North Korea

Warning Shots

We can also fire warning shots into the East Sea, also called the Sea of Japan. I think this is something Trump would like to do. We’d have to give plenty of notification in advance, and no matter what we say, North Korea will think about responding, but our many ships in the region will deter them because A) they may not be able to handle a counterretaliation and B) China will likely tell them it’s not quite time for all-out war. Therefore, it won’t go further than our warning shots. In other words, they shoot missiles into the water, we should missiles into the same water. We shouldn’t shoot missiles within Japan’s maritime border, but we can shoot at other places North Korea has launched missiles in that Sea.

This will strengthen our show of force and let the international community know that we are serious about this and that we ask for their support. This will allow our allies to, for example, disavow our actions BUT do something lighter that, compared to what they do now, is actually in stronger opposition to North Korea but not necessarily stronger support of the United States.

Cleaning Up Slavery

Earlier, I mentioned that there are many North Koreans working around the world. The money gained from this work is being sent directly to Kim Jong Un and his military. Therefore, another way to cut off North Korea is to deport these workers or shut down the operations where they work. Ideally, we should rehabilitate them and give them asylum, but other deals can be made that would still cut off funding to the North Korea’s nuclear program. It would also help unify the international community in a humanitarian effort to assist the victims of the Kim regime.

Sanctions on China

We have tried to sanction China. In fact, we succeeded in doing so without much of a problem, but they found a way around it anyway, sending telecommunications equipment to North Korea via their ZTE operation. China even pled guilty to that. They paid a settlement of $900MILLION.

We can certainly sanction them more. However, I have a better idea.One of the benefits of backing out of the Paris Accord is plausible deniability that the federal government would agree when certain states deciding to block the sale of Chinese products if there are environmental hazards stemming from China along the supply chain. Most countries would be in support of those states standing up for ethical sourcing and would be happy to use that action as a way to bash Trump and the U.S. federal government, while Trump obviously tells China he disagrees with those states. Additionally, rules have changed such that you can even sue another country. That changed when 9/11 victims pushed to sue Saudi Arabia. So, again, the federal government simply has to say that our system of government is such that these lawsuits don’t flow through the White House or the States Department and that both lawsuits and state-level sanctions are a separate issue.

One of the benefits of backing out of the Paris Accord is plausible deniability that the federal government would agree when certain states deciding to block the sale of Chinese products if there are environmental hazards stemming from China along the supply chain. Most countries would be in support of those states standing up for ethical sourcing and would be happy to use that action as a way to bash Trump and the U.S. federal government, while Trump obviously tells China he disagrees with those states. Additionally, rules have changed such that you can even sue another country. That changed when 9/11 victims pushed to sue Saudi Arabia. So, again, the federal government simply has to say that our system of government is such that these lawsuits don’t flow through the White House or the States Department and that both lawsuits and state-level sanctions are a separate issue.

4 comments

  1. 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!!

    1. 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!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: