Musings on Global Maneuvers: North Korea and Tsun Tsu’s “Art of War”
Candor7 ^ | 3/12/2018 | Eastern Blog
Posted on 3/12/2018, 8:59:51 AM by Candor7
I caught this from a blog and thought I should post it here for strategic discussion purposes:
It’s interesting to look at the play between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in light of the Art of War. At least it is to me, and I’m putting down a few observations here because, while both figures have so much of the setting sun about them, the principles of generalship apply nonetheless, and we as protectors have an opportunity to observe and learn when they are played out so starkly and with such potent potential consequences.
It seems that Kim has been acting out a long-planned and well-considered series of moves in service of a strategy. He has also managed–quite easily–to keep the initiative in his dealings with the Trump administration–from his bomb and missile testing, to his brilliant diplomatic coup during the Olympics, to his bold invitation to an off-balance, isolated and insecure U.S. president.
Kim sees a greatly weakened U.S. whose once formidable foreign policy establishment is in serious disarray and is being ignored. Along with the rest of the world, he has watched U.S. prestige being vandalized and diminished over the past year by Trump and his chaotic band of amateurs ( sic). More specifically, he sees the sidelining and departure of the State Department’s Korea hands, who at least kept him in check ( sic).
Now he ( Kim) is striking at the enemy’s weakest point, its leader, having isolated him and maneuvered him into a reactive posture.
Kim is obviously well-schooled in Sun Tzu’s Art of War and the exercise of real power, whereas Donald Trump is a product of dubious real estate dealing and equally dubious reality TV production–a con man who somehow, accidentally, conned his way into the world’s most powerful position.
Kim has made sure it will be down to himself, his lineage and his well-aligned establishment on one side, and Donald Trump, who admires his adversary and thinks he can deal with him alone, on the other. I’m betting on the guy with the sharper haircut.
I suspect Kim’s goal with Trump is to “take him whole”–not to humiliate or provoke him but to win him over, in order to remove the U.S. as an obstacle to his ultimate aim: the reunification of Korea largely on his terms.
Your’s is an highly accurate assessment. But Kim must maintain an immaculate balance, lest he let slip the dogs of war. The tipping point will likely be in relation to required verification of Kim’s alleged offer of nuclear disarmament. Former U.S. administrations have fallen for the bait of faux friendship and mollification. This may not be so much the case with President Trump, who has two American citizens now imprisoned by Kim, and one who was returned home after torture, ( Otto Warmbier: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/26/us-student-otto-warmbier-returned-north-korea-blind-deaf-howling/ ) .
I am sure that justice for these imprisoned, tortured individuals will be a preliminary issue and an attempt to incur President Trumps gratitude.
The I-Ching indicates this hexagram:
Watch, listen, study, contemplate, then step lightly but decisively on.
56 – Fifty-Six Lu / The Wanderer
Fire on the Mountain, catastrophic to man, a passing annoyance to the Mountain: The Superior Person waits for wisdom and clarity before exacting Justice, then lets no protest sway him.
Find satisfaction in small gains. To move constantly forward is good fortune to a Wanderer.
SITUATION ANALYSIS: You are a stranger to this situation. It is your attraction to the exotic that has led you here, but you will move on to a new vista when this one has lost its mystique. Because much of this environment is foreign to you, you must exercise only the best judgement. You don’t know the custom here, and it’s too easy to cross a line you don’t know is there. Because you are the foreigner in this setting, you have no history to acquit you.