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Evangeline Anovilis
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It seemed like just another day on the Korean peninsula, as the sun slowly rose out of the Eastern Sea to brighten the day for millions of Koreans living under the regime of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. As could be expected, the name of the state was mere compensation for the actual power of its citizens, which were at times not even able to get their basic necessities, including food. If Korean life was free from anything, than it was free of comfort or security. The regime seemed to embrace such poverty, for it seemed to prevent uprisings, and with propaganda against foreigners, especially Japanese, external threats should overshadow internal misery.

 

But it was not just a normal day. The Korean economy was rapidly collapsing, as foreign relations soured and trade became marginal. The reunification of Korea had created a nation of over 70 million people, of which more than two-thirds lived in the Southern parts of the peninsula, which until a few years ago, had been free, integrated into the Asian economy and had only come under Communist rule after the DPRK expelled an external occupying force from the country. At first, Korean rule for Koreans was widely supported, the resistance against the communists was low and people cheered the reunification. But such happiness and support lasted just about as long as the food supplies... And as misery spread, so did opposition. And as the sun rose above Seoul, once again plagued by a power outage, because North Korean coal and hydroelectricity could not supply it, people were once again protesting on the streets against the rigid system of totalitarian rule, which had hardly ever done a thing for them, but destroy the people it ruled over. Inefficiencies, corruption, nepotism, jingoism and repression was something that had disgruntled the masses of Southern Korean masses, and as the economy tanked, many saw it as more useful to take to the streets rather than go to work.

 

What allowed these protests, was most of all the inability of Northern elites to integrate and rule properly over the Southern Korean people, who were used to a better life and resented the Northern autocrats. These people bought not the cheap propaganda and many knew that outside life was better. And it was solely the disorganised spontanous nature, which caused the regime to face a very real challenge to its overall power. Troops from northern parts of the country were brought in, to keep the protests from becoming rampant and overthrowing the Workers' Party rule, after Southern Korean security refused to rein in protests. What however followed, would be the most detrimental development for the regime, as hardliners in the KPA decided to use force in dissolving protests and within the shortest of time, the streets were free, apart from the blood of around 140 dead Koreans and lots more wounded. But only temporarily...

 

While protesters had been dispersed, now, first groups formed to overthrow the Korean government for real and through assistence by a rather sympathetic population, their membership swelled rapidly. Most prominent among them would be the so-called Korean Liberation Movement, the All-Korean Democratic Movement and the People's Opposition of Korea, which sprung up in the various regions, with especially the latter two having significant ties in the DPRKs base territory in the northern parts of the peninsula. Multiple smaller movements too sprung up, ranging from reform-minded communists to Imperial restorationists and even some Greater Koryo nationalists. The situation became less and less clear, as to who did and controlled what, apart from the fact, that the DPRK was losing ground rapidly. And the requiem for the DPRK started for real, when an entire army division in Busan defected to the insurgents, providing arms, professional leadership and the spark to lid the fire of open rebellion.

 

[hr]

 

Confidential

 

While Japan  officially kept out of Korean affairs, due to the sensitive nature of the issue and the cost it would impose upon Japan fiscally and diplomatically, events on the peninsula were nevertheless observed with great interest, as Korea was, after all, quite close to the Japanese Home Islands, more so than any other territory, apart from maybe the Nansei Islands. And the Japanese state made no secret out of the fact that it saw the Democratic People's Republic as a threat to East Asian stability and its own security. Thus, the events in Korea hardly escaped the notice of the newly established Central Intelligence Research Agency (Chūō Jōhō Chōsa-chō).

 

To Prime Minister Akiyama, the events were not too surprising, given the extreme distain she felt for the regime, which was a pure anachronism and better off dead. And while, given circumstances, Akiyama avoided making public statements on the situation, she hesitated not to give orders to Director Tsukino of the Chūōchō to take action, in order to "finally resolve the Korean situation in a favourable manner". And it needed not long, until Japanese agents, using contacts via Zainichi Koreans, cooperated with Korean insurgents, to bring about democracy. Equipment and supplies would be brought to Busan, destined for the Korean Liberation Movement, which had organised under a certain Kim Sung-woo, a former lawyer, who had been made provisory leader of the movement till the Communist scourge had been vanquished.

