North Korea is Russia’s Pacific Pivot

North Korea. The Russian Federation. Kim Jong-un. Vladimir Putin. Two nations, both anti-American now and historically. Both on the precipice between success and failure. Both with great futures and great potential loss. And their fate rests with one another. For North Korea is Russia’s Pacific Pivot and its way out of an Asian encirclement, and Russia is North Korea’s guarantee of future prosperity.

This part of East Asia is characterized by three major powers and three lesser powers. The major ones are the Russian Federation, China, and the United States of America. Each of these nations has enough nuclear weaponry to wipe out the other. The three lesser powers are South Korea, North Korea, and Japan. While South Korea presently lacks a nuclear weapons program the North Korean program has been a major success. The Japanese have a ‘bomb in the basement’ program and stockpile a massive amount of weapons grade plutonium. All of them have large and formidable militaries with the Japanese and Koreans maintaining powerful navies as well.

Today the USA uses Japan and South Korea as a great shield protecting its western flank and hemming in two powerful rivals: China and Russia. Between the three of them China and Russia are thoroughly trapped. By encouraging the development of their collective militaries and maintaining America’s network of bases in the area the Pentagon keeps a close on their Asian neighbors.

Contrary to public thought, North Korea is a distraction. It provides a justification for the mass militarization of the DMZ and Japan’s considerable investment in naval forces, air defense, and fighter jets. But the real prize is the opportunity to station unique American forces so close to the borders of rivals, all the while maintaining a massive reserve in the form of the allied nations military. For the Americans this situation is beautiful; they hold all the cards. And at any moment they are capable of inflicting on China that great nightmare scenario of naval embargo via the massive and powerful Japanese navy.

There are only two chinks in the American strategy here: For one, South Korea is Sinophilic and have few problems with integrating into the Tianxia sphere which they’ve historically been part of. China need only apply a little leverage to cause diplomatic problems between South Korea and the rest of the alliance here.

The second gap is North Korea’s finicky nature. One can’t even trust them to be consistent in their hostility. This unpredictability is a deliberate strength of their foreign policy because it gives them enormous freedom of action. They’ve undertaken countless risky activities and escaped scot-free as a result.

This brings us to Russia’s pivot to Asia. Russia and China are clear allies now, so a Chinese weakness is a Russian weakness. A Chinese weakness is massive embargo and the rapid strangulation of their economy. A Russian weakness is an American dominated East Asia. Both weaknesses converge on an opportunity: Disarm North Korea.

The disarmament of North Korea would be the first step towards unification with the South. The South Koreans have voiced many times their desire to absorb their northern brethren despite historical differences. They certainly have the economic and industrial means to do so. The disarmament of North Korea and the opening of its markets would be a massive carrot for the South Koreans, one for which they’d pay almost any cost, including a turn towards the Russian-Chinese alliance.

America would then be left in a tricky situation: Decades of troops and hardware now stuck in a country amenable to the hegemon’s greatest rival whilst the justification of the presence of these troops would be stripped aside. A disarmed North Korea is not one that requires 30,000 troops armed with the latest in destructive equipment to watch over it.

The justification for the Okinawa and other American bases, notoriously unpopular among the Japanese, would also be stripped away. Japan, regional power of east Asia, would thus be left in a tricky position. It would be friendless in the region, with only a corrupted Taiwan and stubborn Phillipines to count on while America remains across the sea. And America’s bases would present a suddenly enormous PR problem for the state.

All at once the Japanese would have a domestic crisis on their hand while one of the worlds most formidable militaries, that of South Korea, will have turned to join its elder patron’s greatest rivals. A stunning turn around to rival America’s Maidan coup in the Ukraine.

But is this scenario occurring as described? Well yes, and as fast as it can too. The one difficult part for the Russians and the one the Americans love to encourage is the finicky nature of the North Koreans, fearful and concerned of being hung out to dry. Russia has been carefully bolstering ties for the last year to alleviate these fears with 2015 finally resulting in an official visit-to-be from Kim Jong-Un and the establishment of a Russo-Korean Joint Business Council. Both are immensely notable actions and when combined with the prospect of joint military drills we see that all signs are present.

