As you all may have heard by now, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (Abe Shinzo, in Japanese) visited the US, and POTUS Trump. That visit went swimmingly. Everything that had been previously covered J-side by SecDef Mattis was solidified, blessed, and signed off on.
And there was that awkward handshake.
(Lemme sidebar here a teensy bit. Standard info ratlines have gone nuts over this long creepy handshake. Anyone who was there–or saw that actual footage–will have seen that several photogs and gladhands were coaching both gentlemen on holding that shake while they all took pics.
We’ve all been there…Family Christmases, weddings, birthdays…”Hold on! Keep that kiss for a second more, Great-Aunt Edna’s getting her 110 camera out and spooling up a fresh piece of film!” So you can continue to hyper-focus in on that weird detail of this meeting all you want, just know that you are one of “those people” if you do.)
So, luckily for all the viewers, North Korea decided to give a little shout out to their J-homey while he was Stateside. Someone over at DoD had already pulled up their sleeve and was looking absently at their watch, counting…and North Korea launched another missile at Japan–that, as per usual, dropped harmlessly into the ocean. Just in time for Trump and Abe to unfurl their new “Go Team Go!” rhetoric for both nations.
Couldn’t have been better timed. Well done, you North Korean honeydickers.
I mentioned this North Korean missile stuff in my last article. Apparently no one on Kim’s staff reads SOFREP’s stuff. Or they do…but are still proudly rockin’ their Beta-Maxes. (I ain’t judgin’. I still ride my ’86 electric blue and hot pink PK Ripper. We’re all totally radical in our own little way.)
North Korea has this thing with missile tests. I’m not sure why. I understand *why* they need to have ballistic reach; I get it. Even when I was working KN doctrine (KN for KOREA, NORTH) in one of my incarnations, the fact that KN had any reach beyond the peninsula was essentially moot. KS would get vaporized/poisoned in the first few minutes of any real engagement, KN troops and SNIPER BRIGADES(!!!) would pour out of all those tunnels–like Urukai leaving Orthanc–to clean up whatever was left. Then KN would get vaporized. Done, and done.
Let the wind clear things up for a few years while the Big Kids (US, China, Russia) worked shit out at the Big Kids’ Table, and the residual AO (Japan, Taiwan) would deal with the outpouring insanity of the survivors. (While Japan became another mil-state in order to maintain systemic integrity.)
KN’s been shooting shit at Japan periodically for more than a decade. Everyone rattles sabres (and Samurai swords) over it…but it really isn’t *that* big of a deal. It amounts to KN turning fuel into noise, with a pretty cool light show.
One of the more important details of this entire shitshow–the missile shitshow–is that once North *KOREA* launched this particular missile…who did the world look at? Wasn’t South Korea, was it. Noop. It was Japan.
Now, admittedly, Japan *was* the overt target. The missile was a message to everyone. We all get that. But why isn’t the world looking to South Korea, or US Commands in KS (Korea, South, remember…not Kansas) to unfuck this problem in [a] *Korea*?
I’m glad you asked.
Because like I postulated in my last article (and up there): No one is expecting KS to do anything but melt/burn when this kettle really goes off.
As complicated as the entire offense/defense orgy in Northeast Asia is, everything can be broken down, analogized, and analyzed in fairly simple terms. I wouldn’t want to have to explain it all to a room of 5th graders…but I’m pretty sure you could do a Dr. Seuss book about it in 20 pages or less. And the variables within which this entire farce must operate are very *very* limited. Which means that the probable, plausible, and possible outcomes are likewise highly finite.
In the very near future someone is gonna have to call someone else’s bluff, and people are gonna have to start shitting or start getting off the pot.
Bottom line at the bottom (because that’s why it’s called that): 1) North Korea’s struggling for validity and relevance. Hard. It’s like the whole country just needs a hug. 2) Kim’s gonna keep thrusting phallic objects at people he doesn’t like. (But the one that’s going to count won’t be phallic. It’ll be in a ruck, man-packed onto the OBJ.) 3) Japan’s just shaken hands on a deal that now fully allows them to shirk all limiters and start doing their own thing. (Everything has been in place for awhile now, as I’ve said repeatedly. But now El POTUS has just shaken on it–no Executive Order needed!–and Jim Mattis has helped plan it.) 4) The US is all in with Japan runnin’ shit at the end of the planet. (What better way to proxy China?) 5) BONUS! South Korea is still making Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, and kimchi.
Featured image courtesy of CNN.