Some of the things in the article do stand… but it is written from a position which I am not certain is the right one…. It simply re-enforces the idea that Kim is an irrational actor who has to be forced into submission-= when the truth is quite different.
For starters the entire premise functions only if we believe that the ultimate goal of the US is the “normalization” of relations with DPRK… and after so many decades I am starting to wonder about it- having a place to use whenever you need a crisis is a blessing for some politicians.
And it is no secret that American politics need a boogey man, someone to scare the voters with — North Korea has been a great choice for one of those. Especially now with all the nuclear weapons hype ( Yes they made them — no they are not a rthreat to anyone accept maybe South Korea.. even if they do make long range missiles- they are of no use against US mainland ….) Plus the fact that it keeps itself close to the world only helps —
Think about it… although it has been very obvious for decades that sanctions against the Kim family do not work… the US kept pushing them , even when everyone knew that they would cause more damage than good. More than half of “provocative” actions of North Korea can be traced down as reactions to the actions of the Americans and the South Koreans… for example take today-s launching over Japan… they have been saying for a couple of weeks that they will “answer” if the US starts making provocations- and the way they see it joint military drills between the US and the South on one hand, and the US and Japanese army on the other were quite a provocation, as well as a threatining show of military strength…. Yet no one is saying “How come the US didn’t pull the plug on those …”
The author says : “There will never be “peace talks” because there is no reasoning with a madman. There will never be “peace and stability on the peninsula” so long as the Kim regime exists. There has not been “peace and stability on the peninsula” as long as the DPRK has existed.”
It may be seen form the opposite side- in which case it looks like it was the characters in Seoul together with their buddies in Washington who have been trying to destabilize the peninsula for decades- they have done everything in their power to try and undermine the regime in the North and the fact that they managed to hold on for so long is sort of a small miracle. From the northern perspective there has been no peace and stability on the peninsula because they wouldn't leave North Korea alone
The author also writes “And the US and South Korea don’t have to offer the North Koreans a goddamn thing. “ — which is very, very wrong…. They have to offer something- anything …. the easing of the sanctions, economic and/or diplomatic aid.. better access to international institutions…. there are a whole lot of offers the US can make… but the problem is that they are trying to make Kim give up his atomic weapons… It will not happen- not now, not ever. And it is the US and the allies who made sure of that….
even if it wasn’t for the experiences of his father and grandfather — Kim has seen directly what happens with the dictators who take the word of Washington and believe the Americans when they promise that all they need to do is give up their nuclear program and the world will great them with open arms…. Saddam, Qaddafi, Syria…. if there was one lesson for any future dictator in all of these it was : “ Never give up your A-bomb. If you do… you are a goner” ….
Then there is the “This is not a deal making situation. A teacher does not negotiate with a misbehaving student; a teacher disciplines a misbehaving student. If a student throws a tantrum because he doesn’t like homework, the teacher does not agree to cancel the homework in exchange for the student ceasing his tantrum.”
Hmmm.. since when is the North Korea an American student???!!!! In this case Pyongyang never wanted to do the homework, it didn’t even go to the school which had the American teacher… so, why would it be bullied into doing it?
Despite all the loudness the US will never attack North Korea first, there will be no surgical strikes, no bombing raids no nothing… and the Koreans know it very well…. if the US was about to risk having hundreds of thousands of south Koreans killed in order to defend Washington's political interests — it would have attacked a long time ago … but it is not.
Can you imagine what kind of a message will that be to other allies???!!! Who would stand with Washington after something like that….
On the other hand- the US has been pushing itself in a corner for a long time now- and Trump has just speeded up the process with his statements… Now, Washington is really in a shi!!y place to be when it comes to Pyongyang…. you can not really sanction them any more… and even if you do what will you gain….. Threats will not work- it has been seen- and neither the Koreans no]r the Americans will ever fire the first shot….
SO, basically The only thing anyone can do now is make Kim some amazing offer and start doing the one thing no one has been doing for a long time. Treat the guys in Pyongyang with the same respect as the guys in Moscow, PAris, London etc…. if the US started treating North Korea as equal then there might be a chance .. but, for as long as it views Kim and his regime through the same lens that the author of this article is using… then there is no way it will get anywhere…