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08-11-03, 08:26 AM #1
Looking at options on North Korea
Article ran : 08/11/2003
Looking at options on North Korea
It could be viewed as propitious that just after the 50th anniversary of the armistice that formalized a stalemate in the 1950-1953 Korean War, North Korea has agreed to six-nation multilateral talks to try to defuse the tension arising from its nuclear weapons program.
While the announcement offers hope of defusing a potentially perilous situation, however, success is hardly guaranteed.
For the situation to be resolved peacefully, North Korea will have to act in uncharacteristic ways, offering and keeping promises that it will abandon its nuclear program in exchange for concessions and help from the United States and from its neighbors. But the United States will also have to give a little, and act not just as a great power but as a wise and prudent power.
The often unacknowledged background to North Korea's recent nuclear bluster is that the country is a basket case, the last Stalinist outpost in a world where the communist enterprise has been proven a failure and there are no more large communist countries to subsidize it, as the Soviet Union did. For most North Koreans, as Undersecretary of State John Bolton has perhaps undiplomatically but truthfully said, life really is a "hellish nightmare."
At some level North Korea's leaders know this, and they have been seeking attention and help from the rest of the world. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, however, seems constitutionally incapable of admitting that the regime established by his father over the last 50 years was a huge mistake. So he seeks attention through bluster and threats.
To the United States, Kim Jong Il's selected target, North Korea is no real threat. But because the "demilitarized zone" is only 30 miles from Seoul, he could be a real threat to South Korea. Civilian casualties from standard artillery could range in the hundreds of thousands.
North Korean bluster is arousing bluster in some Washington circles. Former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Air Force Gen. Thomas McInerney wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal arguing that the United States has the military capability to force regime change in the North, taking out its artillery before it could inflict many casualties in the South.
Maybe so. But if they are wrong, the cost in South Korean lives could be enormous.
Over the long haul, the best option is to hand the North Korean problem over to its neighbors. U.S. troops now serve as a tripwire - more a military liability than an asset - and could become nuclear hostages if the situation is not handled intelligently.
The United States has a strong and legitimate interest in assuring that North Korea does not supply weapons to terrorists.
Other than that, it should defer to the powers in the region and avoid demands that could lead to a war nobody wants.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
08-11-03, 12:53 PM #2
"A Good Gook is a Dead Gook"
Nuke the Gooks..now!!....get rid of this hermit kingdom once an for all...they have blackmailed us since 27Jul53...Clinton gave them the store;rather than confront those dwarfs in 1999...North Korea hates us more than the Arabs do...one [24/7]nuke strike is all that's needed...they want action...let's pour the boots to those Gooks...victory will only take one day of Nukes!!...sayonara, Gooks. Semper Fi, Mac
08-11-03, 01:41 PM #3yellowwingGuest Free Member
I think one of the big differences in Saddam and the dwarf is the willingness to use WMD. Saddam did use chemical shell on the past. So far North Korea hasn't.
We've all seen those police dramas where the bad guy is taking hostages. The police are willing to talk to him for hours. The minute he shoots someone, all negotiations are off.
Just let Mad Emporer Kim fire a chemical shell and he'll see a flurry of Tomahawks in his front yard.
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