The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Monday, October 30, 2006

More on North Korean Nuclear Weapons

Here is a draft of my conclusion to an article on North Korea's nuclear weapons that will appear in this week's issue of Strategy Gazette. The article draws from my recent post on the topic.

In reality, there is only so much that the United States could do, on its own or even in combination with Japan, Russia and China, to permanently disarm North Korea of nuclear weapons. Now possessed with an atomic deterrent, North Korea is one step beyond the type of fast-moving, low-cost military operation of the kind that actually changed the regime in Iraq during March and April 2003. Frankly, the time to use a military solution to solve the outstanding Cold War hangover of the Korean peninsula was in the early 1990s, before the 1994 Agreed Framework that ended the first crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons development. Then, diplomatic stars and military correlations aligned for regime change. Even in 2002, regime change could have been feasible, but that was before North Korea, by best estimates, had a functioning nuclear weapon. The war in Iraq has taken the option of a military solution away from U.S. policymakers.

The solution to all outstanding Korea political issues depends on the Koreans themselves. South Korea is the key to preventing nuclear brinkmanship or even nuclear war on the peninsula. North or south, they are after all, all Koreans. Prior to sixty years ago, all Koreans had the same heritage, the same historical experience, a homogenous culture, a common language, similar national dreams, and ambitions for independence and prosperity. The division created by differences of political opinion, and even more, the rule of intensely unbalanced, deranged leaders both north and south, created the line of division across the middle of Korea. Yet, the two Korean nations have a common destiny. They will either live together in peace or destroy each other in war.

If the problem in Korea is personalities and politics, then the solution required is principle and policy. South Korea is the more attractive country under all Koreans would want to live. North Korea is entrenched in a totalitarian nightmare of Orwellian and Kafka-esque proportions. Yet, South Korea, not the Six Party Talks, not Japan, China, Russia, or the U.S., is the only true solution the problem of North Korea, particularly the problem of its nuclear weapons. Would it be far-fetched if South Korea could bribe North Korea’s military leadership to overthrow Kim Jong-Il, and then let them quietly expatriate themselves to some island paradise as multi-millionaire exiles? Would such a policy work? Would a few billion dollars in kick-backs, and trillions of dollars in investment in north Korea be worth saving two or three million lives? In saving lives, it would be worth it. Is such a blatant political buy off feasible? Would it work? Perhaps both answers are: yes, it would work. The solution to this particular problem of proliferation will be unique to its own logic and circumstance. There must be creative, political ways to solve the larger issue of North Korea. The solution that does work may not work elsewhere. The U.S. cannot afford to have only the choice of military prevention or preemption. Russia and China would not approve of one. Japan may not be patient enough to wait for anything except that. It is time for the Korean war to end. It is time to end the last, unresolved hot battle of the Cold War. It is time for Korea, north and south, to confront its reality, accept the consequences of past and future actions, and begin to recover from its bitter, senseless conflict.


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