An Incoherent Strategy on North Korea – The New York Times

“The North Korean nuclear threat is worsening by the day. Tougher economic sanctions have not accomplished much, if anything. Nor has President Trump’s bellicosity. Sunday’s nuclear test was the North’s most powerful blast in the 11 years it has been detonating nuclear weapons. There are signs of another test soon.

Mr. Trump’s approach has so far consisted of sanctions, pressure on China — North Korea’s chief ally — and taunts against the government in Pyongyang. These messages have not only produced zero positive results but they have also sowed confusion about his intentions. The president and his team seem unable or unwilling to put together a realistic and coherent strategy that goes beyond pressure tactics and harsh rhetoric to include a serious effort to engage the North Koreans.

There have been some inexplicable errors along the way. The latest was to pick a fight with South Korea, an ally whose cooperation is vital to resolving the North Korea crisis. At a moment when South Korea needs to be able to trust America’s commitments, Mr. Trump has unwisely hinted at abrogating an important bilateral trade deal, thus potentially ceding more economic ground to China, and accused its new president, Moon Jae-in, of “appeasement” toward North Korea. The South Koreans are so upset, there is talk among some of developing their own nuclear weapons, which would compound the present insanity.”

Get a grip Trump Administration, it is not our backyard. We need to quietly go about listening to China, Japan, and South Korea, and support them in managing the North Korean Government.

Here are too well recommended comments I endorse:

Bruce Rozenblit

is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 6 hours ago

There is no way North Korea will give up its development of nuclear weapons. Their dear leader cares nothing for his people. Millions live in squalor. He has prison camps like we have cities. All he cares about is the power of his regime.

KIm understands that the bomb gives his threats instant credibility. Don’t mess with me or else. He cares for nothing else.

China can’t stop him. They understand that. The only way to stop Kim is to get rid of Kim and China won’t do that.

I see three primary obstacles to a resolution. One is that we are operating in the dark. No one know for sure what Kim wants. We keep second guessing him. Maybe it’s time we asked him.

The second is that China views a unified Korea as a threat. A militarized, US ally at their border bothers them and bothers them a lot. If Korea was unified, we could withdraw our military presence. But unless unification takes place, we can’t. Stalemate results.

The third problem is our dear leader. Right in the middle of a crisis, he threatens South Korea with trade sanctions. This is beyond stupid. It shows that Trump is out of his mind. How is South Korea supposed to respond? They have a lunatic next door pointing atomic weapons at them and a lunatic for their protector. If anything would drive them to create their own bomb, that should do it.

NYT Pick


USA 6 hours ago

Nikki Haley is wrong. Vladimir Putin is right. Gulp! Kim isn’t “begging for war,” he’s insuring the security of his country. As Putin stated, North Koreans will “eat grass” before Kim will turn away from the path that will provide for his security. And Kim regards nuclear weapons his only guarantee of survival in the face of what he perceives as American hostility.

Also, while Kim might be a megalomaniac, he’s also human. And when any human, especially a paranoid one, feels threatened, they go into survival mode. That means fight or flight. Kim’s fighting back.

In addition, It’s important to keep in mind that one’s psychology, even Kim’s. is the basis for one’s behavior. And when an insecure autocrat like Kim is in survival mode the last thing they need to hear from the superpower they most fear, is threats of “fire and fury.” That’s only made Kim ramp up his efforts at being able to defend himself. He’s on a roll that nothing will stop, except war. And that would be too catastrophic to contemplate.

Thus, in my view, once Kim feels he and his country are safe and can protect itself, he will be more amenable to discussions regarding containment. I truly believe, that’s all we can reasonably expect.

Also, Kim’s not suicidal. He loves power too much for that. And he certainly isn’t a martyr. Thus, he’s smart enough to know that his country would be annihilated if he should use any weapons he already has or will ever get. And that’s the greatest deterrent.

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