Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Condition Of North Korean Conventional Weapons

This is based on essentially gossip, or if you prefer, a rumor.  I have dining in Washington again and someone there who is in fact both well known and very well informed, but whom I shall not name made a comment about the state of conventional weapons in DPRK and also said that this has not been publicly known.  According to this person their condition is much worse than publicly believed.  So out of date and out of condition are they supposedly that North Korea no longer can seriously threaten Seoul with a conventional attack as has long been taken for granted as being possible and looming over the situation there. 

The supposed implication of this, if indeed it is true (which it may not be, and this is simply not easily checked on), would be that the DPRK needs its nuclear weapons more than we have thought and will be even less willing to give them up than has been thought, not that many of us have taken too seriously the idea that they would be willing to give them up.  Indeed, there have been recent rumblings out of Washington, denied by the administration, that Trump may be willing to return to the position of earlier administrations and cease trying to get DPRK to give up those weapons while trying to put some limits on the program instead.  Needless to say, Trump has had nothing but ridicule for this position when it seemed to be that of Obama, but if he does it, well, this will sort of be like calling NAFTA the worst trade deal ever and then negotiation a new NAFTA that is only slightly different from it and proclaiming it to be the best trade deal ever.

Barkley Rosser


Anonymous said...

Having a need to think about this possibility, I believe I understand the argument and find it likely correct and important. I am grateful for the post and will add. said...

Again it may be hard to verify this or to show it not true.

Anonymous said...

North Korea could rely on a Soviet Union or Russian shield before the 1990s, but the leadership must have quickly realized the reliance could not be counted on and deterrence from then on would have to be nuclear arms. Conventional weapons were no longer a sufficient protection against a regime-changing determined US. Now North Korea has a sure deterrent shield, so a focus on conventional weapons could be considered less necessary.