Kevin at Incestuous Amplification has linked to an article in the Weekly Standard entitled "Peking Duck" about the lack of help coming from China in dealing with North Korea. Kevin sums up an excellent commentary on the article by arguing we can not afford to take the time to slowly escalate.
How close to a tragedy must the situation approach before China is forced to act? Wouldn't it be more useful (and less dangerous) to convince the Chinese that an economic tragedy will befall them unless they "turn off the spigot" than it would be to toe the line with a North Korean nuclear tragedy? Simultaneous and escalating pressure on both NK and China is the only way to get both of them to take us seriously. With unknown quantities of plutonium likely being processed as we speak, the clock is ticking. We can't afford to to draw out the escalation over a matter of years unless our intelligence and interdictions are foolproof enough to guarantee that no nuclear material will escape. I don't think anyone in the CIA would be willing to give that guarantee.
I've argued previously that since China protects North Korea diplomatically, provides crucial aid for keeping the North Korean regime in power, and even allows North Korea to use Chinese airspace and airbases to trade weapons that the United States should hold China responsible for what North Korea does. China is essentially serving as a facilitator for the Pyongyang regime's actions. So how should we hold the Chinese responsible. I would suggest a US Presidential speech that has a section that runs as follows:
China saved the North Korean communists from defeat in the Korean War and tens of thousands of American soldiers were killed fighting Chinese forces. China supplies 40% of North Korea's food and 70% of its energy. Chinese diplomats stand ready to veto any UN Security Council resolution of sanctions against North Korea. China opens its airspace and airbases to transport aircraft carrying out weapons trade between North Korea and Middle Eastern nations. China has shown itself unwilling to help put a stop to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Therefore it is the announced policy of the US government that North Korea will be considered from this day forward as a full client state of China and all North Korean actions will be treated as actions sanctioned and approved by the Chinese leadership in Beijing.
Let me be clear about what this means in practice. If China launched a nuclear attack on the United States or its allies the US would of course retaliate. But since China is the protector of its client regime in Pyongyang North Korea any nuclear attack carried out by the North Korean regime will be considered by the United States as an attack carried out by China itself. Any retaliation the US makes in response will be made as if the nuclear missiles launched from Chinese soil.
Also, if North Korea sells nuclear arms on the international black market to a group or nation that in turn uses those weapons against the US or its allies any nuclear attack which uses nuclear weapons built by North Korea will be viewed by the US government as an attack by the Chinese government on the US or its allies. I serve fair notice on the Chinese leadership that China will not be allowed to dodge its responsibility for its role in making the North Korean nuclear program possible. If the leadership of China wishes to avoid American retaliation for a future nuclear attack launched by North Korea or by purchasers of North Korean nuclear weapons then the US stands ready to cooperate with China to take any measures necessary - including the overthrow of the barbaric Pyongyang regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il - to put a permanent end to the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
Those who have power should be held responsible for their exercise of that power. What is missing in the debate about North Korea's nuclear program is a clear assigning of responsibility to those who make North Korean nuclear weapons development possible.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 July 30 12:33 PM Politics Grand Strategy|