This post makes references to the North Korean nuclear situation, prior blog posts on this issue can be found HERE, here, and here.
This Slate piece is a bit one sided, quite self-serving and possibly isolationist, and puts the international blame game into play. Doesn't the author recognize that China is basically North Korea's lifeline, shutting down food supplies would hurt the people the most (which Kim Jong-il has been shown to not care about too much) as well as cause chaos politically, militarily, and from a humanitarian standpoint for Russia, China, and South Korea.
Not only is the article saying that China should effectively collapse North Korea, but it goes further:
I am, of course, playing devil's advocate here: I realize that the United States has long-standing obligations to Japan and that our half-century-plus presence on the Korean Peninsula has placed us at the center of this discussion.What about the global powers' obligation to stability? What about North Korea's neighbours having the right to make decisions about their regional interests, along with the global discourse (which includes the US, obviously) over the North Korean problem? This article seems to have a bit of 'they need our help, let's not care about who suffers from a nation's collapse... we need to focus on the issue at hand' kind of mentality that brought down the eon-long imperialistic European hegemony and is causing much dismay for the United States in Iraq. (Although, I might add, I doubt the author intended it to give off that kind of tone and message.)
Possibly the most ludicrous part of the article is:
Or, to make things even quicker and simpler, China could deploy the same tactic that once upon a time led to the collapse of East Germany: Instead of closing the 800-mile Chinese-North Korean border to goods, the Chinese could open it to people.The mass influx of people if North Korea were to collapse is one of the things China is hesitant about! That is one of the reasons they are not shutting off supplies and giving North Koreans an incentive to come to China (even fewer food and essential supplies) plus opening the gates wide would make the problem — and source of some of China's apprehension — so much larger.
Just as you think the article is getting a bit more worldly, this comes along:
China also is ... one of the countries most under threat from North Korean nukes. After all, it is China, not the United States, that will be at the center of the new Asian arms race if Japan and South Korea feel compelled to get the bomb. ... Although it isn't clear whether North Korean missiles can reach Hawaii, it's obvious that Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are well within range. So, shouldn't this be China's problem, not ours?The moment President Bush called North Korea 'evil' ("axis of evil") and many were starting to lean towards possible changes in North Korea's governance was the moment leader Kim had a huge excuse for testing. So shouldn't this be the region and international community's problem, not just China's of the United States'? No matter what China or others do, the US government is always asking for more, when will enough be enough?
The piece's author, Anne Applebaum, is a writer I admire. However, her latest piece is not well thought out and — if she did think it out — she needs to work on her logic in the delicate sphere of international politics, governmental and regional stability, and foreign relations.
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