The Korean peninsular situation is starkly simple.
For thirty years or more the North has been working on acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to places as far away as the United States.
The United States over that time has negotiated intermittently with the North to get them to stop.
Those negotiations have occasionally caused the North to stop developing bombs and missiles, at least as far as the US could tell.
But the North keeps re-starting.
It appeared for years that that start/stop game was a gambit by the North to keep getting more food from the US or other desirable accommodations.
But recently that changed.
The North has gone back to developing and testing bombs and rockets.
They just launched a rocket that could have hit Alaska if they had wanted it to.
They don’t give a shit about food any more.
They saw what happened to Muammar Gaddafi after he negotiated with the US the elimination of his nuclear weapons program.
The North Koreans don’t want to be in the same position; they don’t want to be shock and awed by the US; the best way, they apparently believe, to avoid that fate is to have nuclear weapons in quantity enough and with delivery capability enough to act as a counter balance to the United States’ ability to mount overwhelming conventional weapons attacks on them.
So they have gone back to their bombs and rockets.
But that hasn’t gelled yet to the point to be a threat to the United States, so why doesn’t the US just go in and finish them off while the finishing is good?
I’m sure donnie wakes up every morning and after his daily tweet invective shouts to whomever is within earshot, “why don’t we go in and finish off them xxxx today?”
The answer to that question is where the stark simplicity stops.
Somewhere back during the last three or more decades the North has deployed just across the border from Seoul enough conventional firepower to obliterate it.
And that amount of fire power precludes the possibility of the United States taking it out before it has obliterated Seoul.
So much for finishing them off.
So they can keep developing their bombs and rockets.
But wait; there’s more.
There is another question.
What possible reason would the North have to continue to develop their ability to bomb the CONUS?
They can never accumulate enough weapons to really attack the US with any chance of success.
We will always have enough more fire power that such an attack would be suicide.
There is, obviously, a point where the Pacific Coast of the United States becomes more important to us than Seoul.
So the real chances of North Korea attacking the US is nil.
So what are they doing?
They keep us at bay while they make whoever is President of the US look like an idiot – easy currently – and develop real nuclear fire power and deliverability.
That threatens Japan, and Viet Nam to name a couple of countries who might care about that sort of thing.
That threat and the North’s checkmate of the US makes it necessary for Japan and Vietnam – to name a couple – to develop their own nuclear capability.
So much for Pax Americana.
So what can the US do?
The only thing is to negotiate.
And what, now that food and trinkets are clearly off the table from a North Korean bargaining point of view, would the North want?
They want the US off the peninsula.
But wait; there is still more.
There is one last question.
Why was the US so asleep at the switch for the last thirty or so years that we allowed the North Koreans to deploy enough conventional fire power to make a US intervention an unthinkable destruction of one of the world’s most developed countries and at least 27 million of its people?