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China expelling all North Korean businesses, this could be good or catastrophic

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The latest round of UN sanctions, along with the tough new U.S. policy of shutting down North Korean access to banking systems, seems to have China convinced that we mean business.

Instead of pushing back against the sanctions, the press is reporting that China has ordered all North Korean companies to leave or shut down within 120 days.

This could be great news. China accounts for the vast majority of North Korea’s trade. Now Chinese businesses along the Yalu River are complaining that they can’t do business with their North Korean clients, and it’s hurting them financially. Some of them are blaming America. I’m not particularly worried about that, or about Beijing being tweaked that the U.S. is causing them some pain. They know where their bread is now buttered, and it’s definitely not with Kim Jong-un.

It could also be catastrophic, if not handled correctly. The last country to be so isolated, with a vast military infrastructure and motivated population was pre-World War II Japan. That led to Pearl Harbor and war. If Kim is backed into a corner, we really don’t know what he will do. Almost the last thing the Chinese want is a war on the Korean peninsula. The only thing that would be worse is having American troops or an American-allied government ruling in North Korea, right on its border.

There’s really no possibility of Kim Jong-un winning a conventional war with South Korea. But he could kill millions in losing one. And what would “winning” look like with millions of starving, ungovernable North Koreans continuing to resist and fight in the mountains for years? It could be a tragedy beyond anything in the last fifty years. And if the war went nuclear, the results could be unimaginable and lasting (radiation and poisoning Japan’s fishing waters).

Perspectives

Chinese government orders all North Korean firms to close in China | The Independent

The Chinese government has ordered all North Korean companies based in the country to close as a result of UN sanctions over Pyongyang’s latest nuclear missile tests. The move comes amid intense international pressure on China to act to rein-in its neighbour. This week, North Korea said it was “inevitable” that its rockets would hit the US mainland in future, and said remarks by Donald Trump amounted to a “declaration of war”.

How to Tell If North Korea and America Are Actually Headed to War – The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/09/trump-kim-words-korea/541164/“If you’re actually going to go to war, you have to do a lot of things—primarily in terms of logistics and communications and mobilizing reserve forces … and you don’t see any of those on the [U.S.-South Korean forces] side to the south of the [Korean Demilitarized Zone] nor to the north of it,” said Dennis Blair, a former director of national intelligence and commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific. In 1994, for instance, when Blair was commanding a battle group in the western Pacific and the Clinton administration nearly decided to strike a North Korean nuclear reactor, Blair’s deployment was diverted from the Persian Gulf to Korea, Patriot anti-missile batteries flowed into the region, and a range of military units were put on alert to carry out war plans against North Korea.

World War 3 latest: Russia on war footing as Putin’s troops amass on North Korea border | World | News | Express.co.uk

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/859456/World-War-3-north-Korea-Russia-USA-Donald-Trump-PutinPhotos captured some of the troops patrolling the top of Zaozyonara Hill, a meeting point between Russia, North Korea and China. President Putin has indicated that the world will have to accept a nuclear armed North Korea, warning the rogue nation would rather “eat grass” than go without weapons. That action, in the south-western Russian region of Astrakhan, came after weeks of arguments over controversial military drills in Europe.  Russia has also carried out a number of maneouvres with China in recent weeks.

North Korea-US war now ‘a real possibility’, warns influential RUSI think tank | The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/north-korea-us-war-donald-trump-kim-jong-un-real-possibility-rusi-think-tank-a7972706.htmlA war between North Korea and the US is now a “real possibility”, and would likely result in thousands of people being killed or injured, a respected defence think tank has warned. War between the two countries would likely involve a full scale invasion of North Korea, and combat would be neither “surgical nor short”, the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) said in a report. In the event of an attack by either country, the UK would only have a few hours “at most” to decide how to respond, it adds.

China Is Kicking Out All NK Businesses | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/28/china-is-kicking-out-all-north-korean-businesses/?utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialWhen it comes to Chinese efforts to halt North Korea’s march to greater power, the implementation of sanctions has been inconsistent. It is unclear what is driving China’s sudden shift, but it is clear that there are tensions between Beijing and Pyongyang.

North Korea refuses to meet with Chinese envoys, and there is a great deal of contempt between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Furthermore, North Korea’s repeated provocations are destabilizing Northeast Asia, making the regime more of a liability rather than a strategic asset for the Chinese government.

Reactions

Final thoughts

If there’s a war to be fought, the thought that America somehow started it is foolish and politically motivated by American liberal self-hatred. For years–decades–the United States has put up with North Korea’s bellicose threats. They’ve declared war on us multiple times, and have attacked and killed our soldiers along with South Korean (ROK) troops. Now they’re threatening more than just local carnage. We have to draw a line somewhere, and to date, the U.S. hasn’t done anything outside of normal diplomatic efforts, with the exception of President Trump’s tweets and name-calling at the UN.

Something worked, however, since China has now pivoted to the strongest position it has ever taken to rein in Kim Jong-un. This is in itself a major advantage. Either there will be a change of leadership in North Korea, or there will be some kind of verifiable path to denuclearization and even disarmament and peace. Or there could be war. There’s a small percentage change it could be a nuclear war, but let’s not cry Chicken Little here. So far, this is a win for the good guys.

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Foreign Affairs

Would the White House pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to form government with left-leaning parties?

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Would the White House pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to form government with left-leaning parties

On the surface, it may be difficult to imagine President Trump, a Republican, quietly pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next Israeli government in a coalition with left-leaning parties should he win the April elections. But dig a little deeper and the thought becomes plausible. Why? Because it’s very likely his much-touted Middle East peace plan includes provisions for the Palestinians that conservatives in Israel may not allow.

