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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Asymetric War (Laissez-)Faire - Crouching Doves, Hidden Hawks

Hard to get some attention in 2022. North Korea's testing frenzy (over 40 missile launches so far) eventually paid off, but with another dictator with a bigger button, an itchy finger, and an actual, ultra violent war raging, KIM Jong-un and the KCNA had to beef up their storytelling.

Look what you've done

So as Putin shot missiles all over Ukraine in retaliation for the incident on his controversial bridge to Crimea, KIM had to mansplain that his recent shots were a simulation of tactical nuclear strikes, and a rehearsal for the wiping out of key infrastructures across South Korea. If no mock up Blue Houses were harmed during the shooting, that was clearly a few notches higher than the usual reactions to joint KOR-US drills, or VIP visits (VP Kamala Harris the other day).

Furthermore, the DPRK demonstrated yet new levels of readiness and stealth, making South Korea's failed test even more embarrassing. YOON Suk-yeol can say the neighbors upstairs have 'nothing to gain from nuclear weapons', calls for nuclear deterrence South of the DMZ keep getting louder.

There's always Uncle Sam's 'ironclad' support, and including on the ground, at a time when Joe Biden can't set foot in Ukraine, or even say what he wants about Taiwan. Besides, hawks are getting a little more subtle across the East Sea, and coordination becomes possible (though whatever LEE Jae-myung may say, the ROK is not heading for a 'pro-Japan defense'). Fumio Kishida and friends even received some help from Kyiv, where Zelenskyy declared that the Kuril Islands belonged to Japan, not Russia...

All eyes should be on a key player: after circumnavigating unusual unrest at home, and Putin's most urgent demands overseas, XI Jinping is about to become more officially dictator for life (at the XXth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party), and an even more ruthless 800-pound gorilla.

(Seoul Village on Facebook - 20221001) "China's 'Panda Diplomacy' in 2022 according to 阿塗 (IG @ah_to_hk). With North Korea supporting Russia's massacres in Ukraine, South Korea (NB Yoon?!?) composing with Xi Jinping Imperator, Japan restoring Imperial Japan, the mighty USA eagle a distant observer, one feather brushing Taiwan... Among countless details, China's Pandamic SNAFUs, its support of autocrat neighbors, South China Sea's floating borders, a few birds that managed to escaped post-democracy Hong Kong, or those powerless doves (EU / OZ / UK / CAN) in the corner..."


Seoul Village 2022
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