North Korea just likes being inflammatory because unpredictability is the only card they can play on the international stage. That, and they've pretty much made China their bitch. Every once in a while they walk up to the line and piss over it because they can. They're pretty much just trolling the whole world, is all.
If anything were to actually happen in that area it'd be because of Japan, not us. The Japanese and Chinese hate each other going back forever and the North Koreans also hate the Japanese. We're pledged to protect Japan because we wrote their constitution after WWII (as in literally like two guys in Washington DC wrote it) which mandates that they only have a scant national defense apparatus -- in exchange for our solemn protection. The aggressive moves of North Korea as well as ever present tension with a stronger and stronger China have threatened that arrangement and now the Japanese they make noises now more than they used to about arming themselves. That could potentially be destabilizing. But basically it just sounds to me like a bunch of rustled jimmies, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (that was for you, tyler ).
At the end of the day, though, I don't think anything will happen. The Chinese fundamentally don't consider themselves an international power or to have international concerns. They don't care about genocides or oppression or terrorism or about flexing their muscle internationally to further their economic goals (outside of bullying a few African countries that can produce cobalt and other rare Earth metals you need to make electronics).
The Chinese pretty much only care about two things. 1) Maintaining their grip on their own country (ie, putting down unrest domestically as well as opposing rebellion movements abroad that might inspire their own dissidents). And 2) Telling other nations to STFU about Tibet. Both are non-negotiable. As China grows in power and prestige their priorities might start to expand somewhat (in fact, it almost certainly will), but it's still not part of their philosophy as a nation. It's hard to fathom now but China was pretty much closed to the world until the 1970s. That's still not long ago.
In Fareed Zakaria's book The Post American World (I think it was his book, anyway) he traces this back to the differences in religion between the East and West. The West, being largely Christian, sees their role in missionary terms. It's our duty to help people in other countries and to involve ourselves and spread our way of life.
Eastern religions aren't like that. They're more insular and philosophical. There's a great example of this from Chinese history where in the early 15th century they constructed an ocean going fleet larger than all the fleets of Europe combined and explored the South China Sea, India and the east coast of Africa, some 40,000 miles in all. But after the leader of the expedition died the fleet was recalled and burned to the ground. Obviously the Japanese didn't follow this example in WWII, but China still has not made it their business to be much of a leader or aggressor on the world stage in their entire history.
As long as everyone is making money it is fine but at some point that is going to stop and the Chinese are going to call in their margin, when they do the US will have no other choice but to default and a war has a high probability to ensue at that point in time.
"I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally" ~ W.C. Fields
As for a global war? No way. As I said, China is not an aggressive colonizing power by personality. They don't even have an ocean going Navy, for chrissake. They're building one, but for now all they have is a defensive force. This is not a country that's going to initiate a global conflict over anything just as they're starting to have real political trouble with their burgeoning middle class and as they've basically exhausted their slave labor reserves.
And a war over debt? What would that even solve? Are they going to conquer us and then break into Fort Knox and get their money? It makes no sense.
Last edited by TheWalrus; 02-06-2013 at 02:06 PM.
LOL...plenty of people thought they had a hand on the Chinese and their actions. If history has proven anything to us, it's that the Chinese government are some queer litlle men (please note the use of the word queer here is as an adjective, in describing their oddity, not in the noun way of saying they suck ****)
The Chinese have very different views about their culture and their place in the world than others do. Never discount them
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life
A further update on this topic:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...topNews&rpc=69(Reuters) - North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world, including from its only major ally, China, which summoned the North Korean ambassador to protest.
Pyongyang said the test was an act of self-defense against "U.S. hostility" and threatened stronger steps if necessary.
The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting at which its members, including China, "strongly condemned" the test and vowed to start work on appropriate measures in response, the president of the council said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the third of his line to rule the country, has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test during his first year in power, pursuing policies that have propelled his impoverished and malnourished country closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power.
North Korea said the test had "greater explosive force" than those it conducted in 2006 and 2009. Its KCNA news agency said it had used a "miniaturized" and lighter nuclear device, indicating it had again used plutonium, which is suitable for use as a missile warhead.
China, which has shown signs of increasing exasperation with the recent bellicose tone of its reclusive neighbor, summoned the North Korean ambassador in Beijing and protested sternly, the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China was "strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed" to the test and urged North Korea to "stop any rhetoric or acts that could worsen situations and return to the right course of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible".
Analysts said the test was a major embarrassment to China, which is a permanent member of the Security Council and North Korea's sole major economic and diplomatic ally, because it cast doubt on the extent of Beijing's influence over its ally.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.