I know many people who have visited North Korea. During one visit to China, the first two people I met had just returned from there. So, many people leave safely. However, it’s clear something needs to change. They kill their own people, and they send a select few overseas to work as de facto slaves in order to gain millions for their military. Hundreds of them are in Western Europe right now.
Take a moment to watch Otto’ Warmbier’s highschool graduation speech. Consider doing so a moment of silence before you read on. Do as you do in these situations, but give him that:
Obviously, something has to change.
Here’s what I think Trump can do. We can’t do nothing. That’s not working. I know enough about this. Whatever pain that comes from doing something is better than being the frog in slowly boiling water, which we are.
This is a very well laid out argument and I love that it includes what YOU can do. Sometimes the media put out so much fear mongering crap, that it’s hard to have clear, laid out options on what’s happening.
I will add two things. First, in regard to the South China Sea. the Philippines are no longer a staunch ally and Duterte has basically said that they don’t care about the island disputes. It’s not so easy to put pressure on China without them. It’s less China vs the world, as now it’s Philippines and China versus the US, Vietnam, Indonesia, et al. That’s not exactly an easily winnable, one-way argument.
In addition, I think it would be wise to make mention of Vladivostok, the port near North Korea that enables so much of their workers to work abroad. Many of them work in Russia, though I’m not sure “pressure Russia more” is a useful tactic at the moment. I do agree that pressuring European nations with North Korean workers would be immensely helpful. For instance, NATO ally, Poland, has more than a few in the docks, kept under tight wraps.
Last, I will say that it’s a bit moot point on traveling to North Korea as it’s all but impossible these days if you’re American. Since we must enter the country using tour groups, and every tour group that I know of has barred Americans from signing up as of 2017, I believe the only way into North Korea with a certain blue passport would be to sneak in. Correct, me if I’m wrong.
Let me know if you agree or disagree on these points!!
Thank you, Mikey, for a great comment. In each one of my articles, I include a section on what we all can do. It’s important to remind people of their power. Moreover, recent ideologies and wars have targeted citizens, economies and civilizations as an alternative to fighting a superior military. Therefore, as targets, we’re as much involved as anyone.
Duterte has become a softer ally. We have two nationalist leaders in the alliance, but I believe that alliance has the power to strengthen again under new leadership. I will say our ability to pressure China doesn’t hinge on the Philippines, though the broad measures that are necessary need to happen slowly. We need to exit the Chinese economy. The TPP would have been a dramatic benefit for so many Asia-Pacific alliances. Check out my article on the TPP, as well.
You’re right about Vladivostok. That’s what completes the case that Northeast Asia is such a hotspot. It’s overlooked compared to its potential for danger, which is greater and more concentrated than the Middle East. And yes, pressuring Russia wouldn’t do much, I agree with you completely on that!
I had planned to go to North Korea to run the Pyongyang Marathon, and the only reason for not going was I was only confident I could complete a half marathon at that point. Then I went to grad school so training for a marathon was out of the question. However, as of 2014, China’s leverage over the United States has allowed North Korea to capture anyone they want with impunity.
Thanks for a great response. I hope you can encourage more people to follow along as the situation in Northeast Asia continues!