"Salus populi suprema lex est" Cicero, de Legibus

Trump Korea Policy Needs Thinking Big

President Donald Trump's approach to the North Korea issue could work.  But then again there are more than a few in Washington DC who would like to sabotage it.  The Neocons and the Cold War hawks don't want peace.  They want tensions, endless weapons sales, and maybe a war like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan they foisted on America to the tune of $5 trillion or so.

Of course the issue is denuclearization because if something is not done then Japan and Iran could decide to put a few things together off the shelf and have their own nuclear weapons. Presumably, the international community sincerely does want nuclear non-proliferation to become a reality.  Logical as most normal people don't want to vaporize Earth.

But right now is the time for a bigger vision.  What is needed is a settlement to the outstanding overall security issues in Northeast Asia.  This means a new bold vision is necessary for a diplomatic solution to the increasingly dangerous situation.

A bigger vision would see a solution along the following lines.  First, of course, is the denuclearization of not only North Korea but after that keeping the Korean Peninsula North and South denuked.  This means the neutralization of the Korean Peninsula to make it like an Asian Switzerland.  A neutral place.   Neutralization would be guaranteed by the major powers such as the US, China, Russia and Japan.  

Second, following from the first point is the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and the withdrawal of the THAAD anti missile systems including their associated radar.  We are talking neutral after all.

Third, regional economic integration must be promoted to stabilize the Korean Peninsula and to promote peace and development in Northeast Asia.

Fourth, regional integration can be facilitated through a focus on energy which North Korea desperately needs.  Mongolia is a logical source.  In fact, regional integration has been talked up by Mongolia in the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Security which it hosts.

Fifth, there is the matter that the Korean War is not legally over.  People may forget that there are at present no treaties ending the war.  That means that as part of an overall settlement such treaties of peace need to be negotiated between the US and North Korea, South Korea and North Korea, and also China needs to be put into the mix.   

So, thinking big, there are opportunities here.  While Trump is criticized for being a bull in the china shop, a look at his splendorous digs in Trump Tower would suggest otherwise.

Here at SP we are keeping an open mind and hope for the best anent the Koreas.  But we are vigilant.

 

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