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Switzerland will mediate with North Korea. What should we ask for?

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North Korea has an arsenal of nuclear weapons. They’ve likely got a thermonuclear weapon, or at least an enhanced “atomic bomb” that can produce a yield of at least 100kt. The bomb that America exploded over Hiroshima was 15kt.

Putting this into perspective, a big chunk of America’s nuclear inventory is the W76 thermonuclear warhead, which has a yield of 100kt. The W76 weighs something less than 362 lbs, which is the combined weight of the warhead plus its re-entry vehicle. (Source.)

North Korea also has demonstrated the capability for an extended-range IRBM or possibly an ICBM. If the North Koreans can successfully fit their warhead into the re-entry package for their missile, that’s a credible threat. Of course, we don’t know if they can (assuredly, we know more than our government is telling, however) until they do it.

Kim Jong-un has repeatedly said his nuclear program is non-negotiable. We can assume this means the missile program is also non-negotiable. So what would the United States tell Switzerland to ask for in mediation?

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is set on ratcheting up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea.

She told the Security Council Monday that Kim is “begging for war,” and urged the adoption of the strongest sanctions possible against North Korea.

“Enough is enough,” Haley said. “We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked.”

The Chinese Ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, stopped short of giving thought to a military option.

“The peninsula issue must be resolved peacefully,” he said. “China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula.”

This seems like an impasse. Anything other than China’s tacit approval of a military threat with the UN’s imprimatur seems to acknowledge the inevitability of a nuclear, ICBM-equipped North Korea.

It would appear this is the starting point of any mediation through Switzerland. North Korea gets to keep its nuclear deterrent in exchange for…what?

Here’s some thoughts on that–which has been unthinkable until now.

A real peace, an end to armistice

First on the list has to be an end to the armistice signed in 1953. The armistice preserves a technical state of war between North and South Korea. A formal peace treaty recognizing both countries, their common ethnic heritage, and the importance of international cooperation has to be a must.

This means giving up on reunification except through political means.

Demilitarization

If real peace is to be had, then the threat of conventional war needs to be reduced significantly. The North must agree to remove its Sword of Damocles hanging over Seoul and enter into arms reduction talks with South Korea for peace to have a chance.

As part of this discussion, America has to be willing to pull our troops out of South Korea. There’s no need to defend South Korea from attack if North Korea abandons its hopes for conquest.

America’s withdrawal, China’s accountability

If we leave the Kims in charge of North Korea, armed with a realistic nuclear deterrent (to America), then China has to step up as the adult in the room.

We ask for normalized relations between North and South Korea, with a permanent treaty, and America leaves the peninsula. However, only China can enforce that treaty. So if North Korea breaks it, and China backs the North, everything goes back to the way it was…and quickly.

The risk

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Switzerland negotiates some form of all-of-the-above between North and South Korea, and China accepts. What are the risks?

The risk is that Kim never really intended to keep the treaty, and never truly complies with demilitarization, while the U.S. leaves South Korea. Then China backs Kim by covering up the deception.

Now the U.S. can’t get back to South Korea without facing serious charges of its own destabilizing influence. In fact, the North could threaten to lob an ICBM at us if we set foot on the peninsula.

The real question we must ask is if we can trust Kim to be a rational actor, who has no designs on forced reunification, or if this is would be another fruitless ruse.

Would discussions progress indefinitely while Kim continues to build his nuclear arsenal? Would the North suddenly disengage at the last minute, claiming some minor event as a trigger?

Camp David and Oslo

We’ve all seen this before: the Middle East discussions between Israel and the Palestinians has moved tantalizingly close to “peace” (Camp David, Oslo) only to have the entire thing thrown in the trash by the latest Palestinian leader who really wants Israel destroyed, not peace.

If Kim is like the Palestinians, there’s no good solution, and a military conflict seems inevitable. If Kim simply wants to be left alone, the unthinkable (a nuclear North Korea, left alone at peace with its neighbor) could be possible.

Personally, I think Kim has been raised from birth to believe his own bulls*it. I believe he wants to rule–or for his successors to rule–over one Korean people. I believe, like the Palestinians, he will never accept true peace, even a peace secured by his own nuclear deterrent.

I believe we must stop Kim by other means, which will be extremely dangerous. I honestly hope I’m wrong, but we can’t afford the price of being right.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jeffrey Smith

    September 5, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Pointless to ask for anything with an adversary that doesn’t negotiate in good faith.

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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