Texarkana, TX 38° View Live Radar Tue H 56° L 33° Wed H 65° L 38° Thu H 58° L 34° Weather Sponsored By:

Is there any way out of this North Korea dilemma?

Is there any way out of this North Korea dilemma?

December 7th, 2017 by Dan K. Thomasson in Opinion Columns

WASHINGTON—With the current administration, there seems to be a new burning question nearly every week. Some linger and others are beyond answering except when they do so themselves. One of these obviously is how to deal with North Korea's pursuit of atomic weapons parity with other nuclear powers with a White House itself seemingly in personnel chaos with increasing reports of top level staff changes that deal with such questions.

If they are correct, the crucial foreign policy team would shift to those more to Donald Trump's way of thinking and that itself is scary given his threats to Kim Jong Un.

Certainly, more sanctions and other restrictions meted out by the United States and its western allies is not going to bring about any curtailment of Kim's determination to push his nation into the atomic elite with the threat of dire consequences a possible attack on any major target in the United States including this town. That was made clear with his firing of yet another intercontinental missile—this one something new with a range that makes any site in the United States a target. That is if, as North Korea claims, it has solved reentry and warhead weight problems.

International experts don't believe that is the case, but concede it won't be too long now before it is. At any rate the incident a few days ago when the test missile reached much higher than the International Space Station was enough to increase concerns. America's UN ambassador Nikki Haley issued, echoing her boss, once again warned that the North Korean's would not survive such action.

Strategists, both military and civilian, seem convinced that while this country would sustain a hit or two, the entire infrastructure of North Korea—military, industrial, economically, and population would be all but eliminated by a U.S. retaliation. Such foolishness would end them entirely, an ex-general friend detailed. But then, he added somberly, we may be dealing with a madman on their side and an irresponsible one on this.

There seems little doubt that Donald Trump's sword rattling, while it might have stimulated Kim's anxiousness over U. S. intentions, wasn't the catalyst for all this. The North's paranoia about defenses South Korea's bolstered by as they are by U.S. forces, including nuclear weapons if necessary, has been constant.

Also, Kim's apparent obsession with exceeding his grandfather and father in power and importance is a factor. He obviously sees equality with the world's nuclear powers as bringing his impoverished nation an undeniable status. He also has seen Iran's nuclear development stunted by U.S. and Israeli pressure and is having none of it—no relegation to that lower status for him.

The overall question of seriousness is one about how far he will take this. Will he continue to test weapons, including the possibility of above ground atomic displays aimed at evermore powerful payloads and to bring about their delivery in more and more sophisticated ICBM's until someone says enough with obvious consequences.

One could only hope that somewhere along the line the North Koreans themselves would rebel against the poverty, starvation and abuse that has been their lot to pay for all this. The other day a North soldier on the DMZ, fled south and was shot several times before he made it and was saved by doctors. His physical shape was deplorable from lack of nutrition and abuse. Although a general rebellion seems the longest of shots considering a populace unable to break the spell under Kim's tight control and constant portrayal of himself as an infallible God backed up by steadfast military and bureaucratic leaders.

Is there a way out of this dilemma? There may be. Despite the potential for disaster, there are efforts at negotiations by some U.S. officials, who remain optimistic that a non-violent solution, even one without the use of atomic weapons, can be reached. But Trump's name calling and brinkmanship makes one nervous. Meanwhile, the latest ICBM demonstration has one again convinced the U. S. military that it must be more alert than ever. It has taken defensive steps including bringing forces around concentrating more resources on missile defense and showing muscle whenever possible through military exercises in the area. But even a conventional land war would stand to take thousands of lives if not more, it is estimated.

The "little rocket man," as "the Donald" calls him, seems hell bent for his own destruction and a whole lot of the rest of us along the way.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com