Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The world can sleep at night knowing despite the bluster, there's no war on the horizon.

Much has been made of North Korea and its ability to destabilize the region with its powerful military and fanatically devoted populace. Although most of the world dismisses Kim Jong Un's bluster as just that, there are a few who remain concerned that a miscalculation could cause the new leader to blunder into war. In such an event, despite the fact North Korea is a technological backwater, the North Korean juggernaut remains feared.

Nobody knows what this contraption does, and that's scary in an absurd way.

Nobody knows what this contraption does, and that's scary in an absurd way.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Kim Jong Un, antics, North Korea, war, assets, liabilities


While plenty reason exists to fear North Korean might, there's also a lot of reason to discount it. Here are four of that country's greatest supposed strengths and why they are really liabilities in the event of war.

Army of 1.2 million. North Korea is legendary for its large military. With approximately 1.2 million soldiers in its army, it can easily overwhelm the South Korean military with an advantage of more than 2 to 1.
However, this isn't such a strength, particularly following any initial thrust.

One million troops consume a lot of food and during combat they consume fuel and ammunition among other supplies. While North Korea can lay in plenty of ammunition, food is perishable and it will be difficult to feed a moving, fighting army that is subject to interdiction by superior enemy airpower.

A more likely outcome will be mass defections and the surrender of large numbers of troops when they are faced with starvation and a lack of supplies.

North Korea is already dependent on international food aid to feed its starving population and most food aid is diverted to the army. However, in the event of war, all food shipments would likely cease and the only food many soldiers would get is that foraged from the countryside. That's not enough to ensure the success of a military campaign. Undoubtedly, this weighs heavily on the minds of North Korea's military planners and leaders and serves as a brake on Kim Jong Un's imperialist ambition.
 
The fanatic devotion of the people. North Korea runs much like a religious cult. Even the news reporters and media personalities are bombastic, emotional, and show more public devotion to "Dear Leader" than many westerners show God in their churches. People are commonly photographed and taped bowing before portraits of their "Dear Leaders" which are regarded as shrines.

Such fanatical devotion could prove dangerous as the populace is apparently ready to fight to the death for their dear leader.

Certainly, there are true devotees. There were good Nazis, and even Japan had to turn away volunteers for kamikaze service. Many Branch Davidians died because they refused to flee their compound as it burned. However, most people are not fools.

North Korea is a nation governed by fear. Not only is the individual who infracts the rules subject to severe punishment, including death, but their families are as well. Many people who would otherwise break away and speak out against the North Korean regime would probably do so if not for fear their family, including children, would spend the rest of their lives in a forced labor camp.

Much of the North Korean economy depends on forced labor and it is widely exploited to prop up the national economy. As a result even minor infractions can land an entire family behind barbed wire.

For this reason, many people will harbor secret resentment against their Dear Leader and hope for a day when they no longer have to feign selfless devotion. A war could provide such an opportunity, especially if it went badly. This is not to suggest that North Koreans would also willingly accept foreign occupation of their country, but they aren't likely to be as quick to die for Dear Leader as one might assume. In fact, the country could be filled with people who would like to see Kim Jong Un fall from power.

This could be the very purpose of the current manufactured crisis. Many speculate that the crisis is being manufactured by Kim Jong Un as a means of consolidating his domestic power. The people are ruled by fear, which works, but also breeds resentment. If the people find an opportunity to throw off the chains of oppression, they may be quick to turn against their own leaders. So far, despite the tough talk, it appears to be a risk Kim Jong Un is unwilling to take.

The bomb. Some of the greatest concern over North Korea is related to its nuclear capability. Kim Jong Un has threatened to deploy nuclear weapons against any nation that threatens North Korea, and has made a public spectacle of threatening South Korea and the United States. The world knows North Korea has the bomb. This will give many pause when it comes to fighting with the state rather than negotiating. 

While the bomb can deter aggression, it can also inspire it. North Korea has both the bomb and a crazed dictator in control of it. This is an unstable combination and that can inspire other states to intervene powerfully before something unpredictable happens.

Indeed, if conflict does occur, the allied nations will probably strike that much harder and with greater intensity in a bid to neutralize the country's nuclear capability. That would include striking command and control facilities and any other infrastructure seen as essential to deployment of a bomb.

So rather than discouraging intervention, the bomb could encourage swift and powerful intervention of the most aggressive sort at the first sign of perceived danger.

