North Korea: a Game of Thrones

Posted: July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Everybody reads Game of Thrones…but there is a much more interesting and scary closer to reality. And while not in the news is still there. In 2 weeks the NK is preparing a new ICBM launch (font CIA) and the current new CIA estimates North Korea will have an operational nuclear ICBM capable of reaching the US main cities in 8 to 12 month (April to June 2018). After that US will have to live with a North Korean nuclear threat.

The players

The Kingdom of the North is in this case North Korea (how matching!!).

North Korea has been an issue from the Korean war of the 1950s. From there there is a fear of the Americans as they annihilated at least 10% of the population and dropped more bombs that the entire Pacific world war campaign.

Before Kim Yong Un, since 1994, there were quite a few attempts of pacifying  the situation as the leader believed that artillery and potential biochemical attacks were enough to scare the US.

The recent US wars of the US against Iraq, Syria and Lybia showed the current leader that the US is not scared to go against a country with bio chemical weapon that cannot hit the US soil. Hence Kim decided that the nuclear ICBM was the only option to protect himself from the US.

China can offer North Korea protection from the US, but Kim is not a trusting person (normally he kills who has too close relationship with China, even his uncle). Also there is quite a bit of hatred towards China due to ancient history – for about 600 years (First to sixth century AC) there was the Kingdom of  Goguryeo and then the Three Kingdom period. As Asia has a long history these ancient issues have still strong influences now.

So there is no turning back from Kim. Nuclear ICBM is his only saviour.

US is the Kingdom of the Rock (House Lannister)

The US does not really want a war (as it sent a message to Kim by leaking a 40 minutes Predator drone video showing Kim close to an ICBM without taking him out), but does not want to accept a nuclear ICBM ready North Korea.

US never intervened as it thought the Yong Un distany could be taken down by an internal coup, but Stalin, Castro, Hitler are showing them that an internal coup against a ruthless dictator is not that easy in reality.

It will need to come to a conclusion this winter. As in House Lannister there are factions that believe Kim is purely defensive, but also more hawkish faction. As usual, the more conservative are actually the military as they know the consequences, while several politicians are much more aggressive. The time is ticking.


China would like to  maintain the status quo. North Korea is an annoying neighbor , but much better than a failed state and potentially a US ally.

So it is playing a double game – looking like helping the US – but without crippling North Korea (stats from the earlier this year shows a 40% trade increase). It is trying to stretch the time up to when North Korea will be not touchable.

South Korea

South Korea always lived with the North Korea threat and just wants to avoid a mega war. In that it is more allying with China than US. So much that in case of war it could do a masterstroke and ally itself with South Korea helping South Korea to disengage from the US alliance.


Again does not want a war that could hit even Tokyo. It is using the situation to present itself as the best US friend in the area and PM Abe is using this issue for pushing Japan out of its pacifist constitution


Russia does not have too much at stake in this game. It wants North Korea to resist just as propaganda tool against the “big bad US”. So it increased fuel export to North Korea by 40% vs 2016.

Other player is Iran (a weapon development partner of North Korea). It can’t do much as it is far removed, but definitely will at least try to help with weapons.

A real game of thrones ….and at least we know when it finishes (still waiting for the last book of GOT!)








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