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Publicatii » Brief Analysis » De ce a izbucnit criza din Peninsula Korea ?
De ce a izbucnit criza din Peninsula Korea ?

Andrei Horatiu IONESCU


            Practic, acuala criza din peninsula Korea isi are inceputul la finele anului trecut cand regimul de la Pynogyang a decis sa lanseze un satelit, tehnologic si practic o racheta intercontinentala. Aceste succes a fost succedat de un test nuclear, in luna februarie 2013, cand Consiliul de Securitate al ONU a decis aplicarea unei noi runde de sanctiuni ( fiind targetate practic varfurile regimului comunist nord-korean si capabilitatile acestuia de a procura moneda forte ). Din acel moment, criza a inceput sa capete amploare, regimul din Korea de Nord lansandu-se intr-o campanie in crescendo ( catre sfarsitul lunii martie ) de amenintari/provocari cu lansarea razboiului la adresa Sud Koreei si SUA. Iata mai jos o cronologie a acestei crize ( compulsata dupa NYT ), care sub aspect nuclear nu-si gaseste echivalent in indici de pericol pentru pacea globala- chiar viitorul planetei- decat in confruntarea ‘pe marginea prapastiei ‘ dintre SUA si Rusia Sovietica privind rachetele rusesti instalate in Cuba ( octomabrie 1962 ):

“North Korea Chronology

April 12,2013 - Defense Intelligence Agency report concludes North Korea has learned to make nuclear weapon small enough to be carried by ballistic missile cautioned its 'reliability will be low;' national intelligence director James R Clapper Jr. says assessment does not represent consensus of nation's intelligence community.

April, 11, 2013  -American and South Korean troops increase alert levels as South Korea’s foreign minister warns that North could launch its medium-range Musudan missile at any time.»

April, 10, 2013 -North Korea warns foreigners to leave South Korea, saying peninsula is on brink of nuclear war, statement analysts dismiss as hyperbole; however, American officials express concern that Kim Jong-un may not have left himself easy exit to reduce tensions.»

April, 9, 2013 -North Korea says that it is withdrawing all of its 53,000 workers from industrial park it runs with South Korea, suggesting that North is seeking to portray itself as willing to subordinate financial gains to political and military priorities as it increases tensions on Korean Peninsula.»

April, 8, 2013 -United States and South Korea draw up plans to respond more forcefully to North Korea than in recent past amid rising military tensions American officials say new 'counter-provocation' plan calls for immediate but proportional response that would hit source of any attack by North Korea with similar weapons. »

China’s Pres Xi Jinping makes indirect but clear reference to North Korean crisis, saying world peace should not be put at risk because of single country. »

           April, 7, 2013 -Threats by North Korea and displays of military resolve by South Korea and United States have begun to unsettle foreign investors' confidence in South, creating secondary layer of worries for Seoul and Washington.

April , 7, 2013 -Obama administration is pressuring new Chinese Pres Xi Jinping to crack down on regime in North Korea, or face heightened American military presence in region officials brief China in detail concerning American plans to upgrade missile defenses and other steps to deter increasingly belligerent threats from Kim Jong-un; move plays on surprising shift in decades of Chinese support for North.

April, 6, 2013 -Some residents of Munsan, South Korea, which sits on edge of tense border with North, have learned to accept dangers, and try to focus on enjoying their daily lives.»

North Korea’s nuclear-arms bombast and cautious foreign response are hanging over resumed negotiations between Iran and six big powers in unsettling ways

April, 5, 2013 -British Prime Min David Cameron offers strong defense of Britain's nuclear deterrent during trip to Scotland to challenge nationalists seeking independence, who want to expel nuclear-armed submarines from Scottish bases; cites tensions with Iran and North Korea.

South Korea's defense chief says that North Korea has moved missile with considerable range to its east coast, but that weapon is not capable of reaching United States; disclosure comes as North's military warns it is ready to strike American military forces with 'cutting-edge nuclear means'

        April, 4, 2013 -United States announces that it is speeding deployment of advanced missile defense system to Guam, two years ahead of schedule, in what officials say is precautionary move to protect American naval and air forces from threat of North Korean missile attack.

April , 3, 2013 -North Korea announces plans to restart mothballed nuclear reactor, latest in series of provocations by Kim Jong-un to elicit response from United States; American officials believe they can wait out threats, believing that North Korea will eventually back down, but worry about consequences of miscalculation.

