North Korea: Whose Lives Are To Be Put at Risk?

MasksEarlier this year Trump tweeted or said that North Korea (NK) would not be allowed to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). On July 4 in NK its leader Kim Jong-un thought he would give Trump a Fourth of July present. He fired off amid great celebrating and high-fives an ICBM that Trump set as a red line he not dare cross.

The next day the American and South Korea (SK) forces shot off some missiles of their own during practice maneuvers. This is fool’s play. All know that NK is not threatened by them.

We know that Trump was hopeful that Xi of China would solve the NK problem for him. A week or so ago he was giving XI a pass saying that he tried; more recently Trump complained China had increased its exports to NK over 40% over last quarter year. Even Trump recognized that Xi was hardly trying but was playing him. China needs NK as much as NK needs it. China recognizes in Trump that it is America that has the losing hand.

Trump has complained that SK and Japan should do more. He has called on his friend Putin for help. He has increased pressure on China. Nothing has worked. NK is Trump’s problem.

I’ve suggested Trump offer NK a couple of billion dollars a year to refrain from going on with its nuclear and missile programs. But even I despair that it would be accepted. The bottom line as I see it is that Kim has no intention to stop developing nuclear weapons and ICBMs until he had as many as the U.S. or Russia.

This is not a Trump created problem. It is one that can be put on the lap of most presidents before him who should have acted before this time. Perhaps Truman’s firing of General McArthur set the stage; or was it Eisenhower’s agreement to a peace treaty; or the many other presidents that did nothing but watch as  NK slowly developed its nuclear capability especially Clinton, Bush, and Obama. It is not a Trump created problem but the ball is in Trump’s hand and he will not get rid of it by tweeting.

I have to assume based on history that negotiating with NK just delays the day for the inevitable decision. I also assume that both Xi and Putin continue to aid NK and enjoy watching Trump squirm and beg. Never has a U.S. president been in a weaker position.

NK’s course is clear. It intends to develop a sufficient number of ICBMs with hydrogen bomb war heads so that it can destroy all of the United States; east central and west. At some point NK will reach its goal of being able to totally obliterate the US unless it is stopped.

There is no way to stop this from happening other than militarily. Yet, we recoil at a military solution because upwards of a million, perhaps many times more, mostly SKs, will die. We also don’t know the reaction of China or Russia to this. Will they push back and scare the Big Bluffer.

Is it being simplistic to suggest that the choice is between having all those SKs die now or having millions upon millions of Americans die later? Will anyone feel safe if Kim Jong-un has the capability to nuke all of America?  Isn’t the idea behind the President’s Make America Great Again one that compels the president to put American lives before those of SKs?

Tweets, bluster and bullying won’t work with Kim Jong-un.  He’s crossed and recrossed Trump’s red lines.  History will judge Trump harshly no matter what course he takes. Are you comfortable knowing that he is the one to make the decision?

 

15 thoughts on “North Korea: Whose Lives Are To Be Put at Risk?

    1. Probably give a speech to Wall Street arms dealers for a $500,000 contribution to the Clinton Foundation in Canada.

  1. I don’t think North Korea is a threat. Kim has been in the gym and is saying, “Look at my biceps!” but he is just looking for a pose off, as are Trump and Poon-tin. Three similar men with similar tastes in luxuries, but all enjoy living high. Death is not an attractive end for them, at all. Too much fun to be had playing the game. Being the boss.

  2. There’s not much room for optimism here, though I don’t believe North Korea has the capacity to build a large nuclear strike force. It’s pretty clear that Kim Jung-un’s grip on reality is shaky at best. Having his harmless half-brother murdered in the middle of an international airport is a good example of how out of touch Kim is with the real world.

    The case of Otto Warmbier is another. I honestly believe Kim viewed the return of Warmbier’s comatose body to the U.S. as a conciliatory gesture. Needless to say, everyone was horrified. I’m betting that Kim was mystified by our outrage. Don’t forget, this is the same guy who thought botulism and a sleeping pill was a terrific way to explain Warmbier’s year-long state of unconsciousness.

    So what to do about Kim’s ICBM? Trump’s first crack at the problem didn’t fill me with confidence:

    “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea…and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

    It’s almost as if Trump is a bystander. There’s talk of South Korea, Japan and China, but not a whisper about, you know, the United States.

    By the time Trump got to Europe, he had turned to vague threats against North Korea — or maybe they weren’t threats at all.

    “I don’t like to talk about what I have planned, but I have some pretty severe things that we’re thinking about,” Trump said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to do them.”

    Not much going on here either, folks. Given Trump’s apparent state of cluelessness about what to do, it probably makes sense to open talks with the North Koreans. Those talks should include China and Russia. Will this help? Probably not. But it’s better than just standing on the corner ….

  3. I agree with you, Dan. This statement below is the one that I really couldn’t believe. What should Japan and South Korea do? I wish he would give them a blueprint on what actions they should take. And to what end? The entire world might have an opinion. Build a wall? And the heavy move by China. An invasion? Sanctions? Does he know what is going on? Is Dennis Rodman in the West Wing yet?

    “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea…and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

  4. Daydream solution. With American connivance China invades and ousts the Kim dynasty. China and the US reunite the two Koreas which means a South Korean takeover. Both China and the US withdraw from Korea. A Win-Win-Win. Will not happen.

    1. Jong-un has over 300,000,000 Americans he can meet with and he only wants to talk to Dennis Rodman. For Madmen in training North Korea is a juicy plum. And its no house of cards. Take out Jong-un and the next person in charge could well be worse. Its a Lose-Lose-Lose and it also will not happen. Some dogs can’t be housebroken.

  5. As the Russian probe gets closer to revealing Glorious Leader’s treason, Trump will use war to keep himself in power. Military involvement is his hole card. Playing it is not without risk. The problem he faces is that a war against Iran, and/or, NK, couldn’t be controlled. Once Trump got us involved, events would start running themselves. Either conflict could easily expand into world war three.

  6. I wonder which of Glorious Leaders sycophants will roll first? I thought Manaforte, but, Flynn is racing him to jump that train. The comparison with Reagan’s people “under fire” is odious. Although I spit on Reagan’s grave, I have to admit that government service, at that time, attracted a far better grade of people than Trump has so far recruited. Reagan’s people fell on their swords for him. That won’t be the case with Trump’s WH. “Every man for himself” is the unspoken motto of the Trump administration. They might as well raise the skull and crossed bones over the WH. Cheese-eaters are lined up at the rat-lines from GL’s sinking ship like kids waiting their turn on a public water slide.

    What a spectacle! All praise to the media. All power to the Dialectic.

  7. Wallahi! Where’s the Trumpist gaggle? Attention patriots! Glorious Leader is circling the toilet bowl. He needs your help. Come to his defense. Reach in there, and, grab him. He doesn’t know how to swim. I can hear him gurgling. Don’t let him go down that deep dark hole, alone.

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