Liberating North Korea, and preventing the Korean Peninsula from becoming a cloud of radioactive ash, requires diplomacy with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
Giving Peace a Chance
Of course infamous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is a ruthless mass murderer, just like his father before him. From who else would a starving, oppressed population need to be liberated?
With who else would peace need to be negotiated? Peaceful nations abiding by international human rights standards and not threatening their nearest neighbors with nuclear annihilation don’t require any intervention.
Kim Jong Un, does.
Which is why U.S. President Donald Trump recently became the first U.S. President to set foot in the isolationist nation of North Korea. Trump’s last-minute invitation to meet in the DMZ, extended via Twitter, had been accepted. After the impromptu meeting, Trump and Kim announced they would resume the peace talks that had remained stalled for weeks.
If you believe that Kim’s personal likability is the reason U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are “cozying up” to the brutal North Korean dictator, you are blinded by Trump hatred.
A negotiator on the phone with an armed hostage taker doesn’t scream at the miscreant about what a terrible person they are. That’s silly. Making sure the hostage taker and murderer knows he is a hostage taker and murderer isn’t nearly as important as freeing the hostages and preventing more murder.
Democrats, especially Democratic candidates running for President and hoping to defeat Trump in the polls in 2020, have been highly critical of the move. Theirs is a difficult position to defend as anything but partisanship; it is now considered Democratic career suicide to say anything remotely polite about Donald Trump.
With whom would Democrats prefer to deal with in terms of North Korea?
Getting an isolationist dictator like Kim to even negotiate is a huge win for human rights. Who can stop human rights abuses besides human rights abusers?
Democrats make themselves look silly by opposing something like peace progress with North Korea: The Pope thinks it is a good idea but Sen. Bernie Sanders doesn’t like it.
Laying aside the fact that keeping tensions low on the Korean Peninsula is a desirable end unto itself, the only way to help the people of North Korea is through diplomacy with Kim.
That is, unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences of a full scale invasion and liberation operation; which the U.S. would have to do against the wishes of the international community, and which might inadvertently lead the U.S., and its allies, into a much larger armed military conflict with Russia and China.
A conflict which might end in global thermonuclear war. And the mutually assured destruction of the entire human race and every living creature on the planet. Hard pass.
North Korea may not have taken any firm steps toward denuclearization (yet), but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Drought and famine are happening in North Korea, big time. Kim Jong Un might not have looked it on Sunday, but Trump has him on the ropes.
The signs of Kim on the ropes, including the inconsequential rocket he fired in 2017, are myriad, and together form a clear picture of just how much trouble the Kim Jong Un regime is really in.
Regimes enjoying a firm hold on power do not execute their entire diplomatic negotiating team for failure. That sends a certain message a strong government does not need to send. Beloved leaders do not expunge failed government officials by feeding them to a tank of live piranhas.
Imagine you are Kim Jong Un. As things get worse and worse in your country, you have to know that every single person close to you, your best friend, even your own brother, has every incentive to betray you at all times.
If someone in Kim’s inner circle, in the upper echelons of his administration, expresses even the slightest inclination that he or she is willing to roll on Kim, they would find fast friends, foreign and domestic.
Kim’s Judas would also be wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, and could take power after Kim is deposed.
2020 Democrats aren’t exactly full of ideas about how to get North Korea to voluntarily denuclearize, which is something progressives should keep in mind as the U.S. contends with Iran’s nuclear ambitions while they are still in the ambitions stage.
Trump’s critics point out that Sunday’s surprise meeting in the DMZ, and North Korea, should have been more carefully scripted, and should have only happened on the condition that North Korea make concessions towards denuclearization.
Great idea, except that it hasn’t worked for decades. Obama’s plan of ‘strategic patience,’ is finally paying off- just not on his watch.
“Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator.” — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Twitter.
Squandered is a word better used to describe time spent on Twitter. It is not apt in describing time spent arranging and engaging in a diplomatic meeting with a ruthless dictator who has nuclear weapons the rest of the Korean Peninsula would really rather he not use.
Those who say Trump has nothing to show for his three meetings with Kim so far aren’t paying much attention to what has been happening recently in North Korea. See, drought and famine. And internet creep.
Information- it is hard to keep under control nowadays.
Trump’s meetings with Kim aren’t just meetings with Kim. Kim’s top advisors, his aides, other powerful and influential people in the North Korean government are there, too. Listening.
Every ruthless despot sows the seeds of his own destruction. He digs pits for others into which he eventually falls himself, one way or another. Kim Jong Un’s time may be nearly up, but he is all the more dangerous for that.
Which is why conservatives and members of the progressive left in the U.S. should be united in wanting a denuclearized and peaceful North Korea.
Hopefully one that grows a stout war crimes tribunal.
Peace is a bipartisan issue. Trying to make peace with North Korea, and yes, trying to make peace with Kim Jong Un, is something that should earn someone credit where credit is due.
Be they Donald Trump or Dennis Rodman.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)