May 27, 2009

What Happens After One Side Withdraws From a Truce?

Carroll Andrew Morse

North Korea has announced it is withdrawing from the truce that, at least in practical terms, ended the Korean War…

North Korea threatened to attack South Korea one day after Seoul announced that it would join a U.S.-led naval exercise, aimed at intercepting any shipments suspected of carrying materials used in the making of weapons of mass destruction....The government also proclaimed that the North would no longer honor the North-South armistice signed at the end of the Korean War.
What happens next will be determined, in significant measure, by the facts that 1) the United States currently led by a President who fancies himself a liberal internationalist and 2) we are moving headlong into the kind of situation where the weaknesses of liberal internationalism are most exposed, i.e. what happens when one nation decides it doesn't want to honor its negotiated agreements, and that it has no interest in living in harmony with the rest of the "community of nations"?

The North Koreans are gambling that, despite its unsolved problems, the Obama administration will stay committed to a minimal-action, liberal internationalist ideology.

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One could see a conspiracy,i.e.North Korea-Iran here,but I think it's more testing out Obama.
The nitwit Biden was correct about this-the rogue nations will be in this Presidents' face by one means or another,whether this,or the Iranian naval gesture,or Chavez pulling Obama up from his chair and handing him an anti-American screed.Or even Ortega lecturing him to his face,it all comes down to a gut check.
Say what you want Rhody&Co., but this wouldn't be happening with McCain.
I hope for the sake of our troops on the Korean peninsula he doesn't f**k this up.He already lost face whern he didn't take out the Korean missiles a few months ago on the launch pad.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 27, 2009 12:58 PM

This is a very dangerous situation . . . and there is no reason to believe that Pres. Obama is up to the challenge.

Let's hope that he is.

Posted by: brassband at May 27, 2009 2:48 PM

the Left may scream extremism at those who worry about these trends, it would be foolish not to throw down markers along this dangerous path to totalitarianism

and then

we are moving headlong into the kind of situation where the weaknesses of liberal internationalism are most exposed,

they're not done


and there is no reason to believe that Pres. Obama is up to the challenge.

wait there's more

Say what you want Rhody&Co., but this wouldn't be happening with McCain.

All the chicken littles have come home to roost and squawk.

Posted by: Phil at May 27, 2009 10:21 PM

Phil-you can bark about "chicken littles",but first check out North Korea's history of aggressive behavior.
The country is possibly the most maniacal dictatorship on the planet and they have nukes.Myanmar is almost as bad but they haven't got much in the way of serious armed forces.
only a fool would make light of this threat.the threat is not necessarily to the continental US,but more to Japan,South Korea and the 30,000 American troops stationed in South Korea.
They wouldn't be testing McCain like this.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 27, 2009 10:59 PM

What Happens After One Side Withdraws From a Truce?

War, you'd think. Not much reason to withdraw from a truce otherwise. You can still threaten somebody while maintaining a truce.

Posted by: EMT at May 28, 2009 1:05 AM

I don't need the history lesson.What's bullshit is your statement about North Korea "testing" Obama. They're testing weapons. If you wish to view the world and its inhabitants only through your narerow politiocal lens fine. Keep up your barking from the porch.

Posted by: Phil at May 28, 2009 5:40 AM

You do need the history lesson,if only as far back as Jimmy Carter.By midterm elections we'll see who was barking from the porch.I hope I'm wrong,but I think Barry will get us into a real costly mess somewhere in the world.
Yeah-I know Bush did,so don't even bother.
The reason I hope I'm wrong is that Barry's mess will take its toll on innocent people here or abroad caught in the middle.
What he's doing here at home will probably finish the bankrupting of the nation that started with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act(with a Republican congress under Clinton)and leave us with severe inflation.
Barry never anything but a two bit neighborhood program in Chicago.His recent slap from a Democrat congress on Gitmo couldn't make it any plainer.
I could've responded to you with some lowlife remark,but I'm real tired of that crap.Which is why I stopped posting comments on RI Future.All they do is get into pissing matches there under the new management.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 28, 2009 6:37 PM


You may be right that the President will get us into a costly mess somewhere in the world. Then your criticism would be fair. To suggest that the person who lost the last election could somehow prevent the North Koreans from doing what they do now and in the past is bullshit. It's egocentric to think that every event in the world has to do who is President in this country and that it has anything to do with us. Not that events that seem unconnected may not effect us in some way. Now I know that its hard work gathering all the stones to throw at Obama so I'm glad you decided not to throw any lowlife remarks my way. By the way if we were to play a quessing game about how events may have been different why not choose 2001. All that seperated Bush from Gore in the election results was Florida's Secretary of State and the U.S. Supreme Court. But wondering what Gore would have done after recieving a warning that Bin Laden was determined to strike the US in the US is bullshit too. Right?

Posted by: Phil at May 29, 2009 6:04 AM

I didn't vote in 2000 due to an error in my part in requesting an absentee ballot too late.
I don't know if Gore would've reacted well and it's not worth speculating about-it's clear the ball was dropped on the warning signs.
I don't think it's "egocentric" to believe Obama is in the political crosshairs around the world.
North Korea is too weird to be sure of why they do anything,but I don't believe coincidence has much bearing on international relations.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 29, 2009 9:08 AM

Phil-we both neglected to address one thing here-the unilateral withdrawal from a truce in effect since 1953 at the the same time as this test is a clear attempt to ramp up confrontational tensions-and the US is a party to the truce and has 30,000 GI's facing North Korea.So calling this a mere test as though it occured in a vacuum doesn't sound right.
Actually,the truce is between North Korea and "UN" forces.The UN endorsed the sending of forces to the Korean peninsula.In addition to US and ROK forces,the militaries of the UK,France,Turkey and other countries were involved.All are long gone except of course the ROK's and the US forces.
Maybe Japan was a target of this test also.Japan and Korea have a long and bitter history with each other.Korea wasn't called the Hermit Kingdom for nothing-they have their own odd way of doing things.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 29, 2009 9:35 AM


Sorry it takes me so long to respond. I'm working long days on the water and I'm exhausted in the evening. I agree with much of you you've written here. And I don't disagree that a certain level of gamesmenship is used in international relations. Any new leader may be tested. North Korea may from their perpective be defending their country from the South and the US troops. Our perpective is quite different. If you interested The Coldest Winter is about the events before and during the Korean War written by David Haberstam who recently died.

Posted by: Phil at May 30, 2009 5:53 AM
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