When it comes to North Korea, much digital ink as has been spilled by yours truly on these very pages concerning the dangers and challenges ahead–demonstrated by North Korea’s latest missile launch–when it comes to dealing with and deterring the so-called “hermit kingdom.”
So, let me spare you hours of reading countless articles, op-eds, and tweets.
To be honest, there is only one thing you really supposed to know: A campaign with North Korea–meaning a full-blown, all out conflict where nuclear, compound, biological and large amounts of conventional weapons are used–would be a conflict like no other.
Such fuelling conflict would be nothing like the First Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, the Second Gulf War or Libya.
One way to achieve such a result would be a North Korean attack on South Korea’s vast civilian nuclear infrastructure. Remember Chernobyl or the nuclear misfortune in Japan only a few years ago? Well Pyongyang could weaponize such a disaster with ease.
Oh no, this would be an epic conflict where billions of people on the Korean Peninsula, in Japan and even in the U.S. homeland could lose their lives in the most horrific of ways.
Some might call such talk fear-mongering. But I call it reality–and we need to face up to it. Now.
Imagine large cities like Seoul, Tokyo, and perhaps Los Angeles turned to atomic ash before it’s all over. Imagine the millions of both internally and externally displaced refugees whose lives would be destroyed from the sheer bloodbath. Then, imagine the trillions of dollars needed to put back together the economics pieces, to say nothing of the aspirations and dreamings of countless billions of people that would be wiped out in a nuclear nightmare that seems nearly unthinkable.
Accept this nightmare is all too real.
And thanks to administration after administration–Democrat and Republican–who decided taking on North Korea was just not worth the risk, who envisioned patience, appeasement or bribery were better options, we now face a crisis with no easy solution.
While I have already gone into specific detail over just how horrific simply fuelling conflict would be thanks to war games I have conducted over the years, such a campaign “wouldve been” waged on many different fronts and have many pathways towards a humanitarian disaster that this planet has not seen in decades.
For example, North Korea does not need to launch a full-out nuclear attack on America and its allies to kill ratings of people–it simply needs to get a little creative.
One way to achieve such a result would be a North Korean attack on South Korea’s vast civilian nuclear infrastructure. Remember Chernobyl or the nuclear misfortune in Japan a few years ago? Well Pyongyang could weaponize such a disaster with ease.
Seoul operates 24 nuclear power plants that could all come under North Korean attack. And while these flowers are comparatively far from the north, Kim Jong Un does not have to be a military mastermind to conceive of a lane to destroy such nuclear reactors, spreading atomic substances across the Korean Peninsula and into Northeast Asia. With many of these facilities lumped together, Pyongyang could burn a salvo of weapons at these flowers with devastating impact.
Or, Kim could utilize his special forces which is able infiltrate countries of the south from passageways or who could already be in place, launching terrorist attack against such facilities. If North Korea were to destroy just a few reactors, imagine multiple Chernobyl-style nuclear catastrophe while South Korean and U.S. armies are trying to fight North Korea’s other armies. With billions of people trying to flee the inevitable radioactive fallout, anxiety might just be Kim Jong Un’s best weapon.
Considering the dangers America and its allies face, the Trump Administration needs to do all it can to contain the North Korea threat. As I have said on a few occasions here, our very best strategy is to remove any possible monies going into North Korea, driving up the cost of Kim to deploys his military assets and develop new even more dangerous weapons of mass destruction.
Team Trump should begin by asking for a new and much more robust sanctions package at the UN–something that stimulates Pyongyang finally pay for its risky actions. As an oil embargo is unlikely to pass and could destabilize the regime–something that could be even worse than a war–North Korea should be stopped from exporting its slave labor that it uses to make important hard currency, currency that of course goes into funding its military machine. Such business practices is nothing but revolting, and should have never been allowed in the first place.
President Trump is advisable to has declared that any entity that is caught helping the Northern korean evade sanctions, whether it’s Chinese banks or industries or any private firm or entity from any nation, would be immediately banned from doing any business in the U.S.
In fact, President Trump should embrace a bipartisan bill crafted by Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla ., Cory Gardner, R-Colo ., Ed Markey, D-Mass ., Bob Menendez, D-N.J ., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, “ve called the” North Korean Enablers Accountability Act. The bill, if passed, would “ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers from utilizing the United States fiscal system, and enforce U.S. sanctions on all those participating in North Korean labor trafficking abuses.” The chairperson should push for such legislation to be passed without delay, but include a 30 -day grace period so such entities could be given a chance to halt their activities. But after that, it’s hour these entities suffer for enabling a government that has as many as 200,000 in prison camps and treats their citizens like prisoners.
But whatever the Trump Administration decides to do–they need to do it now. Letting North Korea slip off our collective national security radar is again for whatever the other challenge of the working day is would be a big mistake. We could end up paying for such a mistake with countless innocent American lives–a misfortune we have the power to avoid.