2002 October 28 Monday
Adam Garfinkle On A Plan For North Korea

Bill Quick has linked to an article in The New Republic written by Adam Garfinkle (editor of The National Interest) on what to do about North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.

The four powers around Korea--Russia, Japan, China, and the United States--should join to put a modulated end to the North Korean state by denying it all aid, except aid with tight strings attached that is aimed at gradually shifting its sovereign prerogatives into South Korean hands. For example, all food aid (which Pyongyang currently receives from Japan, South Korea, China, and the United States) and technical assistance to North Korean agriculture (currently supplied by the United Nations) could be tied to agricultural-sector reform overseen by an ad hoc four-power technical group, with nongovernmental South Korean participation.

The problem with Garfinkle's idea here is that the North Korean regime is going to resist any aid that requires it to surround any degree of internal control. Faced with a choice between impoverishing its own people or losing some control in exchange for aid the North Korean regime may opt for poverty and famine as the lesser threat to its stability. The Dear Leader does not want to suffer the fate of Ceausescu of Romania.

But suppose a denial of aid could bring the North Korean regime to cave in and hand over its nuclear weapons for dismantling. To get to that point would require convincing the Chinese regime to go along with an embargo against North Korea. As I previously posted the Chinese may not be willing to do that. The other big problem we have in going down the sanctions road is South Korea. The South Korean people are not going to be happy with the prospect of a sanctions regime and aid cut-off that caused fellow Koreans to starve.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 28 04:03 PM  Axis Of Evil


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