Sunday, 29 April 2018


The bourgeois media pundits have been eulogising over the apparent rapprochement, between the two Koreas, and the US.  The only difference between the reactionary bourgeois media pundits and the liberal media pundits is that the former have been euphoric in praising the role of Trump, in bringing it about, whilst the liberal media pundits have grudgingly conceded credit to Trump.  Both are wrong.  Trump has something to do with the current situation, but it's not what these pundits believe it to be.

The reality of the talks that are proposed between Kim and Trump, if they do eventually take place, is that Kim will ask Trump to remove the nuclear shield from South Korea.  He will ask Trump for some major financial aid, and will seek to increase trade with the South, as part of Trump agreeing to lift the current sanctions on the North.  In return Kim will agree to reduce the size of the North's massive conventional army, but Kim will not agree to get rid of the nuclear weapons, and missiles they have only just painstakingly acquired.

Trump has brought about the current situation, in that his policy ensured that the North was able to proceed to develop its nuclear weapons, and its intercontinental missiles largely unchecked.  Trump has boxed himself in.  By threatening essentially to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the North, if it didn't stop that development, Trump had to either carry out his threat, or impotently sit by, doing nothing.  Given that everyone, including Kim, knew that Trump was not going to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the North, that meant that Trump was seen to be just hot air.  So, Kim ignored Trump's empty threats, and ridiculous school yard tweets, and built the nuclear weapons and the missiles he needs to defend Korea against the potential of a US attack.  Trump's ridiculous threats brought about the current situation, not because they scared Kim into coming to the negotiating table, but for the opposite reason, that Trump's hyperbole and ultimatism was seen as obviously an empty threat that allowed Kim to carry on unchecked, until he had reached a stage of development of his arsenal, where he could pause, and see what else he might get out of the incompetent Trump.  Kim is not stupid.  He has seen what happened to others who believed the West's assurances.  Kim has no desire to go the way of Saddam or of Gaddafi.

North Korea was led to build up an oversized army, because of the ever present danger of a highly effective US military, stationed in South Korea, and the Pacific Ocean, launching a conventional war against it, as had happened in other parts of South-East Asia.  Totalitarian regimes do not like having too big a military than they can get away with, because the military, as a significant social force, always has the potential for removing the dictator.  Moreover, for a country like N. Korea, the cost of a huge conventional army is debilitating.  It drains potential capital away from economic growth - a problem that brought down the USSR, along with its requirement to sustain a huge welfare state.

North Korea, unlike the USSR has no need of a massive nuclear arsenal.  It has no intention of being involved in a global strategic struggle with the US.  All N. Korea needs to do, is to be able to deter the US waging a military campaign against it, for fear of one or two US cities, as well as Japan, and South Korea getting nuked.  Now that Kim has got the nukes and missiles he needs to achieve that aim, he can afford to voluntarily forego any further tests.  The nukes mean that Kim can now focus on bargaining for economic benefits from the US and South Korea, in exchange for reducing its conventional forces, conventional forces that Kim now has an incentive to reduce so as to divert those resources into the economic development of the North.

The bourgeois media pundits are prevented by their own ideology from realising that, because their ideology is only capable of describing the world, not understanding the way it works.  That is why bourgeois reportage, and supposed analysis of world events is nothing more than a presentation of superficialities, and hence their infatuation with the role of individuals such as Kim, or Trump, and with celebrity.

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