North Korea: No Option but War?

It is approaching “December 7” in North Korea. In 1941, that day was remembered as the “day which will live in infamy,” after the U.S. ignored the evidence that Japan was preparing to start a war with the United States.

North Korea won’t be sending airplanes to bomb Pearl Harbor, they could send atomic bombs, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs, a million troops into South Korea, and possibly unleash suitcase nukes and biological weapons. The world cannot wait until millions die on North Korea’s “December 7.”

The reason President Trump is faced with perhaps the highest-ever probability of a nuclear attack on the United States is that President Obama and earlier presidents condoned and ignored the known existential threats by North Korea to the United States and indeed to all of civilization via nuclear or EMP attacks.

It is not difficult to judge the character and intentions of North Korea’s leadership. Yet for decades, the U.S. made the fatal error of assuming or pretending that they could reform North Korea’s leaders in spite of their repeated declarations of war against the United States, South Korea and Japan, and constructing a terrifying arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in violation of existing agreements.

It is hard to understand why the U.S would believe the North’s propaganda that they were trustworthy, wanted to disarm and “join the community of nations,” and would presumably work for global peace and harmony. Repeating the mistake in the face of overpowering evidence of their suicidal intent is nearly treasonous, yet bad deals were followed by more bad deals and eyes closed tightly to the predictable violations. This reckless appeasement was in place of any actions to remove the Kim regime before they built their current arsenal of atomic bombs and advanced ballistic missiles that we let them build in peace.

Had President Obama taken out the regime in 2009 before they acquired solid fuel missile, submarine-launched missile and mobile launcher technologies from China, tested their Unha-3 ICBMs and tested their atomic weapons, the dangers of removing these threats to humanity would have been far less. All but one of the nuclear tests occurred on President Obama’s watch. This is what President Trump inherited, and all possible options are far more dangerous now.

The Unha-3 is in fact an ICBM in spite of ritual declarations by the media that North Korea is years from having an ICBM. It is a liquid-fueled ICBM, that on its successful test, flew a payload to orbit that passed about 250 miles west of Washington, D.C. just 73 minutes after launch, using a south polar trajectory that bypassed U.S. missile defenses that imagined the North Koreans would only fire to the east towards the U.S. Ignoring these developments is following the path to Pearl Harbor.

Compounding these betrayals to the security of the American people, President Obama sent Wendy Sherman, the architect of the failed nuclear deal with North Korea, to Iran to craft an even worse deal. That deal relies upon Iran “self-certifying” its compliance, excludes inspections of military bases, and then rewards Iran with far more money that in current dollars would have more-than financed both the WW-II Manhattan atomic bomb project and the MX ICBM missile project of the 1980s.

Iran and North Korea run essentially a joint venture on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development, and many believe Iran farms out their nuclear testing to North Korea so Iran can maintain the fiction that it has complied with the nuclear deal.

If you listen to Al Wilson sing “The Snake,” you will understand more about the intentions of North Korea’s regime than did the previous three presidents.

In foreign affairs, it is essential to accurately and realistically characterize the governments of other nations. What are their intentions? Are they generally honest and democratic, or warlike and liars?

The former could be trusted to honor their international obligations. The later can be trusted to violate any and all agreements and treaties.

This isn’t too difficult, and is little different from how you would size up neighbors, coworkers, strangers, and opposing sides in negotiations. Police and judges often develop a good sense of the intentions of those on the wrong side of the law, and those serving on juries must carefully study the facts to discern the good from the evil.

An even more important way to judge regimes would be to assess their desire to survive–or to commit suicide and take millions with them.

Some regimes may start terrible wars but the leaders have no death wish and may be convinced to surrender with appropriate use or threats of force. The very few times the U.S. took the Vietnam war to North Vietnam, instead of fighting an entirely defensive war in South Vietnam, the North eagerly came to the negotiating table. They were horrifically barbaric but apparently not a suicidal regime.

The regimes in North Korea and Iran can only be judged to be suicidal in nature, as were the regimes in Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Terrible casualties by civilized nations in World War Two were required to save civilization from those two insane regimes. Appeasement or half-hearted battles would have resulted in the end of freedom.

As with suicidal terrorists, suicidal regimes cannot be negotiated with, do not reform, they lie about their motives and are not afraid of being killed, and left alone will, like stage four cancer, result in death for all. The perceived glory in the North Korean leaders’ minds from causing terrible damage to their enemies may be worth sacrificing their lives to achieve.

There are only three options in dealing with a suicidal regime armed with weapons of mass destruction:

  • Preemptive or retaliatory war.
  • A coup or revolution.
  • Surrender to or ignoring the suicidal regime.

Appeasement is never a solution, as it will only hold off a suicidal enemy temporarily–and grant them the time and money they need to ready their final suicidal attacks.

War can be either preemptive by the good to destroy a suicidal regime and their forces, or retaliatory following a terrible attack.

A theoretically ideal war would involve such precision targeting by whatever means that only the suicidal elements are removed, and rank and file military forces would hopefully surrender rather than sacrifice their lives in a hopeless cause. Sadly, the regular military forces in North Korea might be too thoroughly brainwashed to ever surrender, and the risks of a million troops invading South Korea are too great to trust that the brainwashed troops will not still carry out their orders after the elimination of the leadership.

A military coup or a popular revolution by those in the country who do not wish to join their leaders in a suicide pact can prevent a terrible war, saving great numbers of lives on both sides. This is the best possible solution, but must happen soon to prevent the inevitable war. Perhaps through Voice of America broadcasts, we should encourage sane people in the North to act rapidly to save their nation and their own lives.

The only other theoretical options might be the surrender by good nations to the suicidal regime, or to continue to ignore the threats in the hopes that they were just joking about planning preemptive nuclear war. However, like appeasement or cuddling with a snake, these options are unlikely to succeed in maintaining for long the fantasy state of peace before the enemy changes its mind after lulling us to sleep.

The terror from North Korea has gone on way too long and gone way too far, and this must be the final year for the regime. No longer must the civilized world be terrorized by repeated declarations of war and increasing tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

President Trump’s positioning of our naval assets offers a hint to both North Korea and Iran that their threats to civilization will soon become history, voluntarily or involuntarily. Hillary Clinton would have been forced to this same conclusion had she won the election, though she might not have been willing to actually take out the regime. China and Russia realize the inevitable end is at hand as well, and are massing their troops on their borders with the rogue nation.

Following North Korea’s usual spring bluster of threats and tests, there might be a sigh of relief if their rhetorical threats diminish. However, it is not the verbal threats that matter, it is the fact that an insane rogue nation is rapidly building a nuclear threat to all civilized nations, and its level of insanity must not be underestimated or ignored.

Doing nothing is now more dangerous than allowing North Korea to launch their already declared preemptive nuclear war. There are no other options remaining save for a coup or revolution. May God help us all.

Art Harman was the Legislative Director and foreign policy advisor for Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, transportation and NASA/space policy. Mr. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Origination Clause, and provided policy advice to the Trump campaign and transition. He is a frequent guest on radio shows on key policy issues.