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North and South Korea on the brink of war, Russian diplomat warns


In Moscow's bleakest assessment of the situation on the Korean peninsula yet, Russian deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin said tensions between the two countries were running at their highest and most dangerous level in a decade.

"Tensions on the Korean Peninsula could not be any higher. The only next step is a conflict," he told foreign policy experts at a round table on the subject in Moscow.

His prediction came two months after North Korea vowed to wage "a sacred war" against South Korea and its biggest backer, the United States.

Tensions bubbled over in March after Washington and Seoul concluded that a North Korean submarine had sunk a South Korean naval vessel in the Yellow Sea. Mr Borodavkin called for the investigation into exactly who was responsible for the sinking of the vessel, the Cheonan, to be urgently closed in order to remove an obvious source of tension.

Describing the standoff between the two Koreas as a "hangover from the Cold War," Mr Borodavkin said Russia, which is one of the six countries involved in talks with North Korea over its nuclear programme, was doing all it could to try to prevent an outbreak of hostilities.

But he said responsibility for keeping peace in the volatile region was shared equally between North and South Korea. He condemned North Korea's nuclear testing programme but also criticised the way the United States and South Korea had increased their military manoeuvres in the wake of the sinking of the Cheonan.


4 Comments in Response to

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Comment by Ned The Head
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Yeah this all got poor Neddy's heady up in a lather. Please refer to my previous and ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN THIS TO ME because it's got my head flipping like a pooched CD. So read the below. I'm just gonna talk about Chinese people for a while because at least they are starting to make sense to me.

Being in continuing contact with people on the mainland (PRC), in Taiwan (RC) and Hong Kong (stall basically HK), I stopped trying to understand the Chinese politically but rather culturally and in business, and this seems to have informed me as to their politics.

One word: Confusionism. You look at a Chinese business (house) and you look at China (PRC ) and you see the exact same methodology. And the same ambitions. See, they value order and stability in the house, in society. They have about as much use for individuality and bucking convention as we do servility. Honor, as everybody agrees, is EVERYTHING, it's RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP.

But......yeah, here's what they don't tell you in your "cultural awareness" class. They are ambitious as hell. And that model for the peaceful house and society, well, you get to impose that when you are successful. When people look up to you. When YOU are the guy that owns the land or the business or the whole damn land and ALL the business.

See the Chinese (PRC) government now is still proposing to uphold that old Chinese feudal social contract: the benevolent father ruling over his squabbling sons. To maintain honor (face, prestige, authority) father must rule a wealthy house. So how do they get there?

By being politely cut-throat and dead rational in business considerations. Because, and get this, because Confusionism holds warfare to be pretty gross, pretty corse, pretty beneath enlightened logic. No. So the battleground becomes business. Now just hang with me a bit farther and I'll let you go and I'll dematerialize into my component atoms once again.

Battleground: business. Priorities: stability in family, house, business, population. Well guess how much relationship, guess how much honor you have to have to NOT be the expendable on in that equation?

Go ahead guess because I'm not sure "infinity plus one" is an actual integer.

When doing business in China, hide your bacon before you go out to dinner and drink endless toasts to health and prosperity and friendship and long life.

And do NOT repeat this mistakes of our fathers in dealing with them. DO NOT seek your life-long bro and give them all of your technology with the manuals and the engineers to run them you dopes. Because they will ace you out. They will flip you over. They will roll you. A lucrative business deal is what it is. China intends to bring this world into order, the house in order and guess who their idea of daddy is?

Hint: it ain't Brad Pitt.

Comment by Ned The Head
Entered on:

Well I'm hoping somebody has a better explanation for this than me.

Kim Jon Il, like his sociopathic, megalomaniac father, knows well the game of sabre-rattling to gain concessions from the USA. He thinks to stress one of our nerves: we've always relied on the threat of total annihilation to keep him in bounds, HOWEVER the Kims have always relied on the fact that they can STEAMROLL South Korea conventionally before we can get our shit together to beat them back.

See our foward deployed forces will sound the alarm before they are overrun. Our rapid response capability will focus on getting ours and especially South Korean diplomats out to form a government in exile. It will take us a few weeks at least to build enough force to beat Kim back. And we will. Seoul will be a smoking ruins along with most industrial capacity because a Kim would go for a scorched Earth campaign. He knows he couldn't keep it. Not without the old Cold War era deterrent of the Sovs backing them up.

I've said before that the Ruskies know the Chinese way better than we do and they trust them a lot less. Well the Ruskies trust Kim way less than that. There's no freaking way they'd back him, especially now. Look at Russia and it's "federation". What a joke. Their Eastern satellites see themselves either as Eastern Orthodox or outright Muslim Caliphate time. Russia cannot at this point go for an internal-consumption economy like China thinks it can, if for no other reason that Russia exists inside of the Western banking and accounting and monetary constraints whereas in China they have a bit more leeway. The RMB is, at one fundamental level, whatever the hell they say it is because when was the last time you saw anything, any single thing in the PRC audited. Thing our banking system is opaque? Yeah right.

Point being, Russia at this point needs Western Europe. If they back North Korea against us, well, their pooch is screwed. Everybody knows the escalatory path from there is nukes and guess who still has the best and most nukes? Hey kids, USA is still number one in terms of destructive potential. Our global thermonuclear war scenarios still involve the destruction of almost all life on planet Earth.

So, my hypothesis: Kim is just sabre-rattling, hoping for a few concessions as usual. Maybe a few thousand tons of grain to feed his starving cabinet level ministers and their families. He's got a few million people eating grass mixed with mud who could easily replace his cabinet minsters. Business as usual.

What the hell a Rusky diplomat hopes to gain by sticking his nation's nose into this happless affair just can't be what it is on the surface: a really lame-ass proxy non-attack on the USA for retaliation for us having squashed their latest missile deal with Iran.

And I'll tell you why Kim is sabre-rattling right now. He's doing exactly what his father would have done: putting pressure on us now makes us extra-sensitive because hypothetically Kim knows we'd have to redeploy troops from the mideast to deal with him. He knows we can and he knows we will as well as he knows it would be difficult and costly for us to do so. He knows it will hurt us as well as he knows it will MURDER him, it's just that him and his father know the psychology of our military planners very, very well. Our military planners can't abide a credible threat. Finding the threat irrefutably credible yet difficult to deal with, our military planners tend to tell our executive and his lackeys to find diplomatic solutions.

And in the ultimate dramatic twist, the Kims know all they have to do from there is be credibly insane. Crazy enough to do something stupid. Well, starving a few million of your people here and there in arbitrary whim, yeah, that tends to make us think he's pretty nuckin' futs.

My bottom line here: Russia is totally fucking up. This isn't even a "my daddy can beat your daddy" thing, it's even lamer. This is Russia saying "careful or my little sister might beat you". No Russian I have ever met was so dismissive of his pride.

And please, nobody tell me Russia is vying for diplomacy points here. Nobody is inviting me to parties anymore now that I've begun telling people "as long as I can bring my friend OJ Simpson".

If anyone further suggests that this is another "building block for the Russian post-USA hegemony", I revert to my previous: they know Kim better than we do and they trust him even less than they trust the Chinese. My thoughts on the Chinese are coming together from a cultural level outwards.

Anyways here's to hoping one of you can understand this better than me cause it's seeming like a comedy of errors that could get us all killed.

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