NORTH KOREA: A land of no good options
WITH the United States and North Korea continuing to face off over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, pledges by South Korea’s incoming President, Moon Jae-in, to bring about reconciliation by embracing a new Sunshine Policy and kick-starting the abandoned Kaesong Industrial Complex are being viewed askance – in fact, they seem already to have been disregarded by Kim Jong-Un.
North Korea has a single-minded determination to acquire ICBM capability, including the ability to strike the United States on home soil.
China’s words and actions in the imbroglio suggest frustration, while 12 current U.S. military scenarios generally assume a loss of half a million people within a day in the event of a North Korean attack on Seoul.
As the U.S. activates its THAAD missile system, neighbouring countries — including Japan, Taiwan, Russia and even the Philippines — watch with a mix of fear and trepidation . . .
The election of left-of-centre Moon Jae-in to the Korean Presidency on May 9 would elsewhere augur hopes of reconciliation — or at least a modus vivendi along the lines of détente and realpolitik.
Not on the Korean Peninsula, however.
Despite the professed intention of the new President to return to the Sunshine Policy that shone (or sunburned, depending on one’s view) across the Peninsula during the halcyon days of South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun (1998-2008), North Korea remains defiant.
It maintains an unwavering determination, despite a number of launch failures, to acquire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the United States at home.