North Korea appears to be intent on developing weapons and delivery systems that are capable of doing unimaginable damage to the USA and to North Korea's regional neighbors. The best result I can imagine for the USA from the weapons being developed by North Korea is that North Korea would threaten massive damage unless the USA provides an unlimited amount of goods and services to North Korea. That would effectively turn the USA into a slave state forced to support North Korea, which is clearly unacceptable and intolerable. Since tests of nuclear weapons or missile delivery systems strengthen North Korea's ability to threaten or actually launch an attack, any such test should be prevented if possible, or punished if North Korea proceeds with a test. The hostile and threatening manner of North Korea's communications makes it clear that any future North Korea talk of nuclear tests for "peaceful nuclear power" or launching satellites for "scientific exploration" would be meaningless nonsense. North Korea must be stopped from tests that strengthen its ability to threaten or create disasters.
On September 4, I sent most of the message below to the White House web page. I quickly received an automated acknowledgement of receipt, but I have received nothing more about this time-sensitive solution. If a person actually reads the messages sent to the White House, then that person does a poor job of responding to them. I hope that publishing this solution will generate more discussion and effective action to resolve the North Korea problem.
A solution to North Korea
President Trump correctly said that neither talking nor appeasement will resolve the problems with North Korea. Unfortunately, the current approach of flexing USA military muscles and threatening North Korea with annihilation does not work either. It is important to note that allowing North Korea to test missiles or nuclear weapons cannot work because North Korea will continue to develop the delivery of ever more disastrous weapons until it is stopped from doing so. The most recent North Korea threat to explode a high altitude H bomb to create an EMP that will result in the deaths of many Americans is obviously unacceptable. North Korea must be told in the only way that it will understand that its threats against the USA are intolerable.
The solution to the North Korea problem is to echo JFK in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Specifically, the USA should clearly state the actions below, and then be 100% committed to follow through on them:
1) Effective immediately, North Korea tests of missiles or nuclear weapons will no longer be tolerated. Even tests that appear to be harmless or failures result in technological advancements that make the North Korea weapons more dangerous. North Korea preparations for tests of missiles or nuclear weapons will be terminated in advance by a quick surgical military strike on the facilities that make the test possible. That military strike will not be a prelude to a greater conflict, but will only be a way to show North Korea that the cost to test missiles or nuclear weapons is too high. If North Korea launches a missile with a "harmless" trajectory into the nearby ocean, then that launch will be penalized by a quick surgical military strike on the facilities that made the test possible. That military strike will not be a prelude to a greater conflict, but will only be a way to show North Korea that the cost to test missiles is too high. Similarly, any North Korea test of a nuclear weapon will result in a quick surgical military strike against the facilities that made the weapon test possible. Again, that strike will not be a prelude to a greater conflict, but will only be a way to show North Korea that the cost to test weapons is too high.
2) Any North Korea missile launched with a trajectory that could put it into range of an attack on Guam or the USA will be treated as the first shot in a war that North Korea has initiated against the USA, and the USA will use all of its military options to immediately and massively retaliate against North Korea's leadership and all of North Korea's military facilities. Similarly, any North Korea attack against its regional neighbors, including any form of "retaliation" for the USA surgical strikes above, will be treated as the start of a war that North Korea has initiated against the USA, and the USA will use all of its military options to immediately and massively retaliate against North Korea.
3) The UN sanctions against North Korea will continue to be enforced until North Korea eliminates its missiles and nuclear weapons, as proven by frequent and effective inspections. North Korea must learn that its actions to develop missiles and weapons that could damage its regional neighbors and the USA are not tolerable, and North Korea must begin to act like a respectable member of the world community.
Notes added on 9/14/2017:
The solution presented above does not imply any attack against the North Korea people, or any attempt to invade North Korea. This solution only promises surgical strikes against facilities that could be used to launch missiles or test nuclear weapons, as a way to prevent the tests if possible, or to increase their costs if North Korea does complete a test.The first surgical strike could be small (perhaps a single cruise missile) at first to demonstrate USA resolve, but accompanied with a clear message that future strikes (if needed) would be more intensive. Provided that North Korea does not attack its neighbors or the USA, neither its neighbors nor the USA will make a broader attack against North Korea. There is no reason for any other nation to promise to help defend North Korea, since it will not be attacked in a way that needs defense. All nations should assist with communicating to North Korea that its tests of missiles or nuclear weapons are not tolerable, and North Korea should avoid future tests.
Some readers worry that this solution could provoke China to begin WW3. China wants to keep the North Korea buffer zone that separates it from South Korea. I agree that China would risk a war to prevent an invasion or destabilization of North Korea, but my solution does neither of those things. China can be assured that so long as North Korea does not first attack the USA (or South Korea or Japan), then there will be no military attack against the nation of North Korea. My approach is to use force only to stop further tests of nuclear weapons or missiles. If North Korea does not attempt to test again, then no military force will be used. China would not start WW3 only to protect North Korea's ability to test more powerful missiles or nuclear weapons.
This solution deals only with preventing or penalizing future tests, but it does not directly press North Korea to dismantle the nuclear weapons and missiles that it has constructed. Once North Korea understands that it will no longer be permitted to test more destructive weapons or more accurate missiles, however, North Korea will begin to reflect on the cost it pays in sanctions to maintain its aging weapons. North Korea could easily reduce or eliminate those costs by simply dismantling its weapons and allowing substantive inspections as confirmation. When North Korea stops being belligerent and hostile, it will begin to realize that the conventional weapons it has massed along the DMZ are also irrelevant and expensive. North Korea has no threat from a South Korea attack or invasion because China would prevent any attack from succeeding. The conventional weapons and troops North Korea has along the DMZ are useless and expensive for both North Korea and South Korea. Even worse than the continuous expense is that those weapons create the risk that an accident could initiate a war, with great harm to both North Korea and South Korea. By simply beginning a disarmament process along the DMZ, North Korea and South Korea can slash their military costs, and transition the DMZ into a normal and peaceful boundary between adjacent nations. North Korea can begin to prosper by abandoning its hopes for military conquest, and transitioning to productive approaches like cooperative world trade and improving the lives of the North Korea people.
Readers are encouraged to pass this North Korea solution on to others in hopes that it will be seen by our national leaders. Anyone who likes this solution may also want to read:
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