Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why nobody is invading North Korea

Okay, so as Brian at Why Now mentioned, the Chinese are pretty pissed at North Korea for exploding a nuke and firing off some more missiles. As in, pissed enough that they voted for some U.N. security council resolutions and basically told Li'l Kim, "Stop that shit - or else!" The "or else", though.... ah yes, therein lies the problem. Sure, China could cut off its economic support for Li'l Kim's regime. But then a) you got a lot of starving peasants (what, you don't think Li'l Kim would go hungry? Perish the thought!), and b) it doesn't hurt Li'L Kim a whole lot because most of the country *already* has devolved economically to pre-industrial times with animal power and all that.

Which brings up the real reason nobody has invaded North Korea since Li'l Kim started being a bad boy. That million man army? Bah. They spend most springs planting crops, and most autumns harvesting crops, and do fuck-all little training and none of their advanced weapons actually work anymore due to age and lack of fuel. They're basically a hoard armed with AK-47's, RPG's, and mortars, and any modern army (or even China's only halfway-modern army) could crush them like a bug. The problem is, once you do that, then what? You invade the place, you own it. And what you own is a medieval hell-hole where the entire population has been brainwashed and indoctrinated into some weird-ass cult shit, and the economy relies on having a million soldiers planting rice in the spring and harvesting rice in the fall and that's the million soldiers you just crushed, remember? Meaning, economic collapse. Meaning, you own this shit unless you want pictures of starving North Korean babies showing up on the Western news. Both South Korea and China have plenty of capability to invade and conquer North Korea any time they like (South Korea's modern army is some real hard-asses, they basically model themselves on the old Imperial Japanese Army but with modern warfighting equipment like some damn fine Hyundai tanks and supporting F-15's), but the question of "then what?" still remains, and nobody has the slightest inclination to hurry up the answer to that question until they have no choice at all.

- Badtux the Geopolitical Penguin


  1. Standing armies and weaponry aside, nothing discourages invasion more reliably than a total lack of anything other countries desire.

  2. Indeed. China needs more useless peasants like their geriatric leaders need a new harem of nubile teenage girls (crap, they'd probably all stroke out if presented with a new harem of nubile teenage girls, they're all, like, 90 years old or somethin'). South Korea needs useless peasants like they need a hole in their head. Neither of them want North Korea to do anything except just stay where they are and don't do somethin' stupid, 'kay? Too bad Li'l Kim is fucking up even that elementary little task...

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  3. Li'l Kim's problem is that he suffers from "short person" syndrome; he wants to appear to be more significant than he actually is. Nothing like a few nukes and some (semi)guided missiles to accomplish that, eh?

  4. Sort of reminds me of our situation in Afghanistan. Sure, we're there, now what do we do?

    And Hyundai makes tanks? Sweet, they probably get way better mileage than ours.

  5. Yes, Hyundai makes tanks. The K1 was basically a Korea-ized version of the M1A1 with a diesel engine rather than turbine, the K2 steals even more widely to produce a world-class tank that in some respects may be the best in the world. With their diesel engines neither has the mobility of the M1, but get *much* better fuel economy and the rugged terrain of Korea really isn't suited for the sort of high-speed sprints that the M1 is famous for.

    So yeah, Hyundai makes tanks. And yeah, they get better fuel economy than ours :).

  6. I tend to think that China will EVENTUALLY want to be on the right side of history and invade North Korea. They also know that the place is going to fall down anyway and they want it to fall down on their terms, i.e. no American soldiers above the 38th parallel or South Korea doesn't get it's country back.


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