April, 2,2013 -Obama administration says there is no evidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is mobilizing troops or other military forces for any imminent attack, despite drumbeat of increasingly bellicose threats from country's government.

Japan's decision to carry out mock island invasion is one of latest signs that nation, anxious about China's insistent claims over disputed islands and North Korea's escalating nuclear threats, is shifting further away from its postwar pacifism escalation of assertiveness has been particularly apparent under leadership of Prime Min Shinzo Abe, conservative who has increased military spending for first time in 11 years.

Deng Yuwen, well-known editor of Study Times, influential Communist Party journal, says that he has been suspended after writing article for British newspaper Financial Times saying that China should abandon its ally North Korea.

April, 1, 2013 -North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announces 'new strategic line' that defies warnings from United States, saying his country is determined to rebuild its economy in face of international sanctions while simultaneously expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal.

March, 31, 2013 -North Korea, reiterating that it considers Korean Peninsula back in 'a state of war,' threatens to shut down factory complex it jointly operates with South Korea and that stands as last significant symbol of cooperation.

March, 30, 2013 -Obama administration officials regard North Korea's spate of saber-rattling as empty propaganda, while admitting that country's clandestine actions are far more worrisome cite cyberattacks on South Korea's banking system and 2010 torpedo attack on South Korean naval vessel, both of which likely originated in North.

March, 29, 2013 -Global effort to regulate sale of conventional weapons suffers significant but not fatal setback when Iran, Syria and North Korea oppose draft Arms Trade Treaty, blocking consensus needed for passage after years of arduous negotiations; it is expected that treaty will be sent to United Nations General Assembly, considered weaker but no less binding method of getting it passed.

            American military carries out rare long-range mission over Korean Peninsula, sending two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on practice sortie over South Korea, underscoring Washington’s commitment to defend its ally amid rising tensions with North Korea

March, 28, 2013 -North Korea cuts off remaining military hot lines with South Korea, further escalating threat of war between countries; decision abruptly ends communication that regulated cross-border traffic to jointly-operated industrial park in North Korean border town of Kaesong, last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

March, 26, 2013 -United States military says that it has signed agreement with South Korea on how to counter provocations from North Korea; deal defines role that American forces will play in responding to what South Korean officials call local clashes and skirmishes.

March, 28, 2013 -North Korea threatens to attack American military bases in Japan and on Pacific island of Guam in retaliation for training missions by American B-52 bombers over South Korea.

March, 21, 2013 -Chinese Pres Xi Jinping contacts South Korean Pres Park Geun-hye, saying that his government wants to help ease escalating tensions between two Koreas.MORE »

Cyberattacks paralyze computer networks running three major South Korean banks and country's two largest broadcasters; some experts suspect attacks originated in North Korea, which has consistently threatened to cripple its richer neighbor.

March, 19, 2013 -China says that United States decision to strengthen antimissile defenses in response to threats from North Korea risks deepening regional tensions

March, 16, 2013 -Pentagon will spend $1 billion to deploy additional ballistic missile interceptors along the Pacific Coast to counter growing reach of North Korea's weapons decision was accelerated by North's recent belligerence and indication that leader Kim Jong-un is resisting China's efforts to restrain him.

North Korea accuses United States and its allies of cyberattacks that temporarily shut down country's Web sites, its main tool of spreading propaganda abroad.

United Nations says more than one fourth of all North Korean children are stunted from chronic malnutrition, and two-thirds of country's 24 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from.

March, 15, 2013 -North Korea's sexist taunt toward South Korean Pres Park Geun-hye raises issue of whether gender of South's first female president will color relations with northern neighbor.

March, 14, 2013 -North Korea issues direct personal attack on South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, blaming rising tensions on Korean Peninsula on her 'venomous swish of skirt.'

March, 13, 2013 -North Korea has begun evacuating some citizens into tunnels with emergency provisions and putting military camouflage on buses and trucks, moves South Korean leaders characterize as feeding war fever; North Korean leaders have used tactic in past times of tension, suggesting their country is under imminent threat to build support among people.

March, 12, 2013 -North Korea declares 1953 Korean War armistice nullified, following through on longstanding threat that it renewed amid rising tensions with South Korea; move comes as United States and South Korea are in midst of two months of joint military drills.

March, 11, 2013 -Breakthroughs in North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and threats of war have heightened fears among South Koreans, causing some to push for nuclear arsenal in their own country while unlikely to happen anytime soon, such a localized arms race would raise stakes in one of world's most militarized regions.

