Mr. Bolton discusses north Korean regime change. I do agree that the only way out of the crises that continue on the Peninsula is through solving the "Korea question" - the unnatural division of the Peninsula. Excerpt:
Beijing condemns Pyongyang's nuclear program but doesn't exercise its extraordinary leverage, notably supplying 90%-plus of the North's energy and substantial amounts of food and humanitarian aid. China's real fear is that pressuring the North could cause the regime to collapse, creating two threats: a flood of impoverished Korean refugees into northeastern China and American troops on its Yalu River border.
Both fears are exaggerated. First, Washington, Seoul and Tokyo should make it clear that they would do everything possible to prevent or mitigate a refugee crisis following the collapse of the North Korean state. That is desirable on humanitarian grounds alone, but also because North-South integration would proceed more beneficially from thorough planning to stabilize the North's population in place and to provide adequate assistance after the Kim regime collapses.
To do what Mr. Bolton suggests requires thorough preparation now. Even if a policy to cause regime change is not adopted, the two paragraphs above are very important considerations when the regime collapse on its own.
February 19, 2013, 6:55 p.m. ET
How to Answer the North Korean Threat
China dreads seeing its neighbor with nuclear arms. Time for Beijing to support reunification.
By JOHN BOLTON
North Korea's third nuclear test, on Feb. 12, coming two months after firing a missile into orbit, brings the country perilously close to becoming a nuclear-weapons state in fact, not just in the regime's extravagant rhetoric. On Tuesday at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, Pyongyang's representative threatened South Korea with "final destruction." Such bellicosity is nothing new, but North Korea has never been so close to being able to make good on its threats.
Predictably, those who urged for years that Pyongyang could be negotiated out of its nuclear objective now argue that the world must accept reality and rely on deterrence and containment. Just as they claimed sanctions would prevent the North from crossing the nuclear threshold, they now say that sanctions will prevent it from selling these arms and technologies world-wide.
These remain counsels of defeat, resulting ineluctably in the North's continued progress. A new Northeast Asian nuclear reality is emerging, but the U.S. and its allies shouldn't placidly acquiesce in it or its dangerous implications, particularly regarding Iran and other proliferation threats.
Military force isn't an option as long as Seoul remains resolutely opposed, understandably fearing that South Koreans would be targets for Pyongyang's retaliation through nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The South might change its view because of ever-more-belligerent conduct by the North. But for now South Korean politicians are again demanding that the South develop nuclear weapons. Similar arguments are being made sotto voce in Japan.
It is simply not in America's interest to see nuclear weapons proliferate, even into seemingly safe hands. But if President Obama pursues his dream of a "nuclear zero" world, Japan, South Korea and other countries long sheltered under America's atomic umbrella will have urgent second thoughts. Mr. Obama has never seemed to comprehend that unilateral U.S. strategic-weapons reductions are as likely to encourage nuclear proliferation as reduce it.
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