2002 December 18 Wednesday
What To Do About North Korea?
Diplomacy will fail. An attack against North Korea is too risky because the North Korean regime could probably attack South Korea with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. At the same time, the North Korean leadership is so paranoid and isolated that its not inconceivable that Kim Jong-il could launch an attack on his own.
If you match up the dates, North Korea's secret project to produce enriched uranium must have started at the time of Kim Dae-jung's "groundbreaking" visit, while the more accommodating President Clinton was still in the White House.
Aidan Foster-Carter, a North Korea expert at Leeds University, is near despair: "The North Koreans are prisoners of their own world view. They missed their best chance when they had Clinton and Kim Dae-jung in office. And yet it seems they must have begun uranium enrichment around the time Kim Dae-jung was visiting. How is trust possible now?"
The mystery is just what will Bush come up with? Will China play along on economic sanctions? Will the US be willing to create a naval blockade? The North Korean regime could respond by shelling Seoul.
My own modest proposal to try to make a small difference: provide the North Korean people with the means to find out what is going on in the rest of the world. Right now they are incredibly isolated. This widespread ignorance helps to prop up the regime. They need to be able to listen to radios. The US could get together with South Korean electronics firms to build radios that are small and powered by mechanical springs or photovoltaic panels (necessitated by a lack of access to electricity). Put large numbers of them into floating plastic containers and release them near North Korean coastlines. Submarines could release the radios while staying submerged. Some of the radios would be found and destroyed by the military. But even just getting the radios into the hands of regular soldiers could make a difference. Some would hide them and listen to them when alone or pass them along to their families.
Great minds think alike? *laugh*
Actually, Randall, 'your idea' is an old and very good one, and it could work, but the time it would take is inversely proportional to the number of radios inserted into North Korea. Millions of radios would be needed. Still, its a lot cheaper than war. And it would leave us with friends in North Korea, instead of cinders..
Kim Jong Il and his father's lies have made him very vulnerable. And he has a lot of secrets and crimes he needs to keep hidden. And there is that matter of justifying his dynastic succession, also with lies. Bald-faced lies that won't bear the light of day for very long.
That is why North Korea will never open up while Kim lives. No matter how much they need to.
A few years ago, there was an active program to get radios into NK. For 10 years, approximately 10,000 radios annually were being ballooned into NK along with food and clothing by the South Korean NIS - that is until the year 2000 when Lim Dong Wong (sp?) took over as NIS director.
Now, I get the impression that there are several South Korean groups doing this on a smaller scale, but of course, they are doing it clandestinely.
The US government is currently compiling a study of the feasibility of dropping in radios also, but the time frame is too slow, 90 days. It needs to start happening much sooner, in massive quantities. Or war will happen, and almost certainly many, many innocent people will die.
Bunker buster bombs intrinsically create huge amounts of fallout, much more than conventional nuclear weapons. And a North Korea artillery attack on Seoul (almost unpreventable) would create a firestorm vortex that would kill millions of people..
These nonviolent methods of destabilizing the Kim regime are the only way to facilitate change in North Korea without death on a massive scale. We will eventually figure this out. I hope its not too late..
And of course, since the Kim regime kills at least tens, more probably hundreds of thousands of people a year, the cost of inaction is also high.
Chris, I'm sure it is an obvious idea and that I am far from the first to have thought of it. But I keep plugging this idea in a variety of posts I make. We have to break the information monopoly the North Korean regime has over the North Korean people. For instance, see my more recent North Korean Leaders: Let Them Eat Sneakers for more ideas along this line. See the additional suggestions I make in that post's comments too.
I made this post above over 6 months ago. In that last 6 months the US government could have gotten large numbers of radios and books into North Korea. I think the Bush Administration is doing a poor job of handling North Korea. Instead of studying the problem they should just start doing things.
SK NIS: Why am I not surprised? In their minds the political leaders think they have left the battlefield. Fools.