March, 10, 2013 -News analysis of North Korea’s latest threats to annihilate its enemies have included a vow to scrap the 1953 armistice, the main legal document that theoretically stands in the way of a resumption of the Korean War; it is something they have said many times over the years; but what is unclear is whether North Korea will make good on its vow to disregard the armistice this time, and what such a step would mean; while it may be bluster, analysts who study North Korea are not so sure.

China’s foreign minister says that Beijing will not abandon North Korea, reiterating China’s longstanding position that dialogue, not sanctions, is the best way to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear weapons; his careful remarks mask the unparalleled plain-spoken discussions among China’s officials and analysts about the value of supporting North Korea even as it continues to develop nuclear weapons and unleashes new threats to attack the United States and South Korea.

March, 9, 2013 -Governments of North and South Korea escalate hostile warnings to highest level in years, with each threatening to annihilate the other a day after UN Security Council imposed tightened sanctions on North for latest nuclear test; North also nullifies all nonaggression agreements with South.

March, 8, 2013 -United Nations Security Council, ignoring threats of retaliation, orders new economic sanctions against North Korea for its third nuclear test in February, unanimously approving resolution that United States negotiated with China North Korea responds angrily, saying it is nullifying all agreements of nonaggression and denuclearization with South Korea, and is cutting off the North-South hot line.

          March, 7, 2013 -Twitter comments about former basketball star Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-un, highlighted.

South Korean military warns that it is prepared to strike North Korea's 'command leadership' if provoked, escalating war of words between two countries; comments follow threats from North Korea and consideration of new United Nations sanctions against North.

March, 6, 2013 -United States, bolstered by support from China, introduces draft resolution that would intensify sanctions on North Korea because of its nuclear test in February; measure, which will be fourth United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution on North Korea, seems assured of passage due to China's support.

March, 5, 2013 -United Nations diplomats say that United States and China have reached agreement on new sanctions resolution to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test.

Yanji Journal; importing crab from North Korea is a lucrative business for Chinese traders.»

March, 4, 2013 -Former NBA star Dennis Rodman's widely-discussed meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un represents major coup for Vice Media; daredevil outlet masterminded trip to North Korea and pitched it to producing partner HBO

         March, 2, 2013 -South Korean Pres Park Geun-hye urges Japan to acknowledge its aggressive past, while pressing North Korea to engage peacefully and abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, addressing her two biggest foreign policy challenges.

March, 2, 2013 -Dennis Rodman, along with his traveling companions, are the only Americans known to have met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since he took power, accomplishing feat that has eluded US diplomats success of Rodman's trip hinged on Kim's love of basketball, and acquiescence to a carefully coordinated North Korean propaganda blitz.

March, 1, 2013 -Former NBA star Dennis Rodman watches basketball game in North Korea with Kim Jong-un and attends party at his palace.

February, 28, 2013 -North Korea's representative to the United Nations in Geneva rebukes the United States at the Conference on Disarmament, capping a week of fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang targeting the US and Seoul


            Asupra motivatiei acestei escaladari rapide si fara precedent in acest dosar catre razboi in ultimele doua saptamani , asadar adancirea crizei de catre regimul de la Pyongyang, au fost emise o serie de ipoteze. Fie ca s-a vorbit de tineretea liderului comunist, dornic sa se impuna in fata elitei politice si, mai ales, militare ori de faptul ca , traditonal, Korea de Nord a ‘testat’ prin crize asemanatoare noua conducere din Sud, iar in februarie acest an a fost instalat noul presedinte la Seoul; fie ca s-a apreciat ca , ducand la punctul de fierbere criza, SUA si S. Korea vor fi obligate sa cedeze si sa semneze mult asteptatul tratat de recunoastere a statului si regimului comunist nord- koreean sau ca , in felul acesta, se lanseaza concomitent un avertisment Chinei comuniste , care este statul garant al Korei de Nord, sa nu asume o directie noua care inseamna cooperarea cu SUA pentru denuclearizarea peninsulei ; fie ca Kim -3  isi imagineaza ca , paralel cu intarirea pozitiei sale personale ca lider in Koreea de Nord , prin criza actuala castiga respectabilitate internationala sau ca , practic, generatorul crizei este chiar Koreea de Sud pentru ca a obisnuit Nordul sa fie extorcat prin asemenea procedee in ultimele doua decade ( argumentul fiind plata a 100 milioane de dolari de catre Sud pentru summit-ul istoric cu Kim 2 in anul 2000 pentru care presedintele Sudului a luat premiul Nobel)- aceste ipoteze  lumineaza fiecare o fateta a adevarului mutlidimensional al unui dosar atat de complex .


