Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Handle North Korea

North Korea has been spouting insane things recently.  They are most probably attempting to use an old technique to unite their country against an outside threat.  We are the obvious target, not South Korea, because 1) we have a history of restraint (Cold War) - as opposed to attacking China 2) No one will expect them to carry through on the threat - as opposed to attacking South Korea.

But it is a dangerous game.  While the US remembers the first Korean War, as well as Vietname and Iraq, we also remember World War II.  During World War II we ignored a psychotic dictator talking about invading and we paid the price.

We won't do it again.

So, what should the US do to solve the problem of North Korea?

In my opinion we need to do the following:

  • Don't speak to North Korea.  They are acting like a child and we don't want to encourage their bad behavior.
  • Privately assure our allies - particularly South Korea and Japan that we will stand by them, even if it comes to nuclear war.
  • Talk to our other ally China.  Explain that there are three possible futures for North Korea:   
  1. North Korea grows up and stop acting like a child - perhaps after China yells at them repeatedly and/or bribes them.
  2. China itself invades North Korea, killing the warmongers and publicly showing Kim Jong-un's dead body.  They can replace the government with anything they want - or just give it to South Korea.
  3. The United States takes military action inside North Korea, most likely resulting in South Korea taking over the North.
Make it very clear that choice number 3 is a very real possibility - and give them a deadline for it.

Given that North Korea touches China's southern border I don't think China wants US weapons being used there.  It is in their best interest to handle the problem themselves, particularly as they helped create it.  I am pretty sure that China would end up invading North Korea.

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