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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Different Lens on DPRK
    2017-September-12  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Paul Kay

paulkaylc@live.com

THE history of North Korea’s (DPRK’s) nuclear program can be traced back to the Cold War. According to TIME’s Jan. 13, 2003 cover story, after the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that nuclear weapons were on the table as a way to bring the conflict to an end. The idea that nuclear weapons might be necessary made its mark on North Korea. In fact, by the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, America’s victory in the first Gulf War and the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994, North Korea believed nuclear weapons would be the only way to create a shield against the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s statement during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 4, 2017, that Kim Jong Un is “begging for war” is far from the truth! Her words reflect her boss’s inconsistent and meritless tweets and claims. Donald Trump’s remarks on Aug. 8, 2017 that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” was almost a carbon copy of what President Henry Truman announced on Aug. 9, 1945 in his warning to Japan: “Japan may expect of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this Earth.” Matching Japan’s horrible and effective direct attack against the U.S. during World War II with North Korea’s inaction and issuing the same ultimatum, is not intelligent nor credible.

Second, Haley’s statement is also twisting facts! For 64 years since the end of the Korean War in 1953, North Korea has not showed any aggression, whereas others and mainly the United States have. Trump’s secretary of defense, General Mathis, also followed the boss’s direction and stated “If he — Kim Jong Un — says the wrong thing now, the next step could well be violent.” The redundancy of these rather immature and baseless statements points to the question of who, in reality, is begging for war? Kim Jong Un or those who invaded Iraq under false accusations of WMDs and also played an effective role in the Arab Spring, and hence, instability in the whole region?

The history and lessons learned by Kim from his ancestors, intentions and direct threats from adversaries for the past decades and continued at the present time, continuous next-door military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, consistent and persistent sanctions toward North Korea, all remind and warn Kim of the readiness and ferocity of hostility of those forces. North Korea’s only defense appears to be its nuclear capabilities. The U.S. and other Western powers’ foreign policies actively, unknowingly and rather forcefully directed Kim to the development of nuclear weapons. The West has been instrumental and directly responsible!

After all, maybe it’s not about nuclear capabilities, rather about the ideology! And the difference in the governing systems. Communism versus capitalism, in the minds of the Western world. North Korea has no ambition to expand communism, none. President Truman stated the goal of the Korean War was to “contain communist expansion, fearful of communist campaign to take over the world.” President George W. Bush labeled North Korea an “axis of evil,” a label that was never given to those other countries whose citizens aggressively killed scores of Americans — 9/11 as an example — but who are capitalists. They are exempt, but peaceful North Korea is not! Ideology factor?!

Kim Jong Un wants to follow in the footsteps of his father and the founder of new North Korea. He has no intentions to deviate from that course and should not be forced. Kim wants the world to recognize him and his country, it’s legitimacy and sovereignty, wants to be treated fairly and respectfully, just as any country and leader expects. As long as North Korea feels, hears, and observes threats, it will feel cornered.

Denuclearization attempts have not been fruitful. Sanctions have proved not to be effective in any way, except in making life more unbearable for ordinary North Korean people. Shy of more useless sanctions, any military option is nothing but bluffs or at worst catastrophic. Threat of regime change, as immature and unrealistic as it is, at its best if materialized, would create another Iraq or Libya or Egypt or Syria, as the West proudly has already established.

Chinese President Xi Jinping repeatedly urged both sides not to escalate tensions, despite threats of “cutting trade” from Trump. After all, maybe President Xi possesses a higher IQ, realizing the imminent danger and instead focusing on protecting the stability of the region, and potentially the world. Western powers, cannot and should not play with the lives of millions on the Korean peninsula both North and South and almost certainly Japan and possibly China.

Kim should not be cornered. So far, not realizing yet, we have been playing with fire, especially now, with his possession of ICBMs and other low-range missiles all of which are highly destructive. Wouldn’t a normal prudent person contemplate the risk of an unnecessary WWIII?! It’s time for us to wake up, take a deep breath, accept the unacceptable and refrain from acting like a child.

Let’s assure Kim that under no circumstances would there be any attacks against his country by any power, as long as he remains peaceful. Let’s recognize his regime and his authority. Let’s open a sincere and serious dialogue with him, not as politicians, but as caring human beings with an authority and willingness for a mutually favorable road map. Let’s respect him, his regime and his people. Let’s remember the history and his legitimate concerns and let’s prove to Kim we recognize him and his people as fellow citizens, citizens of the world. Let’s bring and maintain peace in this very beautiful and respectful region of the world with thousands of years of proud cultures. Let’s be men of character and instead of trying to save face, try to save lives. Let’s hug Kim and his nation with open arms. THIS is a show of strength!

(The author is a retired American educator with a Ph.D. in business administration residing in Shenzhen.)

 

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