A pair of articles out of Israel hint at this possibility:

My Take

It isn’t just those supporting such a move who are talking about it. New Right candidate Caroline Glick told the Jerusalem Post in an interview: “It’s mystifying that [Trump administration officials] think there’s a deal to be made when there so obviously isn’t one from the Palestinian perspective.”

Just as President Obama wanted to make his mark with the Iranian nuclear deal, so too would President Trump want to do what no world leader has been able to truly accomplish in history: a negotiated and firm peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be a crowning achievement if that was the only thing in his legacy. It would be truly historic.

Of course, most experts on Middle East affairs agree that there’s no chance for such a deal or a lasting peace without a two-state solution on the table, which is almost certainly what the Trump administration is going to push on Israel. The left in the Jewish state seem amicable to the idea, but conservatives are generally opposed. Doing so would weaken them militarily, forcing them to cover areas they currently control and bringing the potential for attacks against Israel nearly impossible to repel.

It’s the hope of any American leader to bring peace to the Middle East because it’s never been done before. Unfortunately, the path to peace is one that would eventually be covered with Israeli blood. That’s the nature of the hatred towards the Jews.

 


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Losers all around: Untangling the border bill that benefits literally zero Americans

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Losers all around Untangling the border bill that benefits literally zero Americans

The Senate and House just put a bill on the President’s desk that he intends to sign. This bill will keep the government funded for most of the year and has many components worth discussing within its 1200 pages. For this discussion, let’s look specifically at the border security components because there seems to be losers across the board without a single winner in sight… at least not from this country.

First, let’s look at the two parties.

Democrats lose the political clout that would have come from a bipartisan agreement to fund the border wall. While most on the left see it as a win that they were able to put together a bill that snuck in so many atrocious immigration loopholes (which we’ll cover below), those loopholes will be used to demonstrate how bad their border policy really is.

But it would all be worth it to them if the wall never got built, at least politically speaking for 2020. The wall is President Trump’s post-midterm achievement if he can get a good chunk of it built, so stopping him from doing so would have been a win. There’s still a chance it can be a win for the Democrats if the White House doesn’t play their cards right. The national emergency declaration may or may not get the wall started before the election, so they’ll need to invoke 10 U.S.C. 284 to get it going sooner rather than later.

Of course, the biggest loss for Democrats is their own policies. It may not have the immediate negative impact necessary to affect them in 2020, but it will have a negative impact nonetheless. As drug cartels and criminal illegal immigrants benefit from the insane policies they put in the bill, the only defense the Democrats will have is that a majority of Republicans backed it as well.

Republicans lose because this deal demonstrates their weakness. They were too weak to fight the border wall battle when they had control of the House, Senate, and White House simultaneously. There’s no reason to expect them to have grown a backbone since the midterms, and this bill proves they did not.

They folded on the border wall dollars. They folded on the restrictions placed on the border wall itself. They folded on the number of beds set aside for detained illegal immigrants. They folded on the allowance of what can only be construed as amnesty for future illegal border crossing unaccompanied minor sponsors (it’s a mouthful, but we’ll get into those protections a bit later).

In short, they folded on nearly everything and put the President in a position where his only viable option was to declare the national emergency. Sadly, it means the GOP not only accomplished nothing since the shutdown began, but also demonstrated the shutdown could have easily been avoided by simply caving then instead of waiting two months to cave.

Now, let’s look at everyone other than the parties themselves.

President Trump loses because this deal makes the shutdown look meaningless. It also exposes him to the wrath of conservatives who are both unhappy with the deal itself and infuriated by the massive overreach the national emergency declaration represents.

The only possible way for him to make it out of this mess with chances still intact for a reelection win are if three very specific things happen:

  1. He has to get a good chunk of the wall built before the election.
  2. Crime and illegal immigration numbers must go down before the election.
  3. Somehow, the negative components of this deal cannot come back to haunt him, though that seems unlikely at this point because the negatives are so numerous and utterly horrendous.

But the worst loss of all for the President is that it will be very hard for him to spin the use of a national emergency and creative appropriations to build a wall when he said literally hundreds of times that Mexico was going to pay for it. Yes, this catchy line helped him win the primaries and possibly even the general election, but it’s turning into such an inaccurate campaign promise that it can’t even be called a broken promise anymore. At this point, it appears to be a bald-faced campaign lie.

Most of all, the American people lose, This will be demonstrated on so many levels over the next couple of years that it will be hard to keep track of every instance that this bill makes us less safe, wastes our money, steals from our prosperity potential, and undercuts our sovereignty.

I’ll let Twitter explain this even further:

And the winner is…

Drug cartels, criminal illegal immigrants, and anyone willing and able to take advantage of Washington DC’s stupidity are the only winners from the border omnibus deal. National emergency declarations cannot take away from how bad this is. In fact, it may make it worse.

 


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Foreign Affairs

As Benjamin Netanyahu meets with world leaders, focus centers on Iran in Syria

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As Benjamin Netanyahu meets with world leaders, focus centers on Iran in Syria

The threat represented by Iran in the war-torn nation of Syria manifests in multiple ways. Other Middle Eastern nations are concerned that if Iran’s military is allowed to get entrenched in Syria, they will have too much direct access to the region in ways that threaten the peace. The United States and western allies are concerned that exerting control over the Syrian regime will turn them into a puppet state that will not solve the problems faced by the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, Israel faces the greatest threat as the nation that wants to wipe them off the map would be next door neighbors if they continue to fortify themselves in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows this all too well and has not been shy about expressing these views to the world. In fact, he did it today in meetings with 60 world leaders and followed up by sharing his perspectives on Twitter.

Iran is not Israel’s problem alone. They are a problem for all freedom-loving countries in the region as well as powers throughout Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Israel needs our support as well as the support of others who realize the threat Iran poses to us all.

 


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