‘A failed state’
Robert Clark Jr.
The North Korean government is a failed state.
Let me first give you a few facts that have inspired this opinion: China is the only reason North Korea still exists.
Without aid from China, many experts agree that North Korea would have faded a long time ago, not to mention the military intervention that China provided in the Korean war.
Many in China are starting to detest the North’s reliance on their government, which is starting to have an effect on the Chinese government.
It is true that North Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) is $40 billion, of which $10 billion is spent on military.
To put this in perspective, the South Korean economy sits at about $1.57 trillion.
This is leading to the land in North Korea being underdeveloped: Because of this, people in North Korea are dying from starvation.
The doctors are being educated with textbooks from the ‘50s. The North Korean economy is slowly being eaten up, which will lead to its destruction either from within or outside forces.
All of this leads me to conclude that North Korea will go the way of the dinosaurs, and soon, if we just let it. There is no way a nation can remain as isolated as North Korea and survive in this day and age.
Economies need to grow, people need to be fed and educated. If the people cannot flourish, the state can’t flourish. Let the North Korean government destroy itself.
So how do we handle the North? Simple. We ignore them, while making it clear that we support the South and will continue to do so.
The last thing we want is a mistake to happen, and we go to war with the North again.
We also don’t want to keep legitimizing the North Korean government by antagonizing it. If you take away the threat to the North that they perceive, then you take away the legitimacy of the government.
That’s because the North Korean people are starving not just for food, but also information.
The North is a failed state; there are no two ways about it. There is nothing that the current regime can do to save it.
All we need to do is offer the current regime a window to save itself.
North Korea and the U.S. have been at odds with one another for decades now. The only thing that appears to invigorate the North Korean regime is when the U.S. conducts its training practices with South Korea in the South China Sea.
What the North Korean government needs and wants is for the U.S. to continue these practices, because it helps boost their credibility with the people of NK.
The only way the current regime holds on to its power is by being constantly insulted by the South and the U.S.
If you ignore a child throwing a temper tantrum, eventually the kid is going to realize that it’s not working and move onto more productive means of getting what it wants, as will the North Korean regime and people.
There are some who say these missiles are a big deal. I say, no they aren’t. They can’t hit anything America has control over.
South Korea has never instigated an attack on its own, and for the most part follows our lead, but should they get hit they have enough defense to block it or retaliate and they would have full American support.
There is nothing that America could do to prevent North Korea from existing, so why not just pretend it doesn’t exist at all? Just wait until the NK government collapses upon itself: That would reunite the families of Korea.
Robert Clark Jr. is a junior in psychology and political science.
Keep Kim on his heels
More than anyplace else in the world, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, known more commonly as North Korea, represents a sick combination.
That is one of irresponsibility, disregard for the welfare of its people and for its neighbors, instinctive aggression, recklessness, abuse of international law and the laws of human decency.
The Republic of Korea, or South Korea, is one of civilization’s most successful societies.
The people there get on with their prosperous daily lives despite a regime that threatens to kill them all with a predictable pattern of aggression and relaxation that, in a certain light, is almost humorous.
It’s been this way ever since the end of hostilities in 1952.
Today, perhaps more than at any other time since then, a crisis exists on the Korean peninsula.
That crisis is entirely of North Korea’s making.
Some would argue that the easiest solution to this is to simply pretend like North Korea doesn’t exist. The state is inherently unstable, and will eventually collapse or burn itself out, and meanwhile, there’s nothing to be done, they say.
Unfortunately, the North’s behavior has already produced bodies in the last five years, and the United States has an unavoidable responsibility to protect freedom and security in the region that extends beyond any such calculation.
Disregarding “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Un, whose qualifications for governing stem from only 29 years of a life where just about everyone he has associated with regards him as the descendant of a god, is a dangerous thing to do.
Almost without interruption, for the last month, Kim’s government has poured on insulting invective that the rest of the world should be accustomed to, but not on this level or with this feverish pace.
Credible analysis of the situation indicates that with this course of action, Kim has intended to solidify his position as a leader and show that he can stand up to the west.
However, Kim has erred. He does not have the sense that his father did of knowing when the rhetoric and provocations have gone too far.
The U.S. government has begun to respond on a tit-for-tat basis that, in North Korean eyes, requires additional escalation.
There’s one problem with that: You may threaten aggressive and total nuclear war on your enemies only so many times, before even your own people start to doubt you.
If one studies what the North has done in the past, it can be predicted that the next step will be an active military provocation.
But, South Korea has buried enough of its people already, after losing a warship with dozens of men, and having an outpost shelled in 2010 and 2011.
The new, more aggressive government in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, has vowed that any military action from the North will be returned tenfold. If they keep their word, the situation is likely to quickly spin out of control.
While Kim’s grand, million-man Korean People’s Army is actually laughably out-of-date and, in a true war situation, would almost certainly lose to the modern, elite force the South possesses (never mind American support), the price would still be very high.
Allied forces would respond to any North Korean attack, but probably not quickly or efficiently enough to prevent Kim from executing his “insurance policy,” and destroying much of the South with chemical- and biological-warhead equipped artillery.
While we should try to avoid a full-scale war, some means to pre-empt the North Korean government should be put into place, so that there can be no doubt in the North that additional escalation will be highly costly, if not suicidal.
What’s been done so far, such as the deployment of strategic assets, is a good start. Additional shows of force are warranted.
If North Korea tests another missile, shoot it down.
If they shell a South Korean target, blockade the country and begin a full court press to sever Kim’s last remaining lifeline, in China.
If they proceed with plans to restart their largest nuclear-weapons production facility, it should be destroyed.
The same old cycle of diplomacy, incentives for peace, and currently, disengagement isn’t working, and has only fostered additional misbehavior from the North.
It is time for that, and North Korea, if Kim decides to roll the dice, to end.
Marcus Clem is a sophomore in communication