Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dealing with North Korea

As a parent, I've learned that if one of my kids screams and fusses, and threatens any other kid by waving something in their faces that could be used as a weapon, I take that thing away and I give them a time out.

The parallels of this situation with North Korea.

For decades, this reclusive, repressive nation has been led by megalomaniacs who have brainwashed their people into believing that they are deities. They have misled the citizens of this impoverished land that the West is evil but weak, and through the benevolence of their chosen one, they haven't crushed this foe.

But every once and a while, this puny territory feels it needs to flex its scrawny muscles for the benefit of its people and to taunt the others around it.

Just like a little kid.

When I lived in South Korea, from 1997 to 1999, we heard the rhetoric and threats from the neighbours to the north. How the leader, Kim Jong-il, would turn the south into "a sea of flames." I used those words in my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary.

Just last week, his son, Kim Jong-eun, threatened to do the same to the United States, using exactly the same words. He even demonstrated his contempt for South Korea's ally by tearing up the armistice agreement.

This, too, has been done in the past.

But North Korea's belligerence is starting to wear on people. It's childishness is seemingly starting to escalate. When Kim Jong-il's father, Kim Il-sung, died and left his son in power, Kim Jong-il mourned for the traditional three years, and then began flexing his muscles, attacking South-Korean ships and launching skirmishes in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas. 

Kim Jong-eun doesn't seem to want to wait. With the attack on a South-Korean island and the sinking of a South-Korean warship, I wonder what he'll do when the three-year mourning period is over.

Because he was educated abroad, there was hope and speculation that he would be of a broadened mind, might even relax the hostilities. Set his people on a new path.

But no. He is a child, like his father and grandfather.

When a child misbehaves, you take its toys away and give it a time out.

Here's what I propose happens to North Korea.

The American diplomats go behind closed doors with their Chinese counterparts and say, basically, this:
We're going to move in on North Korea. We're going to launch strikes against every military base and missile launch site. We're going to flatten the government offices and Kim Jong-eun's residence.

People will be killed, as the destruction will be complete. We will not attack any residential or agricultural regions that are not associated with the military. Though some civilians will be killed in these strikes, they are not our targets.

It's a regrettable action, but we must put a stop to those who threaten North America and the Asian community.

You, China, are going to protest loudly. You are going to cut official diplomatic ties with the United States for a period of three years (a mourning period). You are going to offer aid to your ally, but you are going to ensure that no one who followed the Kim family will ascend to power.

South Korea will also provide aid and will work towards uniting the peninsula. They will offer peace and prosperity to their northern kin. Eventually, there will be unified peace in Korea.
This child must have its toys taken away and be given a severe time out. Enough is enough.

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