program of the DPRK in exchange for the refusal of the United States and South Korea on joint exercises and deployment of missile defense systems in South Korea. The US representative to the UN, Nikki Haley has already rejected this proposal. In Washington find this idea an interference in relations with American allies and encourage North Korea for violation of previous UN security Council resolutions. Besides, even with the stop trials, the DPRK can continue to work on miniaturization of warheads.

Although Russia and China will continue to insist on the appropriateness of “double freeze” is unlikely to trump the administration may adopt this proposal without reputational loss to themselves.

See also: “Double freeze” – trick or the real de-escalation

Pre-emptive U.S. strike on North Korea

On 6 September, the President of the United States Donald trump said that a US military response to missile and nuclear tests by North Korea “is not the preferred option, but we’ll see what happens”. In Pyongyang, new tests show that not much believe in such a scenario, and the reasons for that.

The dilemma of a preemptive strike has existed since the beginning of the crisis around the DPRK in 1994, when the Clinton administration considered the possibility of an attack on nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, but abandoned this idea after evaluating the survey data and persuasion South Korean President Kim young-Sam. The reason is the North Korean artillery, MLRS in the event of hostilities will cover Seoul and several other South Korean cities, kill thousands of people before the US air force and South Korea will destroy the North Korean positions. And among the dead are us military who are stationed in Seoul and near the demarcation line.


                      Exercises of North Korean artillery (photo – EPA)

The US and South Korea have the resources to destroy key military objects and nuclear missile infrastructure in the DPRK, but according to predictions, the number of casualties in the war can reach up to a million people. “The situation is a stalemate and unpredictable, the risks increase at each round of crisis. The first one to show too dramatic position – at risk. Kim operates on the principle “I am epileptic, hold me.” It while work. But if one of the parties blows up, will be a chain reaction and thousands of victims”, – explained in the comments LIGA.net Professor, Institute of international relations of KNU. Shevchenko Sergei Galaka.

In addition, it is difficult to predict the reaction of China, which does not intend to defend the DPRK only if Pyongyang first to show aggression. “The Chinese did not like military action from the United States. They are afraid that will disappear a buffer between China and us bases in South Korea, do not want contact with Americans. Also in Beijing fear and waves of North Korean refugees,” said galak.

Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun in an editorial notes that trump has already held a red line against North Korea – it doesn’t have to launch missiles to the continental coast of the United States, and also in American territorial waters around GUAM and Hawaii. Move this red line will lead to the use of armed force against the regime.

Sergei Galaka believes that in case of implementation of the DPRK’s threats to inflict enveloping missile strike in the district of GUAM, full-scale hostilities is unlikely. “American missiles shot down. Going to be tension, but some of the more impressive actions against the DPRK will not follow. We are talking about a country with nuclear weapons. If Bush knew that Saddam Hussein has a nuclear warhead, he would never have sent troops to Iraq. Because otherwise, it’s the thousands of victims of political scandal and impeachment,” emphasizes one of the leading Ukrainian specialists on nuclear non-proliferation.

The Destruction Of The Kim Jong-UN

There is only information about the preparation of the South Korean squad of Marines whose purpose is the destruction of the North Korean leader. The development of a plan of liquidation of the North Korean leader in September 2016 confirmed by the Minister of defense of South Korea in September 2016 during a meeting of Parliament. In August 2017 the South Korean F-15K practiced bombing rates, Kim Jong-UN. Directing exercises a major army But Lee cook said: “Our air force will destroy the leadership of the North Korean regime is strong potential impact, if he threatens the security of our people and the Union of South Korea and the United States nuclear weapons and missiles.”

Kim Jong-UN next to a hydrogen bomb – according to North Korean propaganda (photo – EPA)

“The option of removing Kim Jong-UN or even the change of the ruling dynasty rather speculative, hides a very large risk of destabilization that will backfire on the entire region. It is unclear who will take the reins in their hands, will control the nuclear weapons,” – said in a comment LIGA.net the expert of the Institute of social and economic research Julia Kournikova.

See also: to Kill Kim: can you solve the DPRK issue, removing the dictator

The China’s intervention in North Korea

Long known about the hostile attitude of the Chinese leader XI Jinping to Kim Jong Ynu. The first son of the repressed Chinese Communist, schooled in his youth all the charm of the Chinese “cultural revolution” and have spent decades climbing to the heights of power. The second son of leader Kim Jong-Il, who spent his childhood in an elite Swiss schools, and absolute power inherited in 28 years. In six years the leaders of the countries officially allied to, never met.

The nuclear missile programme of the DPRK creating more inconveniences for China on the world stage, that is why Beijing supported the latest UN sanctions after the regime. China’s trade with North Korea that have grown since 1999 in several times in 2013 in regularly shrinking.


