North Korea: A troublesome neighbour

We probably all know the history of the Korean War in the 1950's when the UN faced North Korean aggression backed by China. The war came to a halt on the 38th parallel a dividing line on the map if you will between the combatants.

At the end of the World War II the Korean Peninsula had been a part of the Japanese Empire but as Japanese forces pulled out the North became a communist state and the South democratic. Ever since the end of the Korean war, North Korea has been a troublesome neighbour ruled by a succession of related communist dictators.

South Korea

Since the end of the Korean War, both nations one communist and one favouring western democracy have evolved along separate lines. There exists on the 38th Parallel barbed wire, watch towers and all manner of electronic detecting devices as well as guards to ensure no one breaks the agreement.

American forces are stationed in South Korea to help their South Korean counterparts should the North do anything silly. Talks in the past to get issues resolved by both sides have ended in failure and so the situation goes on.

Kim Jong-un the current ruler of the North has been conducting nuclear and missile tests breaking UN resolutions much to the anger of the South and the Japanese. Some wonder why Kim is test firing missiles and doing nuclear tests?

Does he, for example, wish a clash with the United States or is he beefing up North Korea's armed forces just in case a conflict take place?.

Trump's attitude

Donald Trump has made it plain before and after becoming President he would be willing to talk to Kim one on one. However, he has also said he would not tolerate North Korea's military antics and said if China did not control North Korea he would do it.

In view of what happened in Syria, the spectre of a strike on North Korea could be a real possibility. Donald Trump entertained the Chinese President in Flordia filling him on the Syrian strike and no doubt discussing North Korea.

Rex Tillerson has said that the strike on Syria should serve as a warning and no doubt the North would be taking this as exactly that.

North Korea's response

North Korea could be described as a well armed third world nation stuck in a Soviet-era time warp. Its armed forces are formidable on paper but how well they would be in practice is another matter.

North Korea no doubt with an eye on the war games to its south said any American strike would have catastrophic consequences. When you are dealing with someone like Kim Jong-un the only certainty is the uncertainty.