 

Open support for the rebels was considered, however not carried out, as Akiyama very well knew that there were some steps to be taken before such became a viable option. First and foremost, a communique would thus be sent to Tianxia:

 

Confidential

To the Imperial Government of Tianxia,

 

In light of recent developments on the Korean peninsula, which show signs of utter dissolution of state control in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Japanese nation is rather worried about the implications of this inner conflict for regional stability and also we are very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Korea. It is our hope that we might cooperate with Tianxia, a traditional guarantor of freedom and stability in East asia, to prevent any escalation of the conflict in Korea and preserve peace in the region, as well as ensure a good future for the Korean people.

 

With most kind regards,

Akiyama Kagami, Prime Minister of Japan

 

OOC: Markus is inactive. Last post here.

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Eternal President Moon had carefully made it appear as if all internal workings of the glorious Korean state had stopped functioning, if only to confirm suspicions that Japan would once again attempt to begin the imperial reunification with Korea. These suspicions were all but confirmed once the so-called Korean Liberation Movement began receiving an increase in funding and equipment. All other such claimed "movements" were very carefully selected parts of both the Special Warfare Command and Yuckjeondae, who, once the codeword was given, united to one as part of the Korean People's Army. The so-called Korean Liberation Movement as well broke apart as former brothers-in-arms fired on their supposed friends, having been infiltrated years ago by the Yuckjeondae. Simultaneously massive assaults and assassinations were conducted on KLM bases and leaders, all of which with the intended purpose of annihilating any form of resistance.

 

A simple message was sent to the world. "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea cannot be defeated!"

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OOC: For all intents and purposes, you are inactive and will have to RP as a contestant, which means, obviously no godmodding and all your claimed people need to come from your troop count. In this case, your infiltration is an obvious godmod with no prior RP, nor a spyroll, so I refuse to acknowledge it. If you want to fight it out with the KLM et al, whom I shall invest (for now) 150,000 of my soldier count in (which I convert from nukes), feel free to continue, while respecting the rules. Thank you very much.

 

IC:

 

The Totalitarian scum would find it hard to attack the various movements, as many of them blended in with the civil population, with only about three divisions à 10,000 and about 20,000 volunteer brigades were actively holding the southern parts of the Peninsula, filled with determination to take on the repressive regime. While the Korean propaganda might have claimed that the Korean People's Army was going to win and the DPRK was not yet dead, many servicemen of the KPA had defected already, forming the core of militant resistence and these were determined to end the communist regime once and for all.

 

From his base, Kim Sung-woo would counter the communist regime's message with his own.

 

"To all my fellow Koreans and our friends in the World! For years now, the Democratic People's Republic with its repressive regime has destroyed our nation, caused Korea to experience inhumane conditions of misery and has poisoned the relations between our people and the world. The Korean people have not received independence from the Emperor of Tianxia, simply to destroy themselves. Ours are an old and honourable people, who have much to contribute to humanity... if we are allowed to do so, and not weighed down by the corrupt dictatorship misguided by Juche. We ask every Korean to help us in working towards a better future and the people of the world to not look away as the dying regime tries to keep us miserable and without future. For a free and democratic Korea!"

 

The speech would fill the radio waves and would be re-broadcast by the NHK, together with a coverage of the potential conflict. While the Japanese government under Prime Minister Akiyama still stayed silent on the matter, Japanese destroyer escorts of the Sasebo Naval District increased their patrols around Tsushima, to keep the strait clear, and the I. and IX. Destroyer Squadrons of the Second Fleet were dispatched, about 130 km east of Pohang in the Sea of Japan.

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5 F-111 squadrons would be tasked with conducting air strikes using standoff JASSM-ER cruise missile to launch a coordinated strike on the air defenses and missile production facilities that remained operational in Korea, while 11 squadrons of F/A-18 advanced super hornets would be used to conduct precision bombing of key roads for operations between the Juche strongholds and the rest of the country, using primarily the brimstone missile to do precision targeting of Juchist convoys.  E/A-18Gs maintained communications jamming during this operation while F-5 Tengris and F-23s kept the air space clear and did precision bombing of air force assets in air fields.

