South Korea is caught b/t a rock (the military option) and a hard place (admitting the North as a de facto nuclear state)
US-ROK Deterrence Architecture
[27 Feb 2018]…
“The military option, which involves attacking North Korea preemptively, cannot be South
2/“Korea’s choice, because its goal is peace and there is undeniable risk that military conflicts would ensue and possibly lead to a nuclear exchange. Still, surrendering to the rogue regime’s military ambitions by admitting the North as a de facto nuclear state should not occur.
3/“The right strategy can frustrate the enemy to surrender even without any conflict.”
No one wants to be caught b/t Scylla and Charybdis in a real-world situation. However ROK’s dilemma is largely of it’s own making, a perceived conundrum brought to life by inadequate problem-
4/solving skills, misperceptions and insufficient objectivity & critical thinking skills. Let’s examine ROK’s erroneous strategy:
I) The false dichotomy: military option vs admitting DPRK as a de facto nuclear state.
To accept or not to accept reality, that is ROK’s difficulty.
5/It doesn’t want DPRK to be nuclear. Well guess what? DPRK is staying nuclear b/c it can’t trust US-ROK & won’t be another Libya. So ROK wants to live on the river of DENIAL: “We cannot accept DPRK as a nuclear state”. News flash: It’s been a de facto nuclear state since 2017.
6/So ROK isn’t living in the real world. Got it. Check.
II) The false premise: DPRK will eventually fully denuclearize
Actuality: Nuclear deterrence is part of DPRK’s National Defense, i.e. non-negotiable
III) The wrong strategy: “Win w/out a fight”, I.e. get DPRK to “surrender”
7/by applying Maximum Pressure sanctions that crippled the economy.
The reason: An Armistice was signed, DPRK is waiting for a Peace Treaty & won’t “surrender” anything. No one “wins” or “loses” the Korean War b/c the Armistice is supposed to lead to ☮️. The mindset of: “We can
8/can get DPRK to surrender” is problematic and shows that US-ROK are acting in accord w/ Zhou Enlai’s famous maxim: “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. DPRK is waiting on the Treaty promised by the Armistice. “Surrender”?? What is ROK

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More from @BonicMichael

13 Jan
DPRK National Defense To Deter US Attack: “Kim Jong Un has made his “strategic decision” clear—to become and remain a nuclear-armed power—despite the costs.”…
2/The US-ROK, NPT & UNSC don’t want to accept DPRK as a nuclear weapons state b/c of the message it’ll send to all non-NPT-member states that they can “go rogue” and acquire nuclear weapons. Yet DPRK is the exception to the rule.
3/“The new strategy should focus on reducing the risks of regional destabilization, military escalation and nuclear war stemming from North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities.”

Talking Security Guarantees will positively get DPRK’s attention.
Read 9 tweets
13 Jan
Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm - DPRK Guide
"The Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm is the most famous farm in North Korea...…[T]he DPRK government focused their efforts on making this particular cooperative farm Image
2/"the ideal model farm for the entire nation for others to learn the techniques taught to the local farmers here.

The term cooperative farm means hundreds sometimes thousands of North Korean families working together on land provided by the DPRK government to produce a single Image
3/"crop or multiple crops. The government gives the cooperative farm a targeted quota to reach each year. The more effort the families put into farming, the more they’re able to benefit from the number of crops they grow. Villages and towns are built for the locals as the Image
Read 6 tweets
13 Jan
Average Monthly Expenses: From Single Person to Family of 5
Average monthly expenses range from $3,189 for one person to $6,780 for a family of five.…
"Average monthly expenses for one person totaled $3,189, or $38,266 annually.
Average monthly expenses for
2/"a family of 2:
$5,572, or $66,861 annually."
Monthly/Yearly expenses include:
Rent/Mortgage payment
Healthcare insurance
Car Insurance
& whatever else.
Let's say Rick makes (net) $2,800/mo [= $33.6K/year]. He's neither rich nor poor.
3/Rick's monthly expenses average $1,800/mo, which allows him to save $1,000/mo [= $12K/year]. Then Rick reaches full retirement age, cashes in on his SSA retirement check and gets $1,800/mo but keeps working full-time, making $33.6K/year which could all go into savings.
Read 12 tweets
12 Jan
The Calculus of Sanctions on the DPRK (Squeeze ‘Em Harder)
The true impact of North Korean sanctions
3 July 2019…
“There are two issues that need consideration [in analyzing the economic impacts of sanctions on North Korea] — how sanctions are impacting the
2/“economy and where the economy figures in the regime’s cost–benefit calculations regarding its nuclear and missile programs.

In the longer run, things could become more dire if current difficulties persist for the country’s industry. For example, it is hard to see how any
3/“meaningful level of production of the most essential goods can continue…

Under the sanctions, North Korea is unable to sell its most crucial export goods. In 2018, Chinese imports from North Korea plummeted by 88 per cent. UN numbers show that Chinese imports of North
Read 5 tweets
11 Jan
Is DPRK's latest missile launch 'destabilizing actions' or 'strengthening national defense'? It's the latter. This is the result of the US holding ☮️hostage demanding DPRK's nukes as ransom.

North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile, second in a week
2/We have to promote peace, reduce tensions & improve relations w/ the DPRK. Frank Aum shows that maximum pressure is inherently hostile, and DPRK has made clear that the US's "hostile policy" has to change before it will sit to talk. That's the name of
3/the game. If the US's position is: "That's not the game we're playing. You do as we say and fully denuclearize before we lift sanctions", the DPRK will say, "F*** you US", hunker down under sanctions and launch more missiles. That the US & allies are utterly blind to the
Read 7 tweets
9 Jan
Trump’s ‘America First’…
"An America First National Security Strategy is based on American principles, a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. interests, and a determination to tackle the challenges that we face. It is a strategy of principled realism that is
2/"guided by outcomes, not ideology."

“America First refers to a policy stance in the United States coined by progressive, internationalist president Woodrow Wilson that generally emphasizes nationalism and non-interventionism…

“Trump…”agreed with a suggestion that his ideas
3/"might be summed up as 'America First'." Since that time the Trump campaign, and subsequently the Trump Administration, made 'America First' the cornerstone of Trump's foreign policy. The administration even branded its 2017 National Security Strategy of the United States of
Read 7 tweets

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