How North Korea Views the Situation on the Peninsula

by Marilou Moursund on May 1, 2017

in Geopolitical

Given the administration’s focus on North Korea, I thought that this article by George Freidman, the founder of Geopolitical Futures, was very interesting.  From the linked article:

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was founded as a communist state and a client of the Soviet Union. The Soviets encouraged North Korea to invade South Korea to control the entire peninsula. North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung, saw his regime nearly destroyed when the United States, contrary to Soviet expectations or North Korean calculations, intervened and decimated the North Korean army. North Korea exists today only because the Chinese intervened as the Americans approached the Yalu River, which forms the border with China. The Chinese were not concerned about North Korea. They were concerned about their own national security.

China’s intervention led to a stalemate on the peninsula roughly where the current lines stand, which is not far from the original boundary between the North and the South. In other words, the North Koreans gained nothing from the war, and in surviving, they were dominated by the Chinese. Whatever economy North Korea had was shattered, and the regime was nearly destroyed.

The North Koreans drew some important conclusions from the war. First, communist ideology had little to do with their communist allies’ actions. The Soviets saw an opportunity to test the United States at little cost or risk to themselves. If North Korea had taken the peninsula, the Soviet position in the waters off the Asian mainland would have been strengthened. But if North Korea had been occupied, the Soviets would not have been worse off than they were. The Chinese were willing to supply troops only until they themselves were at risk and were also prepared to see North Korea destroyed or truncated. International socialist solidarity was secondary to national interests.



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