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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/17/17

On North Korea

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Message Nathan Nahm

Is There a Grave Danger that North Korea may launch a military attack on South Korea, Japan and the US military bases near Korea? In the opinions of so-called experts in MSM, the answer must be a resounding Yes. Otherwise, why would they say that the presence of North Korea itself poses as a treat to peace in the region and that each test of missile or weapon escalates the risk to the situation? However, I will tell you and all who has brain to think, in no uncertain terms, that there is no more than a near-Zero probability of North Korea launching a military attack against the South.

How do I know that? Because that's what has been proven theoretically and in real politics during the Cold-War era. During the Cold-War era, there was something called MAD, which meant Mutual Assured Destruction: if either side attacks, the other side will immediately retaliate and because neither side is militarily so superior to the other side that it can launch a totally debilitating attack that will make the other side even unable to retaliate, neither side could attack at all. That is if they want to survive! If either side wants to kill itself, it can go ahead and launch a military attack, with the predictable result. But no one would ever worry about that!

Now back to North Korea. We all know that MAD doesn't apply to North Korea because North Korea and the US military powers are not nearly as evenly balanced as the Soviet Union and the US were during the Cold-War era. But people keep forgetting that one part of MAD does apply to one part of our equation: the North Korea-attacking-the-US equation. If North Korea launches a first strike, no matter how devastating that attack may be, North Korea will immediately be retaliated so massively that North Korea will no longer exist on the planet, within days or maybe within hours, according to some people. Will this prospect encourage, or discourage, North Korean leaders to contemplate going for war with the US? I don't think we need "proof" that they will not intentionally choose the road to their own nationwide self-destruction. But some people say that North Koreans are crazy, and are different from us, and that therefore we don't know how they will behave. If these comments imply that the North Korean may not know the difference between their own collective survival and their collective, nationwide, mass suicides, these comments must be not only thrown away but should be scrutinized for what there are: Nothing but "Seeping Racism".

On the other side of the equation, however, we have a genuine risk of war, as we don't have anything resembling MAD, which would assure us peace over war. As noted above, North Korea and the US (including S. Korea and Japan) are not powered evenly at all. This creates the possibility that the US may conclude that it has enough military superiority to launch a first strike, which will devastate North Korea, but with acceptable damages on its side.

To minimize damage on our side, the US will make the initial attack as disabling as possible. That part is understandable. But how much of what type of damages will be considered acceptable? And why? North Korean casualties, South Korean casualties, US military personnel in Korea? Will they all be considered more or less equal value? How much total casualties will be considered acceptable enough to make the strike "worth it"?

We must know that this is the only real danger of a catastrophic war in our equations. When we realize that we are talking about literally millions, and tens of millions, of human casualties and asking whether they can be accepted if it helps eliminate the North Korean eyesore from the planet earth, we should also realize how far down we are on the rabbit hole from which we seem unable to retrieve ourselves, or regain any measure of sanity.

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Nathan Nahm is a retired New York lawyer.

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