North Korea and their unpredictable leader Kim Jong Un have been ramping up their efforts to launch a missile that is capable of reaching the United States. Kim has recently claimed that they have accomplished that goal and North Korea is able to strike the continental U.S at any moment. What the dictator says and what is truth is usually far off but nonetheless there is a growing threat in the Pacific that has to be dealt with.
On most issues I am anti-interventionist but North Korea is one place I support involvement. President Trump has been disappointed in China as he believes it is their responsibility to deal with North Korea. In a tweet, Trump proclaimed “I am very disappointed in China…they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!” I am not sure I would say “easily” since North Korea has been a wild card since the 1950’s. Nonetheless, What can and should be done?
Purely invading North Korea appears to be very risky because many believe Kim is unhinged enough to launch missiles at the U.S or North Korea’s neighbors to the south in South Korea or Japan. Most experts take the same stance as President Trump and think China has to act. China is responsible for 70% of all trade with North Korea and keeps them economically viable. If China cuts them off, their military and weaponry would suffer but what kind of reaction would that prompt? Nobody really knows.
What I think is the most promising solution is regime change. I have been against regime change in most situations since we all know how well that went in Iraq and Libya. But for North Korea, it may be necessary. Maybe a covert CIA operation to take out Kim is the answer, who knows. I’ll leave it to the military experts on how to pull that off. The only way a regime change would be successful is if North Korea is better suited for themselves and the world in the aftermath. It is unclear who would be the heir to Kim which makes it tricky but odds are they wouldn’t be as radical. In the past with China and the Soviet Union, their countries improved after the deaths of their respective dictators (Mao and Stalin). China was considered to be more lost than North Korea in the 1980’s but China has clearly pulled ahead on the global scale and is a capable ally of most advanced nations. The same can be said for the Soviet Union. After the death of Stalin, the USSR and eventually Russia has also improved consistently. Now that may very well not be the case in North Korea but I don’t see many scenarios where it can be worse.