However, despite dueling artillery barrages and the sinking of a warship, pledges of “enormous retaliation,” in-your-face joint military exercises and urgent calls for talks, the risk of all-out war on the Korean peninsula is less than it has been at anytime in the past four decades. North Korea didn’t blink, because it had no intention of actually starting a major war. Rather than signifying a new round of escalating tension between North and South Korea, the events of the past year point to something else—a new cold war between the two sides. In fact, one of my pet peeves is the analogies we use to describe the situation between South and North Korea. We often call the situation a “powder keg” or a “tinderbox,” implying a very unstable situation in which one small spark could lead to a huge explosion. But the evidence actually leads to the opposite conclusion: we have gone sixty years without a major war, despite numerous “sparks” such as the skirmishing and shows of force that occurred over the past month. If one believes the situation is a tinderbox, the only explanation for six decades without a major war is that we have been extraordinarily lucky. I prefer the opposite explanation: deterrence is quite stable because both sides know the costs of a major war, and both sides—rhetoric and muscle-flexing aside—keep smaller incidents in their proper perspective.
Local skirmishing has stayed local for sixty years. The key issue is whether a local fight could escalate into all-out war, such as North Korea shelling Seoul with artillery or missiles. Such a decision would clearly have to be taken at the top of the North Korean leadership. Especially when tensions are high, both militaries are on high alert and local commanders particularly careful with their actions. Without a clear directive from the top, it is not likely that a commander one hundred kilometers away from the military exercises would make a decision on his own to start shooting at Seoul. For their part, North Korean leaders have not made such a decision in sixty years, knowing that any major attack on Seoul would cause a massive response from the South Korean and U.S. forces and would carry the war into Pyongyang and beyond. After the fighting, North Korea would cease to exist. Thus, while both North and South Korean leaders talk in grim tones about war, both sides have kept the actual fighting to localized areas, and I have seen no indication that this time the North Korean leadership plans to expand the fighting into a general war.
No conflict or escalation- cooperation outweighs
--this answers the succession warrant most new cards talk about
Zhijiang 12 - Professor and Director of the Institute of South Korea Studies at the School of Asia-Pacific Studies
Kim Jong-un’s regime: facing up to domestic challenges, China and the US
With regard to the role of outside powers, China and US share common strategic interests in avoiding chaos and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. After the death of Kim Jong-il, ROK-US summit telephone talks declared that the US has no intention to interfere in the succession process. This indicates that the US will not put pressure on North Korea to promote its collapse and hopes to avoid conflict on the peninsula and to achieve peace and stability. The US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, visited China recently in order to further exchange views with China concerning the situation in the DPRK and to coordinate policies toward North Korea. China’s strategy has been to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula, and to build a harmonious and stable strategic environment in Northeast Asia conducive to national development. Kim’s death has not changed the basic strategy of China toward the Korean Peninsula. The main basis of China’s Korean Peninsula policy is to comprehensively strengthen and support Kim Jong-un’s new North Korean regime. The main purpose of the US’ ‘return to Asia’ strategy is to strengthen its strategic influence in the Asia Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula. It also includes preventing military provocation or possible war in the East Asia region through the strengthening of US-ROK, US-Japan and US-Australia military alliances, both bilaterally and multilaterally. Therefore, China and the US have common strategic interests on the Korean Peninsula issue. They do not want chaos in the North Korean situation, the collapse of the regime, or a large-scale military conflict between the North and South. In resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, the missile crisis and other issues, there is a wide range of cooperative space that China and the US can utilise. The two parties should strengthen their strategic coordination and communication with the DPRK in order to cope with any future crises and deal with the current challenges concerning the Korean Peninsula, and act to safeguard the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea War 2NC—No Aggression
No risk of aggressive action by North Korea – they are easily to deter and their apocalyptic rhetoric is for domestic constituents.