Russia is pivoting towards North Korea as fast as it can, and the Koreans are happy to oblige. By 2020 the Korea that the West has counted among its own may very well be in the camp of its greatest rivals. Time will tell.

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17 Comments

  1. Did you mean : “And at any moment they are *capable* of inflicting on China that great nightmare scenario of naval embargo via the massive and powerful Japanese navy.”

  2. Interesting strategic points.

    “This unpredictability (of North-Korea) is a deliberate strength of their foreign policy because it gives them enormous freedom of action.”

    – I would add that evil unpredictability is more threatening, and thus leverages military and international power. Capricious monster is more dangerous than predictable, known and familiar monster.

    1. Mitchell Laurel March 11, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Thanks for the heads up, yes, capable was the desired word.

      That’s right, that is exactly the intention of the North Korean elite. They want to appear capable of anything. In reality the North Korean elite are exceedingly rational, if somewhat paranoid. Their nuclear policy is evidence of all that. But their play at unpredictability makes everyone around them nervous and cautious. This allows them to push for gains otherwise impossible to achieve. For example its no secret that the whole state is on life support and that South Korea and China collectively pay that very expensive bill.

      Russia and China want to make North Korea predictable and non-capricious. By doing so their options will widen dramatically. But the North Koreans are hesitant about giving up their freedom of action. They are not only suspicious of America and the West, but of China and Russia as well.

      This whole situation is tricky for them.

  3. As someone with experience in DPRK, I believe that the North Koreans are unlikely ever to disarm. Their military posture is purely defensive, but they view it as absolutely necessary to maintaining their independence, which they value above anything else.

    1. Mitchell Laurel March 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      I wonder about that. The Russians and the Chinese are now so closely aligned that they may be able to offer carrots of suitable value to temper that disposition of theirs. If they can find a way to do it while maintaining some kind of major deterrent capability than the Eurasianists will be golden.

      1. Speaking of the Eurasian movement, Aleksandr Dugin is ruffling low-order liberal feathers once more. He’s now been officially blacklisted by the corrupt US government and has had a delightful article written on him by the crooks at crookedtimber who denounce Russian nationalism as Hitlerific!

        http://crookedtimber.org/2015/03/10/who-is-aleksandr-dugin/

        Personal favorite quote Dugin is so eclectic and ecumenical in his extremism that we need to be aware of those with whom he associates in order to pierce through the bewildering variety of his sources and references.”

        Wow, Reactionary thought is really baffling these idiots. Makes the density of the Reactosphere something to be thankful for.

  4. Prognosticator March 12, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Pan East Asian nationalists dream of a yellow century, or what we call yellow peril. Basically the mainland East Asians aligning together with there immense diaspora, within the post western countries. That’s a powerful combination geo-politically particularly the leverage the East Asian diaspora communities will have in the Liberal democracies of the post west.

    It will be interesting if the East Asians can handle Nationalism and a type of pan Asian multiculturalism… That’s what’s being instituted in China from what I can tell from the outside.

    1. Mitchell Laurel March 13, 2015 at 12:20 am

      True Prognosticator. But think it’s doubtful Pan East Asianism will catch on. Remember the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere? That didn’t work out then and none of the Asian countries have forgotten it. They are no more eager to subordinate themselves to China than they were to Japan.

      But you can bet that the Chinese will push for it, citing anti-Americanism as the Japanese did, for support.

      1. Prognosticator March 13, 2015 at 1:37 am

        To this day western countries have been in the advantage of the periphery South Eastern nations, it’s similar in regards to the hajnal line written by hbd chick, but more diverse and four meta religious lines. The mainland east Asians look down on the Islanders and South East Asians, the Philippines the Pino population is considered the Negritos of South East Asia. So no doubt the same tactics in the SE Asia will remain the same, with India as the emerging nation threat to China…playing one off the other in the larger picture.

