To recognize North Korean realities

Beijing. — North Korea is not a problem that can be solved. The West may be as many illusions about the revolution, however, the Kim family clan is alive and well much longer than any of the forecasts. Even today he shows no signs of impending collapse, and the North Koreans are reluctant to go on strike EN masse.

Does anyone really believe that for the next series of sanctions, the leader of this country Kim Jong-UN suddenly give up power, and every one of the North Koreans will become liberal Democrats? Or that Washington would send such a number of carriers, which is enough to the North Korean military-political establishment capitulated?

The constant mocking Kim Jong-UN in an attempt to present his eccentric clown are evidence of our misguided approach. Laugh at him the wrong way, but not because of the fact that it’s rude, but because it contributes to the dangerous underestimation of his power. Kim has ruled the country for almost six years, as a brutal totalitarian dictator. It can be treated differently, but he is not a jerk. In such circumstances, survive only those leaders who are excellent politicians.

Sanctions and threats did not result in the past, and for more action from this repertoire will not work in the future. Like his grandfather and father, Kim the head meets the head. Not surprisingly, the missile tests have increased just at the time when the administration trump began to threaten aircraft carriers and pre-emptive strikes. North Korea cannot be called unpredictable; on the contrary, it is the most predictable country in the world.

In addition, the North Koreans are very shrewd. Aiming its missiles during tests in Japan, Pyongyang has sent a clear signal: try a preemptive strike on our launchers, and we immediately hit Japan, most likely the American military bases, where there is approximately 50 thousand US servicemen. This is not the beginning of the second Korean war. It will blow in response to the strike. Is the United States wants to raise rates again? And whether they want this Japan, China and South Korea?

As a means of coercion, nuclear weapons are almost useless, but it beautifully performs the functions of containment and deterrence. Its purpose is to ensure the survival of the country and the ruling regime. The more the United States will put pressure on the North Koreans, the greater the likelihood that they will continue to improve its missiles and nuclear warheads. In short, deterrence works, and neither North Korea nor the rest of the world will never forget it.

20 years ago the two sides were able to agree. But Washington and Pyongyang, the weight of the evidence that the other side will never keep the word. This is a classic paradox: when one side is taking actions to strengthen its security, the second being her opponent, then performs a response, whereby the risk is increased for both parties.

If the prospects are bleak, what can progress?

The good news is that deterrence is effective in both directions. While the Alliance between the U.S. and South Korea is unbreakable and stands, North Korea poses to Seoul almost a no-brainer. About Kim Jong-UN, you can say anything, but he was not suicidal. And deterrence will continue to work as before.

But the North Korean problem is much broader than its nuclear programme. In this country a humanitarian disaster. In crisis situations can dramatically increase the number of people trying to flee the country. In addition, North Korea is an economic and environmental black hole, restricting trade and travel of people across North-East Asia. The program of creation of nuclear weapons will inevitably be accompanied by political problems, but the West must continue efforts to resolve these problems too.

Maybe politicians in the US and South Korea and are not willing to acknowledge the existence of the North’s nuclear Arsenal, but Washington has often happened that he changed his opinion. The United States for over 10 years ignored the situation in South Asia, but then still acknowledged that India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons.

North Korea is a special case. But we to his own detriment ignore the fact that it is a very real country with the current government. The only way for US forward is the persistent solution of humanitarian and economic problems parallel to the thrust to curb the DPRK’s nuclear programme.

David Kang — Professor who teaches international relations and business at the University of southern California, Director of the Institute for Korean studies and the author of the forthcoming book “American Grand strategy and East Asian security in the 21st century” (American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the 21st Century).