 

The light infantry gurkha and ranger special regiments meanwhile would be tasked with engaging in a concerted baiting and engagement campaign on the mountainous border of Tianxia and Korea, while drones would fly overhead informing artillery regiments where to shell.  Moderate assaults and advances against border towns were authorized with Imperial units ordered to move inland to capture the border provinces until they met DPRK resistance at which point they were ordered to stop and attrit.  

 

Tianxia had no interest in reinvading all of Korea... at least not yet, but the opportunity to severely weaken the DPRK while letting Japan and the Korean rebels to do the heavy lifting was something the Empire was at the very least open to exploring.

 

Meanwhile at sea, the Tianxia substantial submarine force was tasked with blockading DPRK ports and preventing reinforcements from coming in and out.

 

Statement from the Khan of Khans, Yuan Shizi:

 

"The people of Korea are entitled to decide their own destiny, but a few of the Korean people shall not be permitted to decide for the whole by force of arms.  Therefore, the Empire of Tianxia has put forwards a strong position of limited military action combined with a naval blockade and economic sanctions against the DPRK.  Further any bank which does business with the DPRK or facilitates customers doing business with the DPRK will be subject to sanctioning from doing business with Tianxia or using the Tianxia currency, depriving them of the world's most powerful currency and the ability to buy any good with part of it made in Tianxia or its protectorates.

 

The DPRK followers to alleviate this must agree to a truce with the uprising, the disbandment of their WMD and missile programs, and the holding of free and fair elections and adoption of a modern constitution and rule of law."

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At long last, following a session of the Diet due to the events in Korea, Prime Minister Akiyama actually made an official statement on the matter. Broadcasted by the NHK, Akiyama seemed rather determined, as she adressed the Japanese public, as well as the regional neighbourhood.

 

"These days, it seems the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has reached its predictable end, as a system of inefficiency and unaccountable government reaps the harvest which its bad governance has sown. The Japanese nation has lived peacefully alongside the Korean people for a long time now, as we respect the Korean civilisation. However, the most recent events have shown quite clearly, that the Korean people have withdrawn any popular mandate from the communist regime and we are not willing to sit idly by, while the Korean People's Army marches against the very people it pledges to protect. Japan thus joins Tianxia in condemning the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and we will contribute our own assets to a blockade of Korea, as long as democide runs rampant on the peninsula. The Korean regime must halt its violence against the Korean people and become a responsible and representative state of its people. The Korean people deserve democracy in practice, not just in name and Japan thus will not take lightly any further transgressions by the Korean state."

 

Confidential

 

Just as the speech ended, Akiyama moved on to the next point on her agenda, as no time was to be lost. Without much ado, the Prime Minister, from her office, called the Joint Staff Council. While Akiyama wanted not necessarily an intervention, the Nihongun had to be prepared, in case intervention became necessary. And even in case that such intervention stayed limited in scope, Akiyama wanted outlines of all possible options, as well as precautions to prevent attacks on Japan proper.

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"The Court of Santaji issues a missive that peace will soon reign again in the Korean Peninsula. It is unfortunate to see a nation caught up in the internal struggles and rift that tear families and friends apart. We hope for a quick solution to this struggle."

 

[i]Statement from the Marathi Foreign Ministry[/i]

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  • 2 weeks later...

While the Korean Liberation Movement consolidated itself on the peninsula and gained steady ground, especially in the South, it seemed the days of the Democratic People's Republic indeed were over. Although still unofficial, shipments of weapons from Japan to Busan became more common and even a whole brigade of Zainichi Korean volunteers was brought to Korea, to participate in the removal of the communist remnants.

 

While Japanese agents under Tsukino still worked busily on coordinating with the KLM, the Japanese armed forces started their own movements. Emboldened by Tianxia's actions, the Nihongun commenced a series of bombardement missions, sending several Kawasaki B-1B strategic stealth bombers over Korea. With Tianxia already surpressing pretty much any potential enemy air assets, the bombers would be able to fly pretty much unharrassed, having exceptional staying power (thanks to the large fuel reserve and bomb load) above the peninsula, being able to drop precision bombs on enemy targets upon request within minutes. Similarly, Japanese Navy dispatched all four of its heavy destroyers of the Suzuya-class and all of its Myōkō-class battlecruisers off the Korean shores. Armed with the long-range 155 mm/62-caliber 2nd year type gun and the more conventional, but rather heavy 360 mm/50-caliber cruiser gun, these ships were supposed to support any engagements on the peninsula with naval gunfire support or, if deemed adequate, long-range cruise missiles.