            Un strateg britanic- Julius Lindley-French - , de notorietate in lumea expertilor a cautat sa nu se inserieze listei lungi a celor care evalueaza etiologia crizei actuale din peninsula Korea inainte de a identifica opiniile exprimate pana acum. Intr- o postare din 8 aprilie 2013 pe blogul sau , Lindley-French arata ca “I took a step back and over the past week spoke to several senior people with real knowledge of DPRK (as much as that is possible) in search of policy perspective. Several common themes emerged.”( North Korea : Sad, Bad and Mad ?, Iata principalele ‘teme’ reiesite :


1.      Honouring the ancestor: Kim Jong-un may be trying to honour his grandfather and DPRK’s founder Kim Il-sung by trying to re-generate some ‘ideological’ fervour in the run up to the 27 July sixtieth anniversary of the Armistice that halted the Korean War.

2.      Remembering Stalin: March saw the sixtieth anniversary of Josef Stalin’s death. This anniversary may have also contributed to the search for renewal of the world’s last Stalinist state with Kim consciously trying to re-create the Stalinist cult of the leader.

3.      “Military First”: Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, crafted the policy of “Songun” or “military-first”. This oppressive regime in which much of its population is starving or close to starving is kept going by a close system of patronage between the governing dynasty and the military top brass. Certainly, if Kim loses the support of the military he is finished and he may well be demonstrating his commitment to them.

4.      China is shifting: Chinese President Xi has made it clear Beijing is no longer willing to tolerate the racketeering and other practices of the dynasty it has hitherto supported. This weekend President Xi came as close to issuing a warning to its long-time ally as Beijing has ever uttered. Irritated by the constant war rhetoric Xi said, “No-one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish reasons”. Critically, China is also building ever closer trade relations with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) which is known to concern Pyongyang. 

5.      Kim Jong-un believes: Kim Il-sung once famously said (famous at least in DPRK), “We are opposed to the line of compromise with imperialism. At the same time, we cannot tolerate the practice of shouting against imperialism, but in actual fact being afraid to fight it”. Worryingly, Kim Jong-un may actually believe this to be true.”   (Ibidem )


Cine a urmarit media internationala in ultimele saptamani interesat de dinamica evolutiilor din peninsula Korea ( practic o grava amenintare pentru intreaga planeta ) va recunoaste imediat ca temele listate mai sus de Lindley-French sunt intalnite frecvent in analizele expertilor/analistilor. Frecvent si prioritar intrucat sunt si unele exotice, dar cu nu mai putina credibilitate. De pilda, acum cateva zile, Edward Lutwak , un strateg foarte cunoscut comunitatii internationale de experti, autor al unor monografii de strategie istorica extrem de bine primate – asupra strategiei imperiilor Roman si Bizantin, de pilda- a emis teza ca ‘problema’ este in fapt Korea de Sud care a cedat mereu santajului statului comunist din Nord, gratificandu-l cu sume imense de bani sau alte ajutoare ( alimente, produse industriale, etc. ) pentru a pune capat crizelor declansate. ( Edward Lutwak, The Enabler, “ Foreign Policy”, April, 13, 2013-

Parca dornic sa demonstreze ca strategii sunt extrem de inventivi, iar cei cu ‘har’ adauga inventivitatii argumente solide, Lindley –French emite la randul sau o noua “tema’. El scrie: “ However, perhaps the most intriguing possibility is that this whole crisis may have been triggered by the well-intentioned, but perhaps naive private diplomacy of American basketball star Denis Rodman. At the end of February Mr Rodman made a surprise visit to Pyongyang. It is known that in a meeting with Mr Rodman Kim Jong-un said he wanted a direct face-to-face meeting with President Obama. Such a meeting would be in line with Pyongyang’s long-standing demand that any negotiations for a final peace treaty be conducted directly with Washington rather than with the six-party Contact Group or through the UN. Moreover, one of my contacts also suggested that Kim may have placed a lot of political capital on Rodman’s visit seeing it as something akin to the Nixon-Kissinger “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” in 1971 by which Beijing and Washington signalled to each other the desire for a new era in US-China relations.“ ( Lindley-French’ blog, Ibidem)

