To The Daily Sun,
Few would argue that North Korea and its leadership are not dangerous. Not only is North Korea a highly repressive dictatorship that routinely violates human rights and controls all information going in and going out but they also have "The Bomb." And, the country tries to provoke the world by routinely testing its missile systems.
While it is questionable as to how much of the U.S. mainland could be reached by one of Mr. Kim's missiles, they certainly can reach Japan or South Korea. He probably only has, at most, a few nukes and their yield is probably no larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima but anyone who has seen the "after" photos of Hiroshima knows that we are not dealing with mere firecrackers.
Not only would such an attack be devastating to the South Koreans but it would also endanger the 30,000-plus U.S. troops stationed in that country. This writer was once one of them. Perhaps no one (including the U.S.A. and Russia) should have nukes but North Korea should definitely not have them.
At the same time, President Trump needs to be extremely careful about how he deals with the North Korean problem. It would be extremely foolish — and dangerous — to approach the North Korean leadership with a "cowboy" posture. Mr. Kim, his father, and his grandfather have been making threats toward the United States and South Korea for years but there have only been a few relatively minor incidents since the seizure of the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1969.
The important thing to remember when dealing with a traditionally Confucian society like North Korea is the importance of "saving face." Understanding the culture and its norms is important. It would be a serious mistake to back North Korea into a corner with no honorable "out" other than launching nuclear-armed missiles.
President Trump's request for Chinese help in resolving this problem was a wise move. The Chinese have had dealings with Korea for centuries. Much of Korea's culture was adopted from China. The Chinese are much better at dealing with North Korea than many other nations. And, as the president has hinted, China could be rewarded for her help in this matter.
E. Scott Cracraft
- Category: Letters
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