Donald Trump Should Rethink Asia Policy
That might not be enough, but the Kim regime is unlikely to voluntarily dismantle itself. This step also is necessary to win greater Chinese backing. The Trump administration has a unique opportunity to enlist the PRC as a partner in dealing with the North.
Beijing is frustrated: Kim the younger has ostentatiously ignored China’s counsel and interests. The PRC is tired of being challenged to defend the indefensible, such as the very public and apparently quite irresponsible assassination of Kim Jong-nam with VX nerve agent. Chinese leaders also are irritated that North Korea has triggered U.S. and South Korean military steps which adversely affect the PRC, such as THAAD deployment.
However, Washington must negotiate with, not dictate to, Beijing if it hopes for Chinese cooperation. And that, in turn, requires a willingness to engage the DPRK. Success obviously is not assured, but failing to change policy almost certainly guarantees continued failure.
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. Policy in a Changed World and co-author of The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.