A North Korean Crater
All the world is holding its collective breath at the threat of renewed war between North Korea and the United States. However unlikely a full conventional war with the hermit state may be, President Trump is correct to rev the American engines of war.
In politics, leaders should first resort to diplomacy before drawing the sword; but the wise statesman knows when his enemy has moved beyond mere wordcraft. For prudent Americans, it may be time to ready the guns of August once again.
If we assume that Kim Jong-Un is not clinically insane and merely an egotistical moron, nuclear war seems a stretch. At the risk of imposing Western realpolitik upon North Korea, saber-rattling is consistent with the rationale of a regime focused first on its very survival at home.
After six decades of uneasy peace with South Korea and the U.S., the Kim dynasty can be forgiven for fearing the wrath of its own, savaged people more than American aggression. Threats designed to cause American forces to prepare for conflict can be manipulated into domestic propaganda easily enough; to the news-deprived North Korean people, their “fearless leader” appears to be the only thing standing between them and a mobilizing foe. It’s a propaganda coup.
Until, that is, Kim goes too far. What are we to think of his hasty campaign to obtain nuclear weapons? Again, if we assume that Kim is most interested in his personal safety, then starting a nuclear war is not an intelligent decision. Nuclear weapons, on the other hand, are an excellent deterrent against attack from South Korea and the U.S., which is surely something the Norks fear. Perhaps more importantly, however, nuclear weapons further free Kim from reliance on China for security.
They give him a stronger negotiating hand, and despite the calls from the so-called “grand bargain” camp in the West, Kim is nevergoing to surrender the weapons he purposely put his nation through hell to obtain. What, after all, could the West possibly offer him in return?
This is the ultimate end of North Korean diplomacy, but it is not the end of the North Korean problem. The country’s nuclear threat cannot be tolerated. Even if Kim and Trump avert direct conflict in 2017, the greater problem remains: North Korea itself.
Instead of seeking the mealy-mouthed diplomacy called for by the American Left and the flaccid Right, the President should use this rare opportunity to seize the initiative from Kim and reshuffle geopolitics worldwide. A surgical strike on North Korean targets, including Pyongyang, would cripple a state overly reliant on the dictates of one man. Anti-ballistic missile defenses are in place in the region, and have been aimed at North Korea for years; a strike on the American homeland should not be a serious concern.
A people starved and beaten into submission by a clique of champagne-sipping socialists in Pyongyang are hardly in the position to wage an unending guerrilla war against U.S.-aligned forces. Rather, they are a long-unresolved humanitarian problem, and will need to be cared for by United Nations and humanitarian organizations.
The liquidation of the North Korean government would put an end to a heinous regime and free its citizens from totalitarian evil. But it would also convince many world leaders — particularly those belligerents in Moscow and Beijing — that the 8-year American foray into namby-pamby politics is over, and we will not tolerate foreign aggression. This is the real reason President Trump should act against Pyongyang.
The second Korean War could be a triumphant way to begin this new American century. The American is a born warrior, his nation forged in fire, iron and widows’ tears; let us remind the world what it means to fear and love the United States. We can start with Kim Jong-Un.