Opinion

North Korea cannot be compared to Iraq

As North Korea’s flagrant treaty violations have increased in prominence as a news item, many people, almost exclusively in opposition to the Bush administration’s policy vis a vis war in Iraq, have begun to repeatedly ask the question, ‘Why is North Korea different?’ There are several reasons to be sure, but China is the element that makes any dealing with North Korea different from our dealings with almost anyone else.
Now, as in the past, the Chinese claim they have limited ability to sway the government of Kim Jon Il just as it had limited ability to sway the government of his father and predecessor Kim Il Sung, the man who started the Korean War of 1950. While almost everyone is rightly skeptical of this assertion by Beijing, North Korea does after all form a contiguous border with China along the southern bank of the Yalu River. In any possibility of war there, the Chinese would most certainly be keenly interested in the presence of foreign troops in close proximity to its territory, and it is very likely that military intervention by the Chinese Army would occur in such a case that they felt threatened.
This is not just idle speculation on my part. In November of 1950, with the North Korean army all but defeated and U.S. and South Korean forces in position within miles of the Yalu River, the Chinese Army attacked south with over 250,000 troops, resulting in a prolonging of the war another 2 1/2 years. Recently declassified Chinese and North Korean documents show that this decision to intervene was made 3 months prior by none other than Mao Zedong himself. This was 50 years ago when the Chinese army was so primitively equipped that as many of their soldiers died from exposure as from combat death, and still they pushed us back down the Korean peninsula. Today, the Chinese field a modern mechanized army that is over 10 times that size.
No such parallels exist in Iraq’s case. Even if there is some great eruption of anger in the Muslim world (like that represents any difference with the current world), they can’t really offer any help to Iraq. Saddam is on his own, right where he put himself. It’s only a matter of time now.

Scott Wacholtz is a Senior majoring in Computer Science.

January 17, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced the 2018-19 schedule, featuring nine tourn ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.