15 April, 2017

Five reasons why the US cannot attack North Korea like it did Syria

Treaties, uncertainties over Pyongyang’s nuclear readiness, and the sheer scale of armaments on both sides maintain a delicate truce on the Korean peninsula
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 April, 2017, 2:31pm

3. Why must China stand by North Korea if it is attacked by the US?
China is North Korea’s ally. In 1961, the two countries signed the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, in which both parties are obliged to offer immediate military and other assistance to the other in the case of an outside attack. This treaty has been prolonged twice, and is valid until 2021.
4. Why does China insist on a peaceful resolution and oppose military option floated by the US?
China is concerned that its border provinces would be inundated with North Korean refugees if the Kim regime collapsed. From a geopolitical point of view, Beijing views North Korea as a buffer zone from the potential encroachment by powers are aligned with the US, including Japan and South Korea.
5. Besides China, which other countries oppose a military strike against Pyongyang?
Both South Korea and Japan prefer non-military option. The South Korean capital, Seoul, is only about 40km from the border and is particularly vulnerable to North Korean attack. Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, was quoted by an interview by The Atlantic magazine as saying the US “cannot protect Seoul, at least for the first 24 hours of a war, and maybe for the first 48”. Even though former US president Bill Clinton seriously debated bombing the Yongbyon reactor in 1994, he was convinced by his defence officials that the intensity of combat with North Korea “would be greater than any the world has witnessed since the last Korean War”.
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