Rarely do I read anything acknowledging the geopolitical importance of north Korea:
The geopolitical importance of North Korea, and the need for diplomatic engagement with this country, has been overshadowed by crises in Syria and Egypt. But we cannot forget about North Korea. There is too much at stake.
However, I cannot agree with the naïveté shown by the recommendations in this article. North Korea will not begin reducing its nuclear weapons until the US possesses the same number of nuclear weapons. Although that seems like a sarcastic statement because the US will never reduce its nuclear arsenal to the double digits, it actually may give hope to the regime because it can continue development of its weapons knowing that the US is committed to reducing its stockpile.
Like Mr Bandow in his article these recommendations assume north Korea to be a responsible actor in the international community. But as Ms. Hayden of the US NSC said, the north will be judged by its actions and its actions for the past 60 years have demonstrated that it is not only a nation that lies, breaks agreements and fails to live up to international standards, it is also a regime that murders innocent people in the South and is arguably one of the worst regimes in history in terms of sustained human rights violations or more precisely crimes against humanity.
I do agree that we should engage the north if only to be able to manage the situation but we should engage knowing full well the reality of the nature of the Kim Family Regime and deal with it as it really exists and not as we would wish it to be. We are reading a lot of wishful thinking these days.
U.S. Policy Toward a Nuclear North Korea Should Reflect Reality
July 15, 2013
That South Korea and North Korea resumed talks this week, but failed to reignite inter-Korean economic cooperation by reopening the complex at the Kaesong Industrial Zone, puts the fight over the North's nuclear fight program in the political spotlight. The geopolitical importance of North Korea, and the need for diplomatic engagement with this country, has been overshadowed by crises in Syria and Egypt. But we cannot forget about North Korea. There is too much at stake.
Since President Barack Obama's Berlin speech last month, many have focused on his pledges to reduce nuclear armaments by roughly one-third, but not on what he said regarding North Korea, specifically that America will "reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking." These two commitments by Barack Obama, coupled together, have a clear impact on U.S. relations with North Korea and how we deal with its nuclear weapons program. But first, a few facts are in order.
To be clear, North Korea is not seeking nuclear weapons. It has nuclear weapons. To date, it hasconducted three nuclear tests. While the number of warheads North Korea possesses is very small, the fact that it has built and tested weapons cannot be ignored. The U.S. government, therefore, must change its narrative to reflect current reality.
Second, what politicos have forgotten, or conveniently overlooked, is that in the past few weeks, North Korea has twice made offers to talk with the United States about its nuclear program. Clearly, something happened – possibly China condoning sanctions or Dennis Rodman saying he was going to visit North Korea again – that made the reclusive country want to begin discussing its nuclear program. This is a good trend and something we should support.
Third, the United States has been neutral, even chilly, in its response to North Korea's recent overtures. Immediately following North Korea's diplomatic gesture, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said, somewhat coldly, "We will judge North Korea by its actions, and not its words and look forward to seeing steps that show North Korea is ready to abide by its commitments and obligations." This is a mistake. The U.S. should accept the offer of talks, unconditionally, otherwise there will be no tractability on negotiations going forward, and that is no way to secure the peace.
Fourth, the U.S. must lead the way on nuclear reductions – especially if we want countries like North Korea to follow in our footsteps. The United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France are all committed under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to disarm completely. While no timetable is set for this, we are obligated by an international treaty to adopt policies and postures which support that goal. Reducing the U.S. arsenal by up to one-third is a necessary next step and confidence building measure in that direction.
(Continued at the link below)