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

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga, awaiting word from the NCAA on the appeal to rei ...

The Hurricanes officially welcomed ballyhooed new quarterback Tate Martell on campus Friday, and he’ ...

Before Jess Simpson’s final playoff run as the coach of Buford fell short in a Georgia state champio ...

The Miami Hurricanes football coaching staff is officially complete. UM announced Friday that Taylor ...

The Marlins — along with a handful of other teams — haven’t signed a single player from another team ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

"We're excited to welcome these coaches to the Miami family," Diaz said. ...

Canes have won six of last 10 meetings with UNC. ...

Check out the January edition of the University of Miami's e-magazine. ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team improved to 2-0 on the young season after securing a ...

The No. 17 Miami women's tennis team will play its first doubleheader of the season Saturday in ...

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.