9 months ago: John Bolton on North North Korea: ""I think the regime in North Korea is much more fragile that people think." @AmbJohnBolton @ThadMcCotter

May 06, 01:20 AM
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AUTHOR.

(Photo:English: UN delegate Lieut. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr. (seated left), and Korean People’s Army and Chinese People’s Volunteers delegate Gen. Nam Il (seated right) signing the Korean War armistice agreement at P’anmunjŏm, Korea, July 27, 1953.

中文(简体)‎: 《朝鲜停战协定》签署现场,1953年7月27日。左侧坐者为联合国军代表团首席代表、美国陆军中将威廉·凯·海立胜,右侧坐者为朝鲜人民军与中国人民志愿军代表团首席代表、朝鲜人民军大将南日。

Date 27 July 1953

Source http://www.britannica.com/media/full/160426 (a crop of NARA FILE #: 080-G-625728, WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1517)

Author U.S. Department of Defense (F. Kazukaitis. U.S. Navy) )

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9 months ago: John Bolton on North North Korea: ""I think the regime in North Korea is much more fragile that people think." @AmbJohnBolton @ThadMcCotter

Last exit for North Korea and Afghanistan. @AmbJohnBolton @ThadMcCotter

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice acknowledged last week that America's policies regarding North Korea's nuclear-weapons program over the last three administrations had failed. She said, rightly, "You can call it a failure. I accept that characterization of the efforts of the United States over the last two decades."

Former Vice President Al Gore said much the same. They should know. They served under President Bill Clinton, who started things rolling downhill with the Agreed Framework of 1994. This misbegotten deal provided Pyongyang 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil annually and two light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for the North's promise to abandon its nuclear-weapons efforts.

Pyongyang violated its promise before the ink was dry. In 1999, former Secretary of State James Baker denounced Clinton's approach as "a policy of appeasement." Baker's characterization also applies to much of the subsequent U.S. diplomacy. North Korea has always been willing to promise to abandon its nuclear ambitions to get tangible economic benefits. It just never gets around to honoring its commitments.

After 25 years of failure, we need not tarry long (or at all) on more diplomacy with Pyongyang. Fred Ikle once characterized the North as capable of "boundless mendacity." He was being charitable. Talking to North Korea is worse than a mere waste of time. Negotiations legitimize the dictatorship, affording it more time to enhance its nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities.

Today, only one diplomatic option remains, and it does not involve talking to Pyongyang. Instead, President Trump should urge President Xi Jinping that reunifying the Korean Peninsula is in China's national interest. This is a hard argument to make, requiring reversal of decades of Chinese policy. It should have been broached years ago, but it is still doable. There is now growing awareness in China that maintaining the two Koreas, especially given the current nuclear crisis, does not benefit China long-term.

Historically, the Korean Peninsula's 1945 partition was always intended to be temporary. Kim Il-Sung's 1950 invasion of South Korea and three years of ultimately inconclusive war resulted in hardening the bifurcation into its current manifestation. Beijing has backed the status quo, believing that North Korea provided a buffer between Chinese territory and U.S. military forces.

Maintaining its satellite, however, has been expensive and risky. China has long supplied more than 90 percent of the North's energy needs, and vast quantities of food and other assistance to sustain Pyongyang's gulag. China has also expended enormous political and diplomatic energy, costing it precious international credibility, to protect the North's erratic regime.

Initially, China saw the North's nuclear and ballistic-missile programs as a problem for America, Japan and South Korea rather than itself. That notion has disappeared, however, under the harsh prospect that today's nuclear crisis will be merely the first of many with North Korea. Moreover, Japan is now increasingly likely to ...