Today’s article is not what has become the boilerplate 9/11 article. However it does deal with a serious threat to world and national security. I have had an idea in my head for several days that I just had to get out into the public. It is more than just “outside the box” and I’m colored way “outside the lines”; with the right people in place and some luck it just might work. It is based on accepting a reality that most Americans simply refuse to accept. Let’s explore.
Most of the world thinks North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un is crazy. An only slightly smaller percentage of the global population shares a similar opinion of President Trump. For the record, I’m pretty much part of both majorities. Just when you think you have either figured out they do something that shoots you theory to smithereens.
I’m pretty certain I am correct in saying that Kim’s number one priority is self-preservation. He fears threats internal and external. The major perceived external threat is the United States of America. This is not his original thought; it came from his grandfather who was the “founder of the dynasty”. When Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada because he needed a distraction from his misadventure in Lebanon, Kim’s grandfather began to fear that a desperate American President would not hesitate to depose a foreign ruler if it fit their needs. That is when North Korea embarked on a nuclear development program. The thought was that the United States would not choose military action against another nuclear nation regardless of the disparity in the size of the nuclear arsenals.
As time went on the Kim regime saw what they perceived as further evidence to support their theory. After Saddam Hussein disassembled his nuclear program America invaded Iraq and deposed him. Muammar Gaddafi met a similar fate under similar circumstances in Libya. With that mindset and the history to back it North Korea is not going to abandon their nuclear arms. It is that plain and simple: the sooner the rest of the world accepts that fact, the sooner we have a chance of brokering something resembling peace.
My crystal ball into Trump’s mind may be cloudy, but when it comes to Kim there is a downright blizzard occurring. That being said, I suspect that Kim doesn’t really trust the generals around him or much of anyone else for that matter. Any road to a settlement of the North Korean nuclear challenge has to lead to Kim Jung-un personally. That presents a challenge. The United States does not exactly have a plethora of people both capable of committing the United States and who can gain access to Kim. Also any negotiations would have to take place in secret which presents plenty of logistical challenges.
Some might suggest sending Dennis Rodman. He can get to Kim. Beyond that, if Rodman is your selection I ask you to think about it a bit more. Trump himself, because of the office he currently occupies, has the stature to commit America. I simply do not see that happening for a variety of reasons. My suggestion is Bill Richardson. That, of course, would require Trump to empower him. He is a former UN Ambassador, Governor and Cabinet member with serious connections in North Korea that if they do not include Kim himself, (I don’t know the answer to that question), certainly include people extremely close to him who have his confidence.
These secret, (and far from assured of being successful) negotiations have to begin with the United States accepting the fact that North Korea remains a nuclear power. This idea is radical and anathema to many Americans; it is also an acceptance of reality unless we are prepared to militarily neutralize North Koreas nuclear capability.
My suggestion is that we offer to accept North Korea as a nuclear power provided they promise not to continue testing and freeze their capabilities in place. That would satisfy Kim’s need to retain a deterrent. While short of the MAD Principle (Mutually Assured Destruction); it is close enough to offer Kim some solace.
Kim would have to agree not to be a proliferator of nuclear material and technology. I agree that one of the worst case scenarios is that a terrorist group comes into possession of a nuclear device. In exchange we would have so make a concession on economic sanctions. Here is where a Trump flaw could actually be beneficial. We wouldn’t lift the sanctions – the agreement would have to remain mainly secret – we would simply not enforce them and quietly spread the word to wannabe North Korean trading partners. This is much the way the Trump administration is handling environmental regulations. In fact I would expect many of the same pro-Trump American polluters to be among those trading with North Korea.
I came so far out of the box that I fell off the table. I colored so far outside the lines that I’m off the paper. The odd thing is that this plan just could work. I certainly hope people more knowledgeable than me will consider it.
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