                       XI Jinping (photo – EPA)

In terms of growth of the estrangement between Beijing and Pyongyang and constant surprises from the Kim Jong-UN’s invasion of China or the threat of such an invasion in order to provoke the change of the leader of the regime, may be the best scenario preventive solution to the problem of missile and nuclear programs, says the former editor of The Economist bill Emmott. According to him, China is the way to establish real control over Pyongyang, to achieve parity with the United States, and to remove the threat, which can threaten not only Washington and Seoul but also Beijing.

As noted in the comments LIGA.net Julia Kurnikova, such a scenario of conflict resolution is unrealistic. “The idea sounds nice, but its realization is difficult. Why would China need to take on this responsibility? It must be some serious arguments and concessions on trade monitoring in South China sea with the United States. Trump will not be able to go, why the United States is the rise of China? In the end, the main enemy of the United States – not Pyongyang, and not even Russia, is China. The tactical issue for the United States – something to do with the nuclear program of the DPRK, but at the strategic level in the United States understand that we need to take measures to prevent the rise of China. That is, the US can’t make concessions, otherwise, China will not agree,” she says.

See also: Invasion of China as the solution to the problem of North Korea

Long negotiations. Probably fruitless

The solution to the North Korean crisis by diplomatic means, using the model nuclear deal with Iran offers Chancellor Angela Merkel. The catch is that at the time of the transaction in 2015, Iran was not even close to such success in missile or nuclear development as North Korea. Pyongyang has repeatedly declared that do not intend to abandon missile and nuclear programs. In the United States insist on the consent of the DPRK on denuclearization.

Switzerland, which is a Committee of neutral countries to prevent hostility on the Korean Peninsula, have offered their services for the organization of negotiations. According to the Agency AP secret channel of communication between the administration trump on North Korea by Joseph Yun and Pyongyang already exists – communication is via a North Korean diplomat Pak sung-Il, working in the DPRK mission to the UN in new York.

However, if once the U.S. negotiations with North Korea and will be released on the official level, it is unlikely Pyongyang will want to discuss anything more than the freezing of missile and nuclear program. Even the start of such negotiations is elusive. The repetition of the failure, which ended the six-party talks on the denuclearization of North Korea in 2003-2009, is no surprise at all.

The six-party talks, Beijing, 2004 (photo – EPA)

Deterrence of the DPRK and the possible deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea

September 5 after negotiations trump with the President of South Korea, moon Jae-Otherwise, it was announced the willingness of the US to sell South Korea and Japan advanced arms worth billions of dollars. The two leaders also agreed that the South Korean missiles can be equipped with warheads weighing over 500 kg. And already on 8 September, the U.S. brought to South Korea four launchers of a missile defense system THAAD. This system will be one of the key elements of deterrence of aggression by the DPRK.

“The American expert community is excitedly says that created a thermonuclear bomb, and North Korea is a nuclear power, although officially nobody acknowledges as such. So we need to get straight and create a deterrent force in the region. The United States can create a system of containment and try again to purchase the DPRK, although as experience shows – it is an absolute adventure,” – said Sergey Galaka.

THAAD missile defense system in Seongju, 300 kilometers South of Seoul, September 8 (photo – EPA)

In addition, the media actively discussed the possibility of returning to South Korea the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons, which was in the country from 1958 to 1991. According to the September poll, Gallup Korea 60% of South Koreans is prepared to accept the return of nuclear weapons, 35% oppose.

On 10 September the President of South Korea, moon Jae-In rejected the idea of a return of tactical nuclear weapons. “There is no change in the political principle of government for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and we never saw the re-adoption of tactical nuclear weapons,” reads the official statement of the Blue house.

As reported by NBC, a source in the administration, trump said that the United States is not considering returning tactical nuclear weapons to the Peninsula, because it would deprive reason of the requirements of nuclear disarmament of the DPRK, and will also lead to an arms race.

However, the issue of deploying tactical nuclear weapons were discussed during the conversation the Minister of defence of Korea Yong San Mu with Pentagon James Mattis last week. “I told him (Mattis, – ed.) that it would be good to strategic weapons were sent regularly to the Korean Peninsula and some South Korean MPs and the media to promote the idea (re-deployment – ed.) tactical nuclear weapons,” said the Korean Minister.

Strategic B-52 bomber over the Korean Osan air base (photo – EPA)

Rather, it is the strategy of deterrence of the DPRK will be key for US in the near future. It will not necessarily provide for the placement of tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, but definitely the maximum gain of the missile defense systems of its allies in the region, increase joint military exercises with the South Korean army, the number of flights of strategic bombers, visits to the ports of nuclear submarines. At the same time, given increasing frequency of missile and nuclear tests of the DPRK, the United States will continue to put pressure on China and Russia, demanding new sanctions. This situation can last for years.

See also: Korean roulette: hit it to the DPRK by the US

Kim asks of war: how will the confrontation between the US and the DPRK 11.09.2017

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