Gelb December ‘10
Leslie, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a senior official in the U.S. Defense Department from 1967 to 1969 and in the State Department from 1977 to 1979, November/December Foreign Affairs, Proquest
Regarding rogue states such as Iran and North Korea, conservatives generally contend that deterrence and containment cannot work. Rogue leaders are crazy, they argue, and cannot be deterred by expectations of retaliatory death and destruction. That was the contention during the Cold War, as conservatives maintained that Soviet and Chinese leaders were ready to sacrifice half their people in order to "win" a nuclear war. In time, however, Moscow and Beijing lost the Cold War without resorting to nuclear weapons. Similarly, although the rhetoric of leaders in Tehran and Pyongyang is often psychedelic, their actions are largely careful and fall short of provoking a military response. Their apocalyptic rhetoric mostly targets their domestic constituents (a tactic not unfamiliar to Washington politicians). Iran and North Korea are troublemakers that are dangerous but deterrable. They know that they would risk putting U.S. nuclear missiles on hairtrigger alert if they fully activated a nuclear capability. The regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang are governments that run countries, and they have everything to lose if they attack the United States and its allies and invite devastating retaliation. As for the serious problem of Iran's supplying arms to terrorists in Lebanon and elsewhere, even hawkish U.S. experts do not advocate obliterating Tehran to stop such activity.
Recent North Korean aggression are just attempts to consolidate the power base during transition – NK will not start a full-scale conflict and will move towards peaceful measures.
Sun Ha ‘10
Young-Sun Ha received Ph.D. in international politics from University of Washington. He is currently a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Seoul National University and a chairman of Global Net 21 at East Asia Institute.“A Complex Strategy to Overcome the Yeonpyeong Incident”. December 31, 2010. EAI Commentary No. 15. http://www.eai.or.kr/type/panelView.asp?bytag=p&catcode=&code=eng_report&idx=9736&page=1
Firstly, it is important to understand the range of North Korea’s strategic options from aggressive diplomacy to peaceful diplomacy. The Korean Peninsula went through the Korean War in 1950 and following of the ceasefire, both Koreas were stuck between ‘hot war’ and ‘cold war.’ Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has passed the stage of ‘cold peace’ and moved towards a ‘hot peace.’ In spite of this global shift, North Korea has been frequently using combinations of ‘cold war,’ ‘hot war,’ ‘cold peace,’ and ‘hot peace’ on the international strategic chessboard. For example, during the Cold War period North Korea provoked the South in a number of cases: Rangoon bombing (1983), bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 (1987), attempted Blue House raid (1968), North Korean infiltration in the Uljin and Samcheok areas (1968). Even in the post-Cold War period, nuclear tests, naval battles in the Yellow Sea, the sinking of Cheonan naval ship and the shelling on Yeonpyeong Island ensued. At the same time, Pyongyang has been aggressively demanding for a peace agreement to this day. The possibility for limited warfare on the Korean Peninsula came dangerously close with the recent Yeonpyeong shelling, more so than the last North Korean provocation, the sinking of the Cheonan. As the pendulum of war and peace on the Korean Peninsula swung from the ‘cold war’ to ‘hot war,’ greater chaos arise. It is expected that the Kim Jong-il/Kim Jong-un regime will try to maximize the use of this pendulum of peace and war in order to strengthen Kim Jong-un’s weak power base. In spite of the dangers, merely worrying about the possibility of war is not going to help. Rather, we have to understand precisely why the North has raised the bar of aggression from acts of terrorism to that of a direct artillery attack on South Korean territory. It is likely that the North would pursue a ‘cold peace’ offensive to utilize the amplitude of the pendulum. A complex picture emerges when looking back on the recent comments made by top officials from North Korea, the United States, and China. Seoul and Washington have called for Pyongyang to engage in measures for active denuclearization and reengagement in inter-Korean relations as preconditions for resuming the Six-Party Talks. North Korea on the other hand has taken precisely the opposite measures. To read what the North Korean regime has in mind we have to think of the situation not as a motionless snapshot but as a moving footage. Furthermore, South Korea must do more than just respond to North Korea’s actions. Instead it should focus on making strategically preemptive moves. For this, it is necessary to examine why the North Korean regime expanded the pendulum’s amplitude and find measures to make the leadership pursue a survival strategy that does not include huddling around nuclear weapons. As was demonstrated in the Yeonpyeong Incident, Kim Jong-il is passing down exactly what he has learned from his father, Kim Ilsung, to his son, Kim Jong-un. Following the pattern of brinkmanship, Kim Jong-il showed a strong determination for ‘nuclearization’ instead of ‘denuclearization,’ ‘deterioration’ of relations, not ‘improvement.’ Obviously, the next step will be a ‘clinch’ strategy to buy time, such as allowing IAEA inspections or resuming the Six-Party Talks thus the pendulum will swing towards peace. But these are ‘salami tactics’ to successfully establish the Kim Jongun regime. As of now, neither ‘full-scale war’ nor ‘reform with denuclearization’ is included in the range of North Korea’s strategic options.