Blogs: The Skeptics

Are U.S. Interests in Iraq Any More Secure After Ramadi?

It's Time for the Real Questions on Candidates' Military Plans

How America Should Respond to North Korea in 5 Steps

The Skeptics

4) Give North Korea the respect it craves and offer to establish diplomatic relations. Refusing to talk to Pyongyang achieves nothing. Engagement might not change anything, but then, we can be certain that nothing will change if we maintain the same policy toward the North. Even a small diplomatic post would offer at least some insight into today’s Hermit Kingdom.

5) Indicate that continuing expansion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal would force Washington to reconsider its position on proliferation. After all, the United States does not want to be left extending a nuclear umbrella over South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and who knows else against nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia. Better to extricate America from such a miasma and allow its allies to create their own nuclear deterrents. They likely would respond. For instance, three years ago South Korean President Park Geun-hye declared: “It would be difficult to prevent a nuclear domino from occurring in this area” if the North made another nuclear test. If that prospect bothers the PRC, then it should do more to prevent the DPRK from continuing its present course.

North Korea has become a seemingly insoluble problem for Washington. Nothing the United States can do, at least at reasonable cost, is likely to create a democratic, friendly, non-nuclear DPRK. But Washington can share the nightmare, turning South Korea’s defense over to Seoul and nuclear proliferation over to the North’s neighbors, particularly China. Moreover, Washington can diminish North Korean fear and hostility by establishing diplomatic ties, just as America had official relations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies during the Cold War.

The geopolitics still would be messy. But no longer would it be America’s responsibility to clean up.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. 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 co-author of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Department of Defense.

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When Will China Realize Its Taiwan Strategy Failed?

The Skeptics

4) Give North Korea the respect it craves and offer to establish diplomatic relations. Refusing to talk to Pyongyang achieves nothing. Engagement might not change anything, but then, we can be certain that nothing will change if we maintain the same policy toward the North. Even a small diplomatic post would offer at least some insight into today’s Hermit Kingdom.

5) Indicate that continuing expansion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal would force Washington to reconsider its position on proliferation. After all, the United States does not want to be left extending a nuclear umbrella over South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and who knows else against nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia. Better to extricate America from such a miasma and allow its allies to create their own nuclear deterrents. They likely would respond. For instance, three years ago South Korean President Park Geun-hye declared: “It would be difficult to prevent a nuclear domino from occurring in this area” if the North made another nuclear test. If that prospect bothers the PRC, then it should do more to prevent the DPRK from continuing its present course.

North Korea has become a seemingly insoluble problem for Washington. Nothing the United States can do, at least at reasonable cost, is likely to create a democratic, friendly, non-nuclear DPRK. But Washington can share the nightmare, turning South Korea’s defense over to Seoul and nuclear proliferation over to the North’s neighbors, particularly China. Moreover, Washington can diminish North Korean fear and hostility by establishing diplomatic ties, just as America had official relations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies during the Cold War.

The geopolitics still would be messy. But no longer would it be America’s responsibility to clean up.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. 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 co-author of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Department of Defense.

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Round 2 of the Iran Deal Debate in America Has Begun

The Skeptics

4) Give North Korea the respect it craves and offer to establish diplomatic relations. Refusing to talk to Pyongyang achieves nothing. Engagement might not change anything, but then, we can be certain that nothing will change if we maintain the same policy toward the North. Even a small diplomatic post would offer at least some insight into today’s Hermit Kingdom.

5) Indicate that continuing expansion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal would force Washington to reconsider its position on proliferation. After all, the United States does not want to be left extending a nuclear umbrella over South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and who knows else against nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia. Better to extricate America from such a miasma and allow its allies to create their own nuclear deterrents. They likely would respond. For instance, three years ago South Korean President Park Geun-hye declared: “It would be difficult to prevent a nuclear domino from occurring in this area” if the North made another nuclear test. If that prospect bothers the PRC, then it should do more to prevent the DPRK from continuing its present course.

North Korea has become a seemingly insoluble problem for Washington. Nothing the United States can do, at least at reasonable cost, is likely to create a democratic, friendly, non-nuclear DPRK. But Washington can share the nightmare, turning South Korea’s defense over to Seoul and nuclear proliferation over to the North’s neighbors, particularly China. Moreover, Washington can diminish North Korean fear and hostility by establishing diplomatic ties, just as America had official relations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies during the Cold War.

The geopolitics still would be messy. But no longer would it be America’s responsibility to clean up.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. 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 co-author of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Department of Defense.

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