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Monday, August 29, 2005

Comments

Sperwer

Nice bit of commentary. Light years beyond the usual crap from the usual suspects in the local rags, let alone ostriches like Kristof and twits like Brooke.

lirelou

I must second Sperwer's comment. Bravo. Two minor points though. One, if Stephen Turnbull's assessment of the Imjin wars is correct, the Japanese reason for invading Korea in 1592 was to use it as a land bridge from whch to reach China. Korea's being made a theater of the war was therefore due to geographical considerations, independent of any political relationship between the Choseon and Ming dynasties. Second, while Kim Il-sung's relations with China during the Korean War may have included historical distrust, there were overriding logistical and political reasons for favoring the Russians. Certainly China of 1950 was ill-equipped to provide the logistical support that a North Korean field army required, particularly since this latter body was organized and equipped on the Soviet model, something that the PLA with its heteroclite arms had yet to achieve. Secondly, the largest tranche of experienced fighters in the North Korean Army had come from the ranks of the PLA, as opposed to the Gapsan veterans and the Soviet Koreans. Closer relations with China incurred the risk that PLA veterans within the KPA might find the cohesion and strength to oppose both the "Gapsan" bumblers and Kim Il-sung himself. Peter Duus, by the way, cites the "lips and teeth" analogy as Japan's original motivation for inserting herself into Korean affairs in the late 19th century.

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