Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
kim_jong_un_AP.jpg
Kim Jong Un (AP Photo)

PHOENIX -- Roe Goddard with the Thunderbird School of Global Management said there's a lot of heated rhetoric and sabre rattling coming out of North Korea and it won't take much to spark a major conflict in that region.

"Given what's a stake and the alignment of forces there, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is to be taken seriously. He's young, untested and it's difficult to separate bluster from potential for action. The United States and South Korea lack good intelligence on who has the finger on the trigger and who is making the major decisions."

Goddard, an associate professor of international political economy, believes China could be the eventual peacemaker. China does not want a stepped-up U.S. military presence in the region.

"That's what every American is hoping for. That China in western eyes will become a responsible partner and tell Kim Jong Un that enough is enough. But any escalation between North Korea and the United States will inevitably involve China and could bring the U.S. and China head to head and that would be economically devastating.

"I'm concerned that the U.S. could be overwhelmed by a million man army, with less than 30,000 troops in South Korea, would resort to tactical, lower megaton nuclear weapons."

Goddard said North Korea is cornered and that ratchets up the danger.

"They're isolated because of heavy sanctions and the hunger growing. They can't purchase many imported products. They're cornered economically, politically and militarily. They don't have much to lose and might feel the only way to get the worlds attention is to bargain using their conventional military forces."

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.