Now that the Trump administration has discovered that, to get to North Korea, its armada has to sail in the opposite direction, Tom Walkom suggests that it should also reverse direction when it comes to dealing with the Hermit Kingdom:
Technically, the war that began in 1950 when Pyongyang invaded South Korea is still ongoing. An armistice in 1953 halted the fighting, the idea being that the warring parties would meet within three months to hammer out a formal peace treaty. But the meeting never occurred.
It's time, Walkom suggests, to hammer out that peace deal:
The war was brutal and nasty. American bombers flattened the North. Hundreds of thousands of civilians throughout the Korean Peninsula were killed or wounded.And it taught the regime in the North two lessons. First, it could wage war against the world’s most powerful nation and survive. Second, China — while a reluctant ally — would in the end and for its own geopolitical purposes always come to Pyongyang’s aid.Both of these views still seem to hold in the North — which is why Trump’s strategy of bluster and intimidation is unlikely to work.
The Americans have never been able to see things from the North Korean perspective:
Pyongyang twisted and turned. But throughout, it kept returning to the same reality — in a world dominated by the hostile Americans, nuclear weapons were necessities. The downfall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moammar Gadhafi in Libya showed what could happen to regimes without weapons of mass destruction. North Korea wasn’t about to make the same mistake.In short, don’t expect the North’s current dynastic dictator, Kim Jong Un, to give up nuclear weapons just because Trump is talking tough. Other U.S. presidents talked tough with Kim’s grandfather and father. Both survived.Similarly, don’t expect China to work miracles. China may have little patience for its ally’s grand nuclear ambitions. And it is exerting some economic pressure on Pyongyang by, for instance, refusing to buy North Korean coal.
Given those realities, it's time to finish what was started in 1953. But it appears that Mr. Trump is much better at making war -- with his political rivals -- and with other nations of the world.