July 27, 1953 is the date that the Korean War came to an end with the signing of the Korean Armistice. This year is the sixtieth anniversary of that event. Now there are rumblings from North Korea that they may end this armistice, bringing an end to sixty years of peace. So what are the possible outcomes of this decision? Well, more than likely the United States would not allow such a thing to happen and would protect South Korea and Japan by deploying a massive armed force to the region. The biggest concern is, of course, North Korea’s nuclear program. While it is doubtful they have the necessary technology to get a nuclear device as far as the United States, they certainly could strike South Korea, Japan and a few other countries in southeast Asia. The conflicts would be likely be as involved as those in Iraq in the early 1990s. While the United States has the strength to crush North Korea, there is one variable that trashes the whole party.
What position would China take if such an altercation were inevitable? China has supported North Korea through the tough U.N. sanctions that have been put in place. But would China support North Korea in a Korean peninsula war? Here’s one piece of the puzzle: the United States plays a major role in supporting the Chinese economy. We buy LOADS of products that are manufactured in China. Not just lead paint infused toys, but also electronics. Even the most insignificant thing you can think of probably comes from China or has components made in China. Should a conflict erupt and China decides to support their neighbor, no doubt the United States would pull all the stops and ban incoming exports from China. This would put an immense strain on electronics products. Apple, for one, manufactures a large majority of their products in China. A sad fact that the company is only now beginning to undo by moving some production back to the United States. But companies such as Motorola, Samsung, Panasonic, JVC and Canon, to name a few, all use components manufactured in China. So that would mean a strain on televisions, cd players, blu-ray players, gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, computers, telephones, stereo components, music players, cameras, camera accessories, the list goes on and on. All of this stuff is either made entirely in China or has major components that are made in China.
So back to the question – if China sided with North Korea, we could be looking at a technology crash in the United States. The prices of tech items would go through the roof as supplies dwindled. Companies would be forced to move production elsewhere.
But would China really do that? Since a major percentage of their economy is supported by the United States, Canada and in part the European Union. Would China then simply tell North Korea, “Ancient Chinese philosopher once said: you make your bed – you sleep in it!”
Needless to say, I don’t know if the North Koreans would be so foolish as to abolish that which has maintained the peace for so long. It is more probable that this is yet another attempt by the North Korean government to rattle their chains for attention, much like a small child would make a big noise just to grab someone’s attention.
Perhaps the best advice that North Korea could follow would be a line from history when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. When, after the attack had ended, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is believed to have said:
“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”