Indiscutabil, varianta de explicatie a crizei Lindley –French are argumentele sale. Este stiut ca, pana acum, vointa expresa- pe care nu a cautat s-o ascunda- a leadership-ului comunist nord-coreean a fost un tratat cu SUA bilateral, doar in acest fel socotind probabil ca se legitimeaza international si intern, inclusiv fata de statul sud-coreean. Este greu de inteles perseverenta Pyongyang-ului in aceasta veritabila ‘obsesie’ veche de ani buni, mai ales ca a devenit clar pentru oricine ca SUA nu vor face un asemenea pas. Eventuala promisiune a baschetbalistului american ca noul lider ar putea avea macar o convorbire telefonica cu presedintele SUA trebuie ca a fost socotita in capitala nord-koreana ca o recunoastere a statutului nuclear al tarii, deja afirmat prin lansarea cu succes a satelitului in decembrie trecut si testul nuclear din februarie acest an. Iar frustrarea ulterioara pentru ca acest eveniment nu s-a produs va fi avut un impact devastator, care cuplat ce semnele unei distantari a aliatului-garant ( China ) a aratat ca regimul Kim-3 este intr-un pericol existential. Iar raspunsul a fost multidirectional- de la denuntarea armistiului din 1953 la legalizarea statutului nuclear al tarii, de la inchiderea legaturilor inter-coreene si amenintarea cu razboiul la jocul pe marginea abisului , la holocaustul nuclear . Este ceea ce spune Lindley-French, pentru care criza se vadeste a putea fi si o oportunitate: “Therefore, the current stand-off just could be the result of Kim losing face with the military over Rodman’s visit. Here’s the rub; in spite of the current nuclear foot-stamping the ruling dynasty could be signalling that it wants a formal peace treaty with the US (and not the Contact Group) prior to the July anniversary of the Armistice or at least an agreement by Washington to begin negotiations by then. A peace treaty would both remove DPRK's inherent and constant sense of vulnerability and guarantee the regime’s survival. In other words, this crisis could eventually lead to an opportunity.” ( Ibidem ).

Este insa o mare problema in aceasta ipoteza. Indreptandu-se de unul singur- pe o supozitie inca departe de a fi validata si amplificand , din frustrare sau speranta, criza si jocul pe marginea prapastiei-, catre o pozitie fara iesire, Kim-3 ramane , in ceea ce il priveste, prizonierul propriului management al crizei. A declansa un razboi este sinucigas- iar establishmentul nord-coreean nu va ezita sa-l sacrifice-, iar a ceda va da semnalul aceleiasi conduceri comuniste ca nu are calitatile necesare de lider suprem. Daca va mai fi sustinut in continuare , o data ce a dat asemenea semne de slabiciune si nesocotinta, ramane o intrebare inca fara raspuns.


Postarea pe blog si  ipoteza lui Lindley-French au darul sa releve nu doar complexitatea acestei crize koreene, dar si dificultatea inerenta identificarii unei solutii aceptabile care sa evite razboiul si –deopotriva- sa mentina dinamica procesului de denuclearizare a peninsulei Korea.


Bucuresti, 16 aprilie 2013


P.S. Ultime informatii arata ca a inceput deja o timida dezamorsare a crizei. Pe de o parte, in cursul saptamanii trecute, presedintele sud-korean a transmis Nordului propunerea de reluare a negocierilor, care a fost –trufas- respinsa. (“The North did, however, dismiss a proposal for dialogue from Seoul, calling it a ‘cunning ploy’ aimed at hiding the South’s confrontational policy.”- vezi North Korea in Lull,   April, 14, 2013 ). Pe de alta parte, Secretarul de Stat al SUA, John Kerry a facut , de asemenea, declaratii care tind sa reduca amplificarea retoricii agresive a Nordului, indemnandu-l sa revina la pozitia din 2005 care il angaja in denuclearizare si ,in contrapartida, facand aluzie la negocieri multilaterale ( inconclusiv, chiar bilaterale )- vezi  Ibidem-“Kerry also made conciliatory comments in Seoul during his three-nation North Asia tour on Friday, saying the U.S. preference would be, through six-party or bilateral means, to be talking about a real future.” Trebuie mentionat ca inceputul managementului crizei descrise extrem de sumar mai sus s-a declansat dupa convorbirile lui John Kerry la Beijing  cu presedintele Hi ,desfasurate vineri 12 aprilie 2013, dupa o vizita la Seoul a diplomatului american.