        So the predicament of a ‘mainland’ East Asian multiculturalism, which extends to the East Asians globally, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, and Europe, which I have seen MSM and TV shows made by China for this purpose, and reciprocated propaganda by there allies in our nations, mostly paid for by our own taxes by the way. Then under minds the position of the US by default in trade, as I don’t doubt the periphery South Eastern nations will play one off the other for lucrative advantage, as they risk being smashed in the middle. Higher the risk the more $$$, I’m sure there are more East Asian diaspora in periphery South Eastern nations, then in the Liberal post western democracies . It’s a win/win for the East Asian diaspora inside and out side the western sphere.

        1. Mitchell Laurel March 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

          A very interesting idea. I hadn’t considered the influence of the Asian diaspora, particularly in Canada and the USA, in facilitating such a project. Know of any work on that matter? I’d love to pry into it.

          1. It’s basically the Zionist strategy, employed by China and Sinophiles towards the west. It also paves the way for Israel to flip to China/Russia in a mutual manner. In fact Russia and China will pay for the ‘Extremist parties’ that force the Jews from Europe… Unfortunately the USA and Australia may be there main destination other then Israel, for the Jews leaving. To undermine the USA and bring Australia closer to China would be the goal eventually, for those who desire a multi polar world, with ambitions to take the number one place.

            This may sound strange, propaganda comes in all forms. I’ve seen a couple of recent examples, if you dig you’ll find more. Recently the Australian governemnt has bought out the ‘2015 Intergenerational report: Australia in 2055’ Guess where most of the population growth and immigration is going to come from? We can all guess pretty damn accurately without even looking at the report. This is a bipartisanship position of both political parties, therefore set in the current bureaucratic work force as an unmovable stone. We call it the ‘Asianastion of Australia’

            The previous Labor government was a little bit more forward, they called it the ‘Big Australia’ and the ‘Chinese Century’ Then Labor died in the polls after that, as collectively the white Australian populace had images of polluted, over populated East Asian and worse South East Asian cities. Push back is going to come back from white Australia soon, gone are the days when they could fool the masses as easily as Howard. Now we have the internet.

            The TV here specifically the multicultural channel SBS, has a marked increase of East Asian cinema, even a specific Australian Asian comedy TV series, curtsey of the tax payer. I’ve also noticed a dating show of all things, encouraging the ‘Mainland’ East Asian multiculturalism, very heavily promoted actually, the most popular show in China. Even the East Asian diaspora was involved. Including the Yellow fever whites and I remember a NY AngloJew in one episode. The show ‘If you are the one?’ Is only a dating show, yet the Chinese Nationalism comes through so strong, the cultural Marxists of the SBS had to do a 1 hour special show to make some comedic fun of the Nationalism and emphasise the multiculturalism… Which is hard to do when 99% of the Chinese women knock back white men for not being Chinese.

          2. I thought I’d point out the USA projection of ‘Change’, which of course is a Political bipartisan plan, enforced by bureaucracy. Which is the current Mexican invasion, the US has the same demographic prediction scheduled to 2050 last time I checked, so same plan, just different geography and populations. This similar plan goes for Europe and all countries derived of NW European stock, it’s an unfortunate pattern.

            I know conspiracy of a North American Union, as is Oceanic for Australia, it’s unfortunate that it’s not one though. As you can see the propaganda in the way the governments, academics and journalists are selling it to the mass populace. Not only that, Politicians, bureaucrats high up the chain like to leave a mark, to be the first to institute an economic forum, or a new banking project with China as Mr Abbott announced today.

            Here’s some fight back in a soft green approach.

            One Australian Business man fights openly for little Australia, uses it in his business model too, from Australian farmers, to buying Australian made, also openly rejects Halal and Kosher.

            http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/letters/migration-hike-looks-like-a-type-of-ponzi-scheme/story-fn558imw-1227249973600

            A little blog.

            https://reduceimmigration.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/we-say-again-immigration-not-needed-to-support-ageingpopulation/comment-page-1/#comment-702

            I know of much more material, even Political from years ago in the parliament, from competent MP’s, of course none of this gets MSM attention today.

