The administration of the tramp is not yet staffed his foreign policy team, but the international problems will not wait. It is widely believed that North Korea is one of the main, and perhaps the most serious problem among those facing the new President.
The government of Kim Jong-UN will not allow Washington to relax. Another test of medium-range missiles was even unpleasant but routine event. A obvious contract killing of brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Nam at the airport in Kuala Lumpur with the deadly nerve gas VX have shown that the North Korean regime is willing to openly violate international norms and neglect the feelings of both friends and enemies.
The alleged murder of Kim shows not only the arrogance, but fear. Kim Jong-Nam was far from power and guardedly criticized the dynastic Communist system of the North. But he lived in Macau under the protection of China, and in the case of the fall of the current regime could claim nominal authority as a member of the family KIMS.
However, the Korean people’s Democratic Republic does not represent a direct threat to America. Of course, no one wants the DPRK became the owner of a nuclear Arsenal, which, as some observers fear, a few years can grow to 50 or even 100 warheads. However, none of the three North Korean KIMS, including the founder of the state Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-Il, did not show much interest in them after the death of the pampered virgins in Paradise. They were a ruthless people, but not suicide.
Thus in the US, they, apparently, looked from a purely practical point of view. As Kim Jong-UN, who in his youth went for the team “Chicago bulls” (perhaps this explains his seemingly inexplicable attachment to basketball player Dennis Rodman), and is still obviously interested in the Disney characters. However, Washington close to the heart takes what was once a very hot conflict between the two Koreas, which later escalated into the cold war. He considers it his own.
The U.S. is not only ready to support South Korea in case of war. Washington has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to punish the regimes that are in the list of objectionable uncle Sam. Particularly revealing moment was the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, who made a deal with the United States and Europe are renouncing their nuclear missile program. When Gaddafi lost the means of deterrence of foreign intervention, the West, at a convenient moment struck him a blow. Pyongyang there are other reasons for developing nuclear weapons, say, to extort for themselves the perks and benefits in the international arena, but also to strengthen loyalty to the regime in the country; however, deterrence America is definitely worth it in the first place.
Therefore, the administration trump needs to ask themselves the question: should we stay in North-East Asia? If not for the Alliance between the United States and South Korea, and not the obligation of Washington to fight for Seoul, Kim Jong-UN would have no reason to attack America. Since such an attack will lead to the destruction of his country and regime, Kim is unlikely to want to face the torments of hell American cities, and especially to carry out his threats.
Because of the cold war, the Korean Peninsula in 1950 were important for America. Moreover, the US itself has created the preconditions for war. Thus, Washington had no choice and he was forced to deal with the aggression of the North. In addition to this, in the first years of its existence, the Republic of Korea is very heavily dependent on American military support. For her it was a matter of life and death. But the situation has long been changed. Today South Korea’s GDP is about 40 times greater than North Korea, but the population there is twice more, than in the North. Army Seoul is well prepared and armed with the most modern weapons. Neither Russia nor China will support Pyongyang against South Korea.
The actions of the North’s nuclear Arsenal threaten to disrupt the balance of power. But even if Washington wants to maintain its so-called nuclear umbrella, is not the reason for the deployment of troops in the South. On the contrary, those 30 thousand American troops in South Korea, can easily fall victim to a North Korean attack. They have become a kind of nuclear hostage.
Therefore, the administration should seek the best ways to deter nuclear-armed North Korea. In northeast Asia a nuclear non-proliferation looks like something the gun control in the United States: there are armed bad guys. In this case, Russia, China and North Korea. Instead of having to risk Los Angeles to protect Seoul and Tokyo (and maybe even Canberra to Taipei), the United States should encourage South Korea (and other countries) have established their own strength and deterrence. This alarming prospect may force Beijing to take more effective measures against North Korea and compel it to abandon its missile and nuclear programs. Such changes in American politics will evoke mixed reactions, however, the current liabilities of Washington is a solid guarantee entry into the United States in a possible nuclear conflict.
In any case, it is best to Sever did not create its nuclear Arsenal with the means of delivery. How Washington can prevent the promotion of Pyongyang in this dangerous direction?
