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Friday, October 13, 2006

The Real Way to Stop North Korea

Charles Krauthammer has an interesting, but off target, op/ed piece today on how to stop North Korea.

Charles believes that some Kennedyesque tough talk, as was done during the Cuban missile crisis is the answer. However, with the low world opinion of George Bush and his tough talk, it would be a wrong tact for the situation. The truth is, China or Russia are probably the only two countries who can get away with such talk, and have it work, but neither will take that kind of bold step.

No, the correct way to deal with North Korea is a tougher swallow, because some of our allies don't like the idea, but for long term stability it would be the best. The method is to choke them into collapse.

South Korea is against the idea, as is China, based on the number of refugees they'd end up handling were the Kim regime to collapse and a void in leadership appear. Japan doesn't like it because they fear in an act of desparation Kim would launch either nukes (if possible) or more likely conventional weapons at them.

The non-military sanctions we've brought up to the security council are a start, but even they are meeting with resistance from China, Russia and Iran. By the time a small group of countries is done messing with the final wording, the UN resolution will probably resemble a mild tongue lashing, with little to back it up.

Instead the G-7 countries need to stand up, and not only support tough sanctions against North Korea, but also punitive measures against the countries that are stonewalling any accomplishment there.

If you can get the EU, US, Canada and Japan to threaten trade sanctions against China and Russia specifically, both countries would have to look at softer positions. Witholding of investment money, freezing of technology transfers, and added tariffs on products from their countries would put a large amount of monetary pressure on both, who depend on foriegn investment to grow their economies.

This doesn't have to be "out in the open" threatening, but instead behind the scenes maneuvers designed to get those countries behind a program that really will affect Kim's regime.

The big question is, does anyone in the west have the political will to stand up to China and Russia on this issue?

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Blogger Praguetwin said...

Military options are completely off the table with N. Korea. Any military action means total destruction for S. Korea and on one wants that.

You are aware that N. Korea can deliver 300,000 mortor shells on Seoul per hour and they can keep that up for several months.

How do you mitigate that damage?

10:19 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Honestly, you mitigate it by hitting them first, very hard. While the NK Army has a lot of "stuff", it's poorly trained, and the "Stuff" is mostly junk. Most of it's members would also rather be living in the south. If given the chance, my guess is they'd surrender faster than Hussein's stooges.

However, I never (at least that I can read) said we should use a military solution, though I'd worry about any leader who decided to take options off the table of any type.

11:55 AM  

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