 

Despite the overall eagerness of Japan to get rid of the DPRK, there was a great amount of hesitation whenever the question appeared as to how far support would go for the KLM. In closed sessions at the Kantei, where Prime Minister Akiyama conferred with her cabinet, the Chiefs of Staff, the heads of the Central Intelligence Research Agency and the Fleet Intelligence Bureau and every now and then, a Korean delegation from the Korean Liberation Movement, Akiyama quickly made sure, there'd be no "boots on the ground", unless the Korean People's Army was becoming too powerful. Korean liberty and freedom would need to be achieved by Koreans, with Japanese assistence, not by Japanese troops beating up the disorganised remnants. Bombardement too was to be conducted with careful avoidance of unnecessary casualties and in a strict tactical fashion. Having Korea liberated as soon as possible and avoiding the destruction of Korean property was seen as the best course of action, so as not to create unnecessary propaganda for Korean communists to use against Japan.

 

What however was given full support, were the efforts to supply "liberated" areas with relief goods, services and consumer wares, in contrast to the embargo. Across the Tsushima strait, wares and humanitarian personel was shipped to Busan, for distribution amongst the Korean people, in an effort to show the advantages of actually being part of a free liberal democracy with market economy and to avoid the image of only being occupiers.

 

Tianxia of course would once again be contacted via the Japanese ambassador in Nanjing, who handed over a note from the Prime Minister.

 

Confidential

To the Imperial government of Tianxia,

 

While we have not heard much of you since our last attempt of coordination, I want to seek an exchange of opinions between Tianxia and Japan, regarding the future of the Korean peninsula, after the pacification following the fall of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Japanese nation, as a peaceful and established country, hopes that cooperation on this issue is possible and that a strategy concerning Korea's future can be drawn up. Japan most of all seeks in this regard the integration of Korea into the free world, in some form or another and a future without having to worry about a hostile regime across the Tsushima Strait. we believe in a great future for all of Asia and would hope Korea to be part of that future.

 

With regards,

Akiyama Kagami, Prime Minister of Japan

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OOC: Given no formal dispute was made and all that remains is an obvious godmod, which has, despite request by GMs, not been rectified, I assume that with two weeks of my claim passing, I'm now in control of Korea. Chōsen banzai!

 

IC:

 

With internal unrest and foreign intervention by its two and only neighbours, it was quite clear that the Democratic People's Republic would not last and thus, it needed not long till it thoroughly disintegrated as a political system, making room for the various pro-democracy movements that had sprung up in the uprising. This was not necessarily to say, that Korea now was a democratic state... most of all, because it was hardly any longer a proper state. The Japanese had backed the Korean Liberation Movement, the largest of the movements, but the KLM was not the sole movement, and as the various groups worked out how to go on with Korea, talks were ongoing between Koreans and Japan, on how to set up neighbourly relations, as well as on how to deal with the issue of security, for as long as the democratic Korean state was not yet realised.

 

To a certain degree, the humanitarian crisis was on its way to become a political crisis, as it seemed, the Japanese government had been eager to overthrow a government, yet in the closed sessions of the cabinet, they were not as willing to actually intervene in post-communist Korea. Most of all, due to widespread worries, what Tianxia would say, about such a matter. So, for the time being, only an unofficial protection agreement was concluded, until such a time, that the Imperial government of Tianxia had been properly consulted.

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As time passed on, the various Korean democratic groups finally managed to sort themselves out and would gather under a provisory government headed by Kim Sung-woo. However, such was more a statement on foreign policy, than domestic policy. The democratic orientation of the future had been something already decided, however, by making notable pro-Japanese Kim Sung-woo the head of the local government the Korean parliament also showed a policy of orientation at the eastern neighbour. Within a week into the new year, Kim signed a treaty with Akiyama, which officially proclaimed Japanese protection over Korea, guaranteed Korean self-rule, reconstruction and economic reorientation with Japanese assistence, with all military and foreign affairs delegated to Tokyo, "until such a time that Korea is ready for independence again".

 

And thus, in the 16th year of the Genkai era, Korea became a Japanese protectorate once again. Naturally a public announcement stating so would be made, to clarify the special relationship.

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