Military action is a hopeless event. President bill Clinton thought about that, but it reassured the South Korean President Kim young-Sam (Kim Young-sam), who spoke strongly against such actions. The hope that the North will be able to intimidate and deter retaliation, it is very risky, because the map will put the lives of thousands and even millions of South Koreans. But if America would be plunged into full-scale war, the loss of the US will also be in the thousands.
According to many political leaders, the most effective remedy is sanctions. But although China agreed to a gradual strengthening of economic constraints, he did not want to create a danger of explosion on its border. Washington could take action against Chinese banks and companies, but this is only likely to bring Beijing with Pyongyang, and would also lead to the deterioration in us-China relations in other areas.
It is better to develop an effective diplomatic strategy to persuade China of the need to provide greater pressure on North Korea. President Donald trump believes that China has control over North Korea, and Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said that the US should “force” Beijing to obey the American diktat. But in fact, North Korea has a history of providing resistance to Chinese pressure, and any attempt by Washington to impose its will on Beijing will almost certainly produce the opposite result.
Instead, Washington needs to recognize the interests that lie in the fact that Beijing does not need a failed state in chaos on their border is not needed and a United Korea hosting American troops. Trump administration should try to strike a deal (we use here the vocabulary of trump). In response to the increasing Chinese pressure on North Korea, Washington should accept that the Chinese can set in North Korea cooperative mode, to offer assistance to refugees, to promise to withdraw its troops from a unified Korea, and to recognize the desirability of neutrality of the reunified country.
Finally, management needs to answer the question: why not to start negotiations with the North? During the election campaign, a candidate trump even talked about the possibility of meeting with Kim Jong-UN. Without a serious improvement in the behavior of North Korea and bilateral relations that would be premature, but the possibility should not be discounted.
Of course, in the North of the disgusting regime, but it was no less disgusting in the Soviet Union. Washington maintains friendly relations with Central Asian dictatorships, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The US has let intense, but it is in official relations with Eritrea. America is negotiating with Iran. And no one talks about the rupture of relations with Russia, despite the sanctions. If we abandon dialogue, to resolve difficult issues without the participation of Moscow will be even harder.
Refusal from contacts with North Korea will give the same effect. Isolation has failed. Iran in response to the refusal of the George W. Bush administration from the interaction began to build new centrifuges and North Korea creates nuclear warheads and missiles. Dialogue with the North will not make him somehow magically disarm, but the refusal of the contacts do nothing.
If you go to the contact with the North and start searching for areas of agreement, not forcing him to abandon the already established weapons, it is, at least, help to mitigate the danger posed by North Korea’s nuclear Arsenal with the means of delivery. Moreover, even if diplomatic relations between the two countries will operate at a low level, it will give US the opportunity to take an inside look at one of the world’s most closed societies.
And most important. If you prepare a attractive to the North of deal, it will weaken the feeling that he is faced with a deadly threat. This will eliminate at least one excuse for the implementation of the North Korean nuclear programs, and China won’t be able to complain that U.S. policy exacerbate the existing problem. If Pyongyang does not respond to the softening of tone from Washington, Beijing politicians would be less reason for inaction.
Simple answers to posed by the DPRK problem does not exist. However, the us policy toward this country has long been should be subjected to serious analysis and revision. America should no longer deeply involved in disturbing conflicts in northeast Asia, as it is against its interests. In any case, it is necessary to think about new approaches to old problems.
Anyway, the obvious solution to the North about the murder of his brother, Kim Jong-UN shows that Pyongyang is not going to soften its behavior in favor of the new administration. If American policy will not change, there will be no reason to expect a change in North Korean behavior. But if the DPRK will continue to go its current course, it may well become a nuclear power of the middle rank on a par with India, Israel and Pakistan. With such a prospect does not want to face any one administration.
Doug Bando — senior fellow at the Cato Institute (Cato Institute). Worked as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. The author of “tripwire: Korea and U.S. foreign policy in a changed world” (Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World) and co-author of the book “Korean puzzle. Complicated America’s relationship with North and South Korea” (The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea).