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There Is No Military Solution To The North Korea Conundrum


NewsHubWhile on the campaign trail, Donald Trump, once a real estate tycoon and TV celebrity, made a number of controversial statements and promises. Most likely, much of what he once said will be safely forgotten after the inauguration ceremony, but it still seems that the general mood of the US presidency is bound to change dramatically.
This might not be good news for the Korean peninsula which, under Donald Trump’s watch, could face a significant increase in likelihood of an armed confrontation.
Trump once  said  that he would be willing to talk to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean hereditary ruler and strongman. This might be the case indeed: In recent times, US administrations have tended to start off with yet another attempt to reach some agreement on the North Korean nuclear programme.
However, all their attempts soon run into an unsurmountable obstacle: North Koreans cannot accept any compromise Americans are willing to propose, and vice versa.
For the North Korean leaders, the nuclear status of their country is non-negotiable. They believe that their nuclear weapons are the only guarantee that they would not suffer the fate of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, of being overthrown either by a foreign attack or internal rebellion, supported from outside.
On the other hand, the US cannot accept any compromise which involves a nuclear-armed North Korea. From the US point of view, any deal which explicitly admits North Korea’s nuclear standing is no different from paying a blackmailer, thus creating temptation for other blackmailers, that is, other nuclear proliferators.
Unfortunately, both sides’ positions are as justified as irreconcilable, and this means that all talks are bound to end in failure. Trump’s much trumpeted “art of the deal” is not going to make a difference.
So, negotiations will fail, and then what? Kim Jong-un is determined to create a nuclear force capable of hitting the continental US. During the five years of his reign, North Korean engineers have conducted a number of successful tests of the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and submarine-based ballistic missiles (SLBM), and there are reasons to believe that, at some point during Trump’s term, North Korea will start deploying these weapons.

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