Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:
Ten years ago, it might have been possible to destroy their key missile and nuclear facilities in U.S. military “surgical strikes,’ as was very seriously considered by American officials. But current dictator KimJong-un and his brutal father before him so expanded and spread out the facilities housing their weapons of mass destruction (which include poison gas), that a direct preemptive attack on the regime would not prevent it from wreaking havoc on South Korea, Japanand, soon, America.
Seeking help from the anti-American Chinese and Russian dictatorships will probably be fruitless: They benefit from the U.S. being distracted by North Korean saber-rattling. China, especially, wants to distract the U.S. from trying to thwart Chinese attempts to essentially take over the entire South China Sea. And, as Anders Corr notes, China has helped to build the North Korean nuclear-weapons program, “from trucks to warheads.’’ See his essay here:
The only practical response to Kim’s latest nuclear-powered threats is a tough and very patient containment policy. This would include putting U.S. tacticalnuclear weapons back in South Korea, from which they were pulled in 1991 in a failed effort to persuade Pyongyang to permit long-terminternational inspection of its nuclear plants. Such weaponry in the South would tend to make the North Koreans worry more deeply about attacking the South, be it with the North’s nukes and/or massive artillery attacks on Seoul, which is less than 40 miles from the border.
It bears noting that in the early ‘90s, North Korea and South Korea signed the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, whereby both sides promised that they would "not test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons." And the pact bound the two sides to forgo "nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities." Another sick joke by the Kim Dynasty.
The agreement, which North Korea signed merely to buy time, also provided for a bilateral inspections regime, which soon fell apart because of North Korean noncooperation, despite the efforts of the U.S. and South Korea to bribe the Kim dynasty out of its barbarism with aid offers.
Meanwhile, we’d be very foolish to follow the advice of China and Russia and put a moratorium on large-scale U.S. and South Korean military exercises meant to display force and will. As with earlier displays of goodwill, this would be taken as a sign of weakness and further egg on the North Koreans.
We must also step up our cyberwar against Kim’s regime and seek as many ways as possible to financially hurt Kim, his family and his well-fed and luxury-loving retainers in a state whose regime has killed so many of its people, through direct mass murder and policies that have made inevitable occasional famine. This will require finding tougher and broader ways to penalize the many Chinese government officials, companies and private individuals who profit from doing business with Kim and his cronies.
Then we must wait out the regime as best we can, perhaps over many years. This recalls President Kennedy calling the Cold War a "long twilight struggle.''