The Skeptics

Four Ways President Trump Could Take Charge of the North Korea Debacle

The ROK is in the midst of the worst political instability since the 1987 democracy protests ended the military dictatorship and the 1979 assassination of the long-serving dictator Park Chung-hee, father of the recently deposed president. Nevertheless, democratic and legal institutions have proved their worth. The ROK should safely navigate the political storm.

Policy toward the North might change dramatically, however, the United States should join in a broad rethink about how to respond to Pyongyang’s challenge. Neither Americans nor South Koreans can afford a repeat of the last eight years.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World and coauthor of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.

Image: Mural at Pyongyang Film Studios. Flickr/Creative Commons/John Pavelka