Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Why Doesn't US Set to 'Use Force' Against DPRK?

While being interviewed in Craw Fort Ranch, Texas on the last day of 2002, President George W. Bush stressed that he believed the Korea issue could be solved by "bloodless means". US Secretary of State Colin Powell has also repeatedly emphasized "peaceful solution", "the United States does not want to threaten Korea at this moment to create an atmosphere of crisis".


While being interviewed in Craw Fort Ranch, Texas on the last day of 2002, President George W. Bush stressed that he believed the Korea issue could be solved by "bloodless means". US Secretary of State Colin Powell has also repeatedly emphasized "peaceful solution", "the United States does not want to threaten Korea at this moment to create an atmosphere of crisis".

Iraq and Korea (DPRK) are both dubbed members of the "axis of evils" by the United States. Iraq has made one concession after another in face of US threat, America stubbornly sticks to its intransigent attitude, not letting Iraq off easily. In the face of Korea's uncompromising stand on the nuclear question, the United States seems to show "no temper", being able only to parry blows and lacking the ability to hit back. The world's number one militarily strong power as it is, the United States appears to have difficulty either to advance or draw back, failing to present any mature countermeasures. Why is it that after all? Analysts hold it is not that the United States does not want to use force, but rather it fears the consequences will be unimaginable.

Actually this is not the first time that a nuclear crisis broke out between the United State and the DPRK. The DPRK is a hidden danger to the United States in Northeast Asia, it can be satisfied with nothing short of doing away with it. However, due to historical and present reasons, and the restraints of both macro- and micro- environments, the United States really can't take "too tough" measures. Fifty years ago, the United States had fought hand to hand with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Having fought a wrong war at a wrong time, in a wrong place and with a wrong enemy" has become a classical evaluation of the Korean War. At that time, the United States flaunted the banner of the United Nations Force. However, the three-year-long war resulted in the fact that hundreds of thousands of UN forces including over 50,000 US troops had become "ghosts", when veteran soldiers who survived the war still tremble with fear when they recall the Korean War in those years.

Judging from the present situation, if the United States uses force against Korea, what facing it will be 1-million-strong Korean army, Korea can move its advanced missiles and 10,00 artillery into the battlefields, this would possibly inflict heavy casualties on Seoul within a short space of time. At the same time, 37,000 US troops stationed in the ROK would be caught in the gunfire. In the opinion of the analysis made by the white paper of the ROK Defense Ministry, if a new war is broken out in the Korean Peninsula, the United States would have to send 690,000 combat troops, 160 war vessels and 1,600 fighter planes of various types to the Korean Peninsula within 90 days. The reason is that Korea has possessed arms of mass destruction. Therefore, military choice has met with serious question in US Congress and among the public.

Particularly at present, US projected military attacks on Iraq is like an arrow on the bowstring. Crack troops have been deployed in the Gulf areas. The United States really does not hope simultaneously to "get into trouble" with Korea, because war means involvement of deaths and the spending of money. As everybody knows, what the United States fears most is death, furthermore, currently the US wallet is not so bulging. Fearing aggravation of financial deficit, the White House has lowered its "ousting Saddam" budget. Head of the White House budgeting bureau has suddenly reduced its military budget for attacking Iraq from the originally estimated over US$100 billion to between US$50-60 billion. This amount is actually less than the military spending on the 1991 Gulf War. A recently resigned economic advisor to the White House estimated last September that military actions against Iraq would cost between US$100 billion-US$200 billion. The bureau head said that the economic advisor's estimate is "seriously too high".

Judged from the international macro-environment, an inordinate intransigent US attitude toward Korea is inappropriate. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has issued a statement, calling on all parties concerned to solve the problem peacefully through dialogs, avoid taking any unilateral actions and engage in full cooperation with the international atomic energy agency on related issues. China and Russia have expressed their clear-cut stands, saying that the Korean nuclear problem should be resolved through diplomatic channels. Up till now, not any countries among the US allies express their support for the United States to take an intransigent stance toward Korea.

US intransigent attitude gains no support in Northeast Asia and even within the micro environment of the Korean Peninsula. Although Japan tails after the United States on the Iraq issue and is thus dubbed the "number three enemy" by Iraq, but on the Korean issue it adopts a very prudent attitude and does not hope outbreak of war. As to the Republic of Korea (ROK), either President Kim Dae-Jung at the expiration of his term of office or his successor Roh Moo-Hyun, both oppose US pursuance of a "policy of containment" against Korea, hope that the peninsula nuclear question would be solved peacefully and request that the United States first respect the opinions of the ROK whatever measures it adopts.

Bush is well aware that "subduing the opponent's troops without fighting a battle" as contained in Master Sun's Art of War is the best policy. The United States is carrying out its big-power diplomacy. When interviewed at the Craw Fort Ranch Bush mentioned twice that he had conducted very good talks with Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and both sides had promised a peaceful solution to the Korean nuclear problem. Another source say that Russia is considering to set forth a plan for the three countries of Russia, China and the United States to jointly solve this issue, on the other side, Korean leaders will also correctly appraise the situation and make the choice to its best interests. Given this, there is still hope to solve the Korean nuclear problem peacefully.

By People's Daily Online

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