Nothing. Perhaps North Korea's greatest wartime asset is quite literally nothing. The country is wracked with poverty, disease, and hardship. What is left for the country to lose when its people already live in a primitive state compared to the rest of the world?

Actually, quite a lot. Anyone who lives in privilege from Kim Jong Un himself to his generals, to his supporters, and to his bureaucrats, all enjoy a fair standard of living compared to the rest of the people. That means anyone who enjoys power of any sort also enjoys privilege and can lose it at the moment of conflict. This is a powerful disincentive to war, especially one the country is likely to lose.

Far from being fearful of North Korean conflict, the world should recognize that there's little to worry about from North Korea. What we are most afraid of is also that which keeps them restrained. In reality, they must fear war as much as we do. For that reason we can go back to sleep at night.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

Rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia with attached chest, abdomen - and heart Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Conjoined twin girls in Indonesia have been born with a very rare genetic condition. Both girls share a chest, abdomen - and a heart. Photos have been circulated showing the babies in a hospital bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Soetomo Hospital in ... continue reading


Isolation, depression hounds tuberculosis patients as virulently as the disease Watch

Image of Doctors at St. Stephen's Hospital, which gets funding from the charity United Way Worldwide, say the mental health home care program is effective and should be in the national TB program.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

When Indian street-food seller Kumar Pal first began treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis two years ago, he quickly spiraled into depression and gave up hope of living. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Weighing just 77 pounds, shunned by his ... continue reading


TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY: 600 high school students expelled for cheating in Eastern India Watch

Image of The people tried to reach the windows of the classrooms where the students were taking their exams.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In its attempts to become a world leader and an economic powerhouse, the nation of India is taking those who take academic shortcuts, by cheating in school, extremely harshly. More than six hundred students were expelled in eastern India. Pictures of friends ... continue reading


Lawyer for doctor who helped track down Osama bin Laden ASSASSINATED Watch

Image of Senior police officer Shakir Khan said unidentified assailants shot and killed Samiullah Khan Afridi (pictured) this morning in the northwestern city of Peshawar before fleeing the scene.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An important link in the take down of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden has been ruthlessly gunned down in retaliation. Attorney Samiullah Khan Afridi, murdered by suspected Taliban gunmen was the legal representative for Dr. Shakil Afridi. The doctor provided ... continue reading


VIDEO BLOCKED: Islamic State video shows Indonesian children training with weapons Watch

Image of Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia, depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons. Produced by Alazzam Media, which claims to be the Malay language media division ... continue reading


Pakistani Prime Minister denounced for failing to protect Christians, religious minorities Watch

Image of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is accused of failing to act on a Supreme Court order, issued last year, to provide security at all places of worship.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's Prime Minister must take partial blame for the deadly attacks on Christian churchgoers in Lahore this past weekend. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Kararchi, leader of the country's Catholics, says that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to act ... continue reading


Did researchers find 'yeti' hair samples? Or is it something completely different? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to new research from the journal ZooKeys, the so-called "yeti" hair samples as determined by a prior research, were only from brown bears. In the study's abstract, the researchers stated that they have no reason to conclude the samples came from any other ... continue reading


PAKISTAN'S WORST CHRISTIAN MASSACRE YET: 15 people killed, dozens injured in Lahore church bombings Watch

Image of Area hospitals filled with casualties and scenes of mourning.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's worst attack on its Christian religious minority occurred this past weekend when two churches in Lahore were targeted by suicide bombers. Fifteen people were killed in all, and at least 70 other people suffered injuries. According to Pakistan Taliban ... continue reading


SHAME OF A NATION: Elderly nun gang-raped by six men in West Bengal Watch

Image of The attack comes at a time of growing awareness about sexual violence against women. There has been increased media reporting of rapes and assaults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Authorities in eastern India are continuing their search for six men wanted in connection with the gang rape of a 74-year-old nun in West Bengal. Witnesses say the men ransacked the convent school in Ranaghat this past weekend. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How a single moist towelette on the beach has renewed speculation over the disappearance of Flight MH370 Watch

Image of The discovery of a moist towelette on an Australian beach has many speculating on the disappearance of MH370.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Various media outlets are breaking the news that a single piece of evidence, possibly linked to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, was discovered on an Australian beach last July. The find is a tiny clue in a vast mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-7
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
8 'He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 15:1-39
1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests, ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 29th, 2015 Image

St. Berthold
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter