May 9, 2018
WHY NORTH KOREA’S KIM JONG UN MAY GIVE UP NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
Published on May 5, 2018
The historic talks between North Korean leader Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has concluded. The meet was very positive to say the least and in a good turn of events, the North Korean regime has made several declarations that if honored could result in lasting peace in the peninsula.
North Korea and South Korea have agreed to denuclearize the peninsula, its the first time North Korea has expressed the willingness to abandon its nukes. South Korean officials revealed that North Korea has agreed to close down its Punggye-ri nuclear weapons testing site in Kilju County by May.
The two nations have also vowed to officially end the war between them that began in 1950. In a feel good and confidence building gesture, the North Korea regime has announced it would shift its clocks forward 30 minutes to unify with South Korean time.
The events have resulted in marked de-escalation. North Korea’s last nuke test on September 3rd, 2017 was estimated to have power equivalent of 100-kiloton of TNT and it Hwasong 15 ICBM has been estimated to have the capability to reach the US mainland. Clamping down after reaching advanced stages of nuclear armament capability is intriguing. In this video, Defense Updates analyzes why North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may give up Nuclear Weapons? Lets get started.
POTENTIAL MILITARY OFFENSIVE BY U.S
President Trump has made very aggressive statements against North Korea and issued threats like the country will be met with ‘fire and fury’. US bomber feet consisting of B 52 Stratofortress, B1B Lancer and B2 Spirit stealth bomber has flown several missions near the North Korean airspace in a direct show of strength. US has also moved several of it high profile assets like Nimitz class super carriers and Ohio class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines into the Korean waters recently.
Kim knows very well that a conflict with America will lead to annihilation of the country and most importantly his regime. The fate of Saddam will be back on his mind and recent military intervention in Syria has shown that U.S is willing to act when pushed beyond a limit. A preemptive strike on its limited nuclear and missile facilities could essentially dismantle the program. Essentially Kim understands the fact that a war with U.S is not a war it can win.
DWINGLING CHINESE SUPPORT
North Korea is basically cut off from the world and has almost no ally except China. China, its neighbor to the north and the west has been its closest supporter. Over the years, North Korea has survived mainly because of trade and supplies from China as well as due to its political patronage.
Chinese has traditionally assisted North Korea as it is seen as a buffer against US. But things have taken turn for the worst after Kim took power in 2011 and made effort to accelerate the nuclear armament program. Beijing has repeatedly asked Pyongyang to cease its nuclear and ballistic missile launches. China on its part has been pushed by Trump administration to stop supporting the North Korean establishment.
Trump administration had warned that China’s banks known to have financial ties with North Korea could face the music. Steps could result in the so-called ‘Big Four’ Chinese banks to pay hefty fines or be designated as money launderers. A move like this will expose China’s already vulnerable banking system and is ill afforded by it. Trump, by threatening China, has been able to force Beijing to cut off Kim completely.
With China’s backing gone, the North Korean regime find itself totally isolated and it has become increasingly clear to it, that the path it was moving to was unsustainable in the long run.
Economic sanctions by US has slowly by surely started to hurt. Indication came last November when a North Korean soldier who managed to defect was found to be malnourished and have dozens of fully grown parasitic worms in his intestines. The soldier in his late 20s was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 132 pounds.
In contrast, an average male of the same age in South Korea is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 154 pounds.
This suggests that North Korea was running low on vital food supplies resulting in stunted growth among its people. Important thing to note is that this was state of a serving soldier; the conditions will be even grimmer general public and getting more desperate as effects of new sanctions kick in. Kim has been known to use keep influential people in the country on his side by showering gifts, but with coffers drying these spending are impossible to execute.
In this scenario a possible backlash against the regime is not far fetched.