  5. “North Korea. The Russian Federation. Kim Jong-un. Vladimir Putin. Two nations, both anti-American now and historically.”

    Nope.

    Russia was “historically” not anti-American at all until the Cold War started; and certainly wasn’t before the Russian Revolution. North Korea, as a nation, is younger than my dad, so sweeping statements about “historic” trends when it comes to North Korea are nonsense.

    As for post-1991 Russia, first, American “experts” wrecked their economy, then we broke every promise we made to them about NATO expansion, then started overthrowing governments in their sphere with our CIA-staged “color revolutions” – the last of which started a war on their doorstep. Russia hasn’t been anti-American, America has been anti-Russian. There’s a difference.

    Anyhow, what’s this neocon bullshit doing on Social Matter? Take your Tom Clancy LARPs to National Review where they fit in. The only thing I want from the American Empire is for it to be gone. The biggest threat to “the west” isn’t some army on the ass-end of Asia, it’s ourselves – our own stupidity and degeneracy and cowardice. The war against that is the war I care about winning. Anything else is distraction

    1. Mitchell Laurel March 15, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      I’ll comment in good faith, your LARPing attacks aside.

      Russia has been against America as a matter of survival. We see this clearly in the rise of the Bolsheviks, who received gratuitous American backing in funds and Western support during the intervention. The Bolsheviks were, of course, explicitly anti-Russian. If the fight by White Russians, Green Russians, and other pro-Russian factions against the American backed Bolsheviks isn’t an anti-American stance I don’t know what is.

      The institution of the Soviet Union, again a thoroughly anti-Russian state, only later came to conflict with America during World War 2 and only during this war did they revive a restrained Russian patriotism to encourage millions of Russians to fight and die for them. Remember: The Soviet Union was not Russia. It was the Soviet Union.

      Was Russia ever pro-American? Absolutely. Russia was an early ally of the young United States, more than a century ago, but they long since turned on their old friend.

      Korean hostility stretches all the way to the beginning of the General Sherman affair, in which a number of American traders were killed attempting to violently enter Korean markets. The various responses comprise the 1871 US-Korean campaign. Relations cooled courtesy of the Chemulpo treaty of 1882 and the Korean aspirations for a restored expansion into Manchuria as the Korean monarchy brought Americans into key parts of the army. These efforts were nullified after the American betrayal of King Kojong courtesy of the Taft-Katsura Agreement. The Americans traded Japanese support for their power in the Phillipines and Hawaii with their trusting ally in Korea.

      The North, featuring Pyongyang has been a traditional capitol of Korea, and they have not forgotten the American betrayal. Study history before claiming the ignorance of the author.

      That being said, I absolutely agree that America has been anti-Russian and the anti-Americanism in Russia is tame by comparison but that makes no difference. The Russians have responding by expounding the truth: America is out to get them. And the response of the Russians has been anti-Americanism, not just in Russia but in Syria, in Serbia, in Cyprus, in Iran, in China, in North Korea, in Pakistan, and in India. They may make their offers garbed in velvet gloves, but no one forgets that America is the foe that seeks their ruin.

      Naval-gazing isn’t a strength. If you want to break the back of American’s difficulties you’ll need to understand the outside world for which America has transformed itself to dominate. Think big picture, anti-Dem.

      1. Okay, that was sure a bunch of words. I don’t know that they mean anything though.

        Neocons keep saying “isolation is no longer a feasible strategy”, but can never provide a logical reason why. It always comes back to the idea that America is a huge empire that ceaselessly pokes its nose into the business of people in faraway countries, and that “isolationism” somehow provides us no defense from the blowback we experience from that. Yeah, well, I guess. But that’s kind of like saying that stopping drinking is not a feasible strategy because your morning beer is the only thing that cures the hangover you get from the fifth of whiskey you drink every night. It’s true as far as it goes, but completely ignores a much better, more comprehensive solution in favor of one where the best that can be said about it is that it does an okay job of solving a problem that it caused in the first place.

