Punish North Korea or Not – a changing perspective

February 22, 2011

Several months ago, I read a humorous Blog post at “Lost Laowai” about the sunken South Korean navy ship that UN investigators say was torpedoed by North Korea.

At the time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to China seeking help to punish North Korea. The Blog post indicated that China should do something because of the good PR that would result in the West.

I said I doubt if the People’s Republic of China (PRC) cares what US citizens feel.  Since the outrage over Tibet during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Communists have enjoyed a surge of nationalism and want to keep it.

With this increased popularity, why would the PRC want to solve the North Korean problem? After all, every time there is a problem with North Korea, Americans fly to China asking for help, which is another boost to national pride. If the problem is solved, no more visits.

In fact, on November 29, 2010, Wiki-Leaks revealed that China was tired of North Korea behaving as a ‘spoiled child’, and China believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul’s control. Source: CNN U.S.

However, according to the CNN report in the embedded video, China may not ready to abandon North Korea, which means don’t believe everything you hear.

Discover all about Global Cheating                               


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Note: This post first appeared on iLook China May 25, 2010 at noon as post 354. This revised repeat reappears as post 1077.

Bullying China over North Korea is a Mistake

December 5, 2010

I keep reading in the Western media and on the Internet that China is the bad boy for not taming North Korea even as WikiLeaks shows that China doesn’t have that much influence over the Hermit Kingdom.

One example comes from Jack Kim, a reporter in Seoul working for Reuters, who writes, “China, pushed again by Washington to bring North Korea to heel after last week’s artillery attack on the South, told Pyongyang their relationship had withstood international ‘tempests’.”

If everything we hear about the Hermit Kingdom is true, I must admit this is one country I wouldn’t want to visit.

However, why is China being bullied by the West to tame a beast it cannot control?

The answer is “Humanitarianism”, a concept born among the West’s democracies.

Remaking the World by Michael Barnett says, “Religious beliefs and organizations, most notably those influenced by Christian theology and ethics, helped to create modern humanitarianism in the early nineteenth century and have shaped its expanding scale, scope, and significance ever since.”

At Helium.com, I learned that “Humanitarianism” is the belief that the person was the most important aspect of society, and that it was important to value the individual over the group.

However, in Asia, especially China and North Korea, the group is valued above the individual. After all, China and North Korea along with other Asian nations are collective cultures.

This means that the West’s concept of “Humanitarianism” may not work in most of Asia.

Here’s what a definition for “Humanitarianism” in Asia might say—The belief that the group is the most important aspect of society and that it is important to value the group over the individual.

It this definition is correct, it would explain the death sentence rate in China and harsh punishments for individuals that threaten “Collective Humanitarianism”.

In fact, the real risk to the survival of humanity may be when Westerners take their beliefs to the extreme resulting in “Armed Humanitarianism”.

Top Feed News says, “Armed Humanitarians (by Nathan Hodge) traces how the concepts of nation-building came into vogue, and how, evangelized through think tanks, government seminars, and the press, this new doctrine took root inside the Pentagon and the State Department. Following this extraordinary experiment in armed social work as it plays out from Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Haiti…”

The Huffington Post says, “Nathan Hodge is no neophyte on security issues. He has reported from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and a number of other countries in the Middle East and former Soviet Union. For years he blogged on Wired magazine’s well known Danger Room blog and now reports on the defense industry for the Wall Street Journal.”

What happens if the West influences China to leave Confucian collectivism behind and to embrace the West’s humanitarian beliefs as flawed as they may have become?

Maybe an individualist, humanitarian China would become America’s partner in “Armed Humanitarianism” and divide the globe into a pie chart eventually leading to a third world war between China and the US to see who eats the whole pie.

Then hundreds of millions will die and the earth’s environment would be devastated to protect the rights of the individual.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

The Sound of Laughter

November 25, 2010

What Richard Fernandez wrote about the current situation in Korea for Belmont Club of Pajamas Media was wrong. He wrote,” Barack Obama … is beaten before he starts” as if the only response is to declare total war on North Korea to punish them for what they did.

Anyone who studied and understands Sun Tzu’s The Art of War knows that retaliation of North Korea would be a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

What was lost? Two South Korean soldiers were killed and a dozen injured. There was no invasion or huge loss of life.

Let us not forget that the Korean Conflict never ended in the 1950s. North and South Korea are technically still at war and these flare-ups are a continuation of that conflict.

The problem with invading or bombing North Korea is that millions of Koreans on both sides of the DMZ would die.

Then Fernandez spends time on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and writes about nonproliferation indicating that if Obama doesn’t use force to punish North Korea, then Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore will eventually take steps to acquire nuclear weapons making the world a more dangerous place.

Obama is not a cowboy from the neoconservative, nation-building hawks of the Bush Whitehouse.

Instead, Obama has borrowed a tactic from President Theodore Roosevelt. Obama talks softly but carries a big stick, and America’s enemies and allies in Asia know this.

After all, in 2010, President Obama sent another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and you seldom win shooting wars without shedding blood.

The Nation says, “The Obama administration is trying to kill its way to victory in Afghanistan.”

In fact, Obama still uses the infamous Blackwater to find insurgent targets in Pakistan. The Nation says, “These are not people that believe that Barack Obama is a socialist, these are not people that kill innocent civilians. They’re very good at what they do.”

“Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, The United States has expanded drone bombing raids in Pakistan,” The Nation says. “Obama first ordered a drone strike against targets in North and South Waziristan on January 23, and the strikes have been conducted consistently ever since.”

“The Obama administration has now surpassed the number of Bush-era strikes in Pakistan and has faced fierce criticism from Pakistan (without Obama backing down) …”

One comment to Richard Fernandez post about Korea says China would come across the Yalu River as it did in the 50s. That’s also wrong since America could destroy North Korea without a ground invasion. It could all be done from the air. Then we could ignore North Korea.

In fact, Mao ruled the China of the 50s. When Mao died in 1976, revolutionary Maoism was repudiated and the Maoists swept from power.

Then in 1982, China wrote a new Constitution with term and age limits for politicians. Since Mao died, China has had four presidents because the law says the president of China may only serve two five-year terms. The 1982 Constitution also has an article of impeachment.

Today, China is an open market, hybrid capitalist, socialist republic that spent the last three decades building a modern China. That could all be lost by sending troops across the Yalu River to support North Korea as Mao did.

Imagine what would happen if the US destroyed the Three Gorges Damn with cruise missiles.

Then there’s what Time said last year. “South Korea, backed by the U.S., doesn’t want war, because the North has some 13,000 artillery tubes aimed at Seoul and more than 10 million South Koreans living within 30 miles of the DMZ.

North Korea, backed by China, doesn’t want war because if it comes, it all but guarantees the collapse of Kim’s regime, which is also the family business.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.