By Chet Yarbrough
Time to Negotiate
Written by: Chet Yarbrough
In any war, some battles are lost. The world has lost a battle with North Korea on nuclear weaponization. It is not the world’s first loss; i.e. Pakistan, India, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Israel, and now North Korea have weapons of mass destruction.
It is time to revisit George Kennan and the “Long Telegram”. It is time to change the rules of engagement with North Korea. It is time to negotiate.
Successful nation-state economies must be willing to negotiate economic concessions with North Korea for agreement on nuclear non-proliferation. In other words, the world should adopt a containment policy like that which was recommended by George Kennan after WWII. Kennan may have been wrong on a timeline for the eventual collapse of Stalinist Russia but it did happen. The economics of nuclear and military proliferation bankrupted the U.S.S.R.
Continued suffering of North Korea’s people will eventually ameliorate the totalitarian regime of Kim just as it did Stalin and his successors in the U.S.S.R. In the age of modern technology, no nation can fool all the people all the time.
The sheer poverty of North Korea will compel change or collapse of the North Korean government.
The United Nations needs a dispassionate representative to negotiate with Kim. It is doubtful that Kim Jong Un is irrational; just as it is doubtful that the American President is irrational. However, each is human and a negotiator must negotiate based on a dispassionate assessment of what parties to an agreement want. It is a foolish waste of breath to speak of “fire and fury”. It is a foolish waste of wealth to launch missiles over countries that are at peace.
The North Korean people need economic help to improve their quality of life. The U.S., South Korea, Europe, Great Britain, China, and other willing countries can offer that help in return for non-proliferation. It is not a matter of losing or winning but of compromising. War is not what Colin Powell calls the politics of last resort. It is the idiocy of emotion.