        And please, don’t play the shell game of conflating Ron Paul-style non-interventionism with pre-Admiral Perry Japanese-style total isolationism. I know of precisely nobody who advocates the latter, not even Buchananite immigration restrictionists/trade protectionists (of which I am, admittedly, one). Non-interventionism is completely feasible. Most countries in the world do not have huge militaries or globe-spanning empires, and get along fine without them. We would too. Neither did we have any such thing before 1898, and somehow we got along fine without it. We would again.

        I have no need to understand the whole world in order to fix America’s problems. In fact, what we need is just the opposite – to stop trying to fix the whole world’s problems and to start focusing on fixing our own. The distraction represented by the mainstream right’s fixation on distant foreign bogeymen is much of what keeps it from being effective in keeping our culture preserved. The Republicans can’t stop gay “marriage”, or Obamacare, or Common Core, or executive amnesty, but they can sure as fuck defy the President and the left for their chance to give “Bibi” 60 standing ovations in a row. THAT, they’ll grow a spine for. No thanks – I have no desire to be an enabler for their shitty priorities.

        Again, the only thing I care about with the American Empire is that it ends, as fast as possible. The sooner the better, say I. You’ve given me precisely no reason to change my mind. I still don’t know why I should want the American Empire to continue or why isolationism is “no longer a feasible strategy”. I still don’t know what this Tom Clancy guff is doing on Social Matter or why me or any neoreactionary should give a shit about it. Factoid-spamming me with a bunch of historical details that are not part of a coherent counterargument leaves me unmoved.

        If you want to write stuff that neocons care about, please go do it on Free Republic or somewhere else where it fits in and I don’t have to be annoyed by it.

        1. I’ll try to explain this from my non-American point of view.

          Your country’s recent policies of interventionism rub a lot of people the wrong way. That’s not the only story though and it would be naive to think it is. The Western countries have sat secure because of our military, political, and economic alliance with the USA. The world whines about American hegemony but the fact remains that that hegemony also saved countries from fates like Soviet rule and brought economic prosperity. To deny this would be insane. Ask Japan and the Philippines as they watch China rising across the water. Uncle Sam might be a moralistic loudmouth who you think twice about letting near your daughters, but you’re also kind of glad to have him there when he scares off the punks who want to do you much worse harm. You can’t change history and that history has left America as a superpower for a reason.

          Theoretically, America could just decide to shut down its bases, withdraw troops en masse, and start transitioning to a Ron Paul style policy. Like Sweden. But here’s the thing: you aren’t Sweden. And the reason Sweden can be Sweden is because America is America and America’s might lets Sweden get away with “feminist foreign policy”. To pull that move would leave a huge power vacuum. That power vacuum will still be America’s problem because America’s economic ties are global and power vacuums are very bad for business. And that’s before Russia and China and all the rest lose their anti-American unity and start taking shots at each other.

          IMO, America needs to change its policy in two main ways. First it needs to come back to reality and realize that not every conflict is the good underdog vs the evil tyrant. Not every conflict demands an American presence. The Great Powers want to be big boys, so they need to start acting like it. Second, it needs to cede hegemony *in areas where there is a hegemon who can prevent a power vacuum*. That’s best case scenario. The conclusion I’ve come to about Ron Paul is that he is the American Cato. We should all admire his Republican virtue. But the Republic is gone and it’s not coming back. Now that the neocons and neoliberals have failed, others must take the reins. SM wants to reach those people, and those people need to know something about geopolitics. The great game never ends.

          1. Mitchell Laurel March 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm

            Well said Ash. Denying Modern America’s foreign policy does not mean embracing Ron Paul foreign policy, and denying Ron Paul foreign policy does not make you a Neocon. A new path needs to be carved from the geopolitical wilderness if the West is to revitalize itself. I’ll outline what this might look like in a future post.

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