posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 02:55 AM
I find it very hard to believe that North Korea will ever give up their nukes. I think America is not only wasting its breath (and political capital)
but is cheating itself out of more realistic ambitions in the Korean situation.
For all their strange behavior and bluster, North Korea is still afraid of us. There are virtually no scenarios for a Korean war (apart from China's
full endorsement of North Korean aggression) that end with North Korea remaining under Kim Jong Il. Our goal then should be to deprive them of any
Chinese support for hostile actions and to appear no more threatening than is necessary to preserve the security of our allies in the region
(especially since our allies in the region are generally proud people who are gradually growing weary of having our forces around, and we don't want
to push them away from us.)
There is deterrence in the region. Nobody can afford a first strike- miscalculation is far and away the most likely trigger for a war. Tension can
breed that miscalculation. Engagement will reduce the possibility for war by miscalculation AND can create peaceful leverage, allowing us to excercise
influence over them inspite of their deterrent. Reducing tension over the nuclear issue by leaving it alone and increasing economic interaction is the
I'm not calling for another handout to North Korea the way Clinton gave them. The carrot and stick doesn't work when they can reach the carrot
without stepping forward. Mutually beneficial deals are another story. If we can't get North Korea to give up it's missile programs, let's see if
we can get them to contribute to peaceful uses such as space programs. If we can't get them to give up their nuclear program, let's see if we can
get them to sell power, nuclear fuel, or other peaceful radiological products to neighbors. Not only that, but let's work out those trade deals so
that North Korea is consuming foreign products in trade for whatever we arrange for them to export- not just taking cash to pump into their military.
This is obviously just an example, but let's suppose that South Korea agreed to buy North Korean nuclear power if North Korea would open up it's
market to South Korean cellphone services. You create commerce which is good for both sides, you create engagement which is good for stability, and in
some cases (such as the cellphone example) you increase the flow of information in North Korea which will weaken the cult of personality and open that
nation up to reform in the future.
As was said earlier, Kim Jong Il DOES want to provoke us, because the fear of America is what keeps him in power. He'll never accept the things I'm
proposing because of that. Now how many times will his ministers and his generals watch him swat away great opportunities before they resolve either
to overthrow him or to make sure that someone unlike him assumes power when he is gone?