Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

N Korea - Proof Diplomacy Works Where A False Step Could Kill 20 million

Congratulations to Pres. Clinton and those who helped bring these ladies back from North Korea. They, like the group that just got picked up in Iran, need to realize that they made a foolish illegal crossing that was stupid and could easily have turned deadly.

They got lucky. But having American hostages held by countries with no judicial standards, countries who choose to be isolated from the international community, isn't a bargaining chip we need.

However, on the plus side, this also shows that diplomacy works where invasions won't.

One false move and North Korea has the capability of raining 25,000 artillery shells an hour on South Korea's capital, Seoul, home to 20 million people. The South Korean people would pay the highest price if our leadership made the wrong move.

North Korea still remains a serious threat to security for more than the U.S. If they are a global nuke dealer to anybody willing to buy then the global insecurity threat increases.

Not talking to the North Koreans in the last eight years certainly didn't work anymore than not talking in a marriage makes it work. In fact, not talking to the Koreans gave them eight more years to go ahead and build thousands of new centrifuges to enrich uranium, and that made things more dangerous, not less.

Let's hope this incident will lead to renewed engagement with North Korea by the U.S. and our allies to steer North Korea away from threatening its neighbors.

The goal should be to engage until both North Korea and Iran select moderate, centrist leadership willing to a positive engagement with the world. Iran's electorate has signaled it wants that kind of leadership. Although it was stolen from them by the conservative Ayatollahs hanging on to power, the undercurrent for change is sweeping over Iran. Perhaps Kim Jung Il's son, the next leader, will also be the change agent needed to open that door his father could not.

If Germany and Japan can change from the threats they were in the 40's to the positive world leadership they are today, then North Korea and Iran can do the same. It took the Marshall Plan to make that happen - not punishing them.

No comments: