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Why America Must 'Invade' North Korea

July 12, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

North Korea is not rushing to disarm. Pyongyang’s return to its
rhetoric of old to describe Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit
suggested a significant difference between United States and North
Korean expectations.

That should surprise no one. Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un would be
foolish to cast away weapons developed at such cost—which are
the only certain means to protect his rule from America’s
overwhelming military power. Since taking over in December 2011 he
has ruthlessly consolidated power. He knows that foreign leaders
trust Washington at their peril.

In fact, many observers remain skeptical that Kim is willing to
yield his arsenal for any economic reward. Last year Dan Coats, the
director of National Intelligence, explained that he “has
watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to
nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they
have.” The experience of Libya dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi
was “If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t
have them, get them.”

Has Kim had an unexpected change of heart? Not likely, but even
if so he wouldn’t give away his deterrent based only on the
president’s promise of goodwill after five hours of
talks.

Pyongyang’s propaganda
can be countered by sending Americans to reside in the Hermit
Kingdom.

Indeed, the summit communique set denuclearization as last in a
series of actions. The first was to “establish new U.S.-DPRK
relations” reflecting a mutual desire “for peace and
prosperity.” The second was “to build a lasting and
stable peace regime.” Third was working for
denuclearization.

Although the president may have wanted to get the nukes at the
beginning, that never was Pyongyang’s view. Before the summit
Kim asked why his country would need nuclear weapons if it
established good relations with America? There’s an obvious
answer to that question—ask Muammar el-Qaddafi how his
bromance with President George W. Bush worked out—but even if
Kim was serious the relationship he suggested would require more
than one brief meeting. Creating a “lasting” system
will take time.

Amid reports of continuing North Korean nuclear work, the
administration should advance engagement policies to help move the
denuclearization process forward. What initiatives at little cost
or risk to America would promote the sort of relations and regime
Kim requested? What would help convince Kim that the United States
does not now nor ever will support regime change?

First, Secretary Pompeo should drop the ban on Americans
traveling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Imposed
last September, the prohibition made no sense even then. Otto
Warmbier’s case was tragic—and almost certainly more
complicated than commonly presented. But he was the only one
detained in 2016 out of about one thousand Americans …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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