Posted tagged ‘North Korea’

Pompeo Speaks

September 12, 2017

Pompeo Speaks, Power LineScott Johnson, September 12, 2017

Pompeo also acknowledged and discussed Iran’s collaborative relationship with al Qaeda. President Obama, you may recall, helped make billions of dollars available to the Iranian regime for its nefarious purposes. President Trump’s options with Iran may be limited, but at least he understands that we need a way out and means to do something about it. Iran seems to me to represent the single most sinister example of Obama’s efforts to bind those who would follow him to his warped vision.

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Bret Baier interviewed CIA Director Mike Pompeo yesterday afternoon for a segment of the FOX News Special Report. The interview was occasioned by the anniversary of 9/11. The questions were well informed and the answers were direct. Most striking to me was Pompeo’s contrast with his predecessor.

Baier, for example, asked Pompeo whether the intelligence assessments supported the proposition that ISIS constituted a junior varsity terrorist organization consistent with the advertised assessment of President Obama. “No,” Pompeo responded.

Baier elicited news from Pompeo with his answer to the question when the trove of documents captured in the raid on bin Laden’s compound would be released. Pompeo promised that they would be released in their entirety “very soon” — with the exception of copyrighted material or pornography that people still get online at different sites including services as Zoom Escorts Glasgow. “Everything other than those items will be released in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Pompeo also acknowledged and discussed Iran’s collaborative relationship with al Qaeda. President Obama, you may recall, helped make billions of dollars available to the Iranian regime for its nefarious purposes. President Trump’s options with Iran may be limited, but at least he understands that we need a way out and means to do something about it. Iran seems to me to represent the single most sinister example of Obama’s efforts to bind those who would follow him to his warped vision.

Via FOX News Insider and Steve Hayes.

Two Major ANTIFA Groups Spout North Korean Propaganda

September 6, 2017

Two Major ANTIFA Groups Spout North Korean Propaganda, Front Page Magazine, Matthew Vadum, September 6, 2017

WWP’s magazine, Workers World, ran an editorial with the headline “Korea won’t be intimidated.” The editorial posited that the U.S., not North Korea, is the obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula, and cribbed nine paragraphs’ worth of direct quotations from the North Korean regime. Less than a week later, the magazine ran an editorial, “Self-defense and the DPRK” that portrayed the United States as “oppressor” of North Korea.

Holmes had no problem parroting the North Koreans’ lies about their monstrous utopian experiment. “The level of society, the cultural level, what they put into making sure that everyone is healthy, that everybody is fed, that the children have schools, that every generation is taken care of, whether in Pyongyang or outside the city, is just incredible.”

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Two leading anti-Trump resistance groups, Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party, are siding with the gulag-filled Stalinist hermit state of North Korea that has threatened to incinerate the American homeland with nuclear weapons, evidence suggests.

Both of these extreme-left organizations have organized demonstrations against the Trump administration that have turned violent, including those around Inauguration Day. Both groups are also part of the violent “Antifa” coalition of leftist groups that portray themselves as anti-fascist but embrace fascistic tactics like beating up political adversaries to intimidate them into silence.

Both groups are also spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.

Last month, masked Antifa thugs in Berkeley, California, called for the destruction of the United States. “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” the large gathering of black bloc-attired protesters chanted at a conservative “No to Marxism” rally. The same weekend Antifa worked with San Francisco officials to prevent the innocuous conservative group Patriot Prayer from holding a small rally at a federal park. As this writer previously observed, thanks to Antifa, the Left now has the power to dictate what is and is not acceptable speech in California and many parts of the country.

After the UN Security Council unanimously resolved August 5 to slap North Korea with more sanctions, both groups stoutly defended the nightmarish Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Daily Caller reports.

Leaders of Refuse Fascism indicated at a recent conference that the group hopes to deprive U.S. leaders of “international legitimacy” as a means of driving President Trump from office, an objective that would no doubt please North Korea.

Refuse Fascism has announced plans to try to overthrow the U.S. government through occupations and crippling strikes. The Trump-resistance organization plans to organize demonstrations in urban centers across the nation later this year, according to Politico.

Leftist currency speculator George Soros has ties to Refuse Fascism. He funds the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a group that took in donations on behalf of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The AfGJ now serves as a fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, accepting donations on behalf of unincorporated or small groups and deducting a modest administrative fee so that donors can deduct the donations from their taxes.

Soros’s friends in the Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative of wealthy left-wing one-percenters, may also be funding Trump-resistance groups like Refuse Fascism.

Refuse Fascism has characterized the situation between the U.S. and North Korea as “the largest military power in the world bullying a small, isolated country and terrorizing the people of that entire region.”

The month before, the group accused the U.S. of acting based on a “playbook of demonization” against dictator Kim Jong-un. Sounding like the seditious peaceniks of the pro-Soviet unilateral disarmament movement in the U.S. and the U.K. in the 1980s, Refuse Fascism appealed to Americans to forget about their country’s interests and “act in the interests of humanity instead.”

“Stop thinking like an American,” the group said. “Start thinking about humanity.”

Refuse Fascism asked Americans to resist what it called the U.S. media’s “lies and distortion” that put the DPRK — the most oppressive, totalitarian state in the world — in a negative light.

“No, we should not be comfortable with the disgusting media frenzy, full of lies and distortion, that marches us toward not just another invasion of a small country but a nuclear attack that can wipe out millions of people in one day and threaten the future of life on earth,” the group said.

The WWP has organized many of the anti-Trump demonstrations, including the violent “DisruptJ20” protests in the nation’s capital that sought to prevent Donald Trump from being sworn in as president. The communist group also organized many other demonstrations that have taken place in the United States since the election last November and was featured prominently in the documentary, America Under Siege: Civil War 2017. (I am an executive producer of the film series.)

WWP’s magazine, Workers World, ran an editorial with the headline “Korea won’t be intimidated.” The editorial posited that the U.S., not North Korea, is the obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula, and cribbed nine paragraphs’ worth of direct quotations from the North Korean regime. Less than a week later, the magazine ran an editorial, “Self-defense and the DPRK” that portrayed the United States as “oppressor” of North Korea.

Both Refuse Fascism and Workers World Party operatives attended the misnamed “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which an alleged neo-Nazi murdered a counter-protester and injured others by driving his car into a crowd. At the abortive rally, Antifa supporters physically assaulted reporters and others and set off on a statue-toppling spree targeting monuments commemorating Confederate figures from the Civil War.

Among WWP’s stated objectives are giving birth to a worldwide socialist revolution and “the shutdown of the Pentagon and the use of the war budget” — meaning the resources of the Department of Defense — “to improve the lives of the working class and especially the oppressed peoples.”

Founded in 1959, the WWP “is one of the most hardcore Marxist organizations of any consequence in the U.S.,” according to Trevor Loudon’s online encyclopedia of politics, KeyWiki. The party incorporates elements of Stalin, Mao, and Trotsky into its revolutionary philosophy.

The party’s first secretary, Larry Holmes, led an official delegation to North Korea in July 2013 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the armistice that provisionally ended hostilities in the Korean War. At the time he acknowledged the WWP has “been developing a relationship with the DPRK for more than 40 years.”

“The purpose of our trip was simple — it was an important occasion for the DPRK and an opportune time to reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with them,” he said.

Holmes had no problem parroting the North Koreans’ lies about their monstrous utopian experiment. “The level of society, the cultural level, what they put into making sure that everyone is healthy, that everybody is fed, that the children have schools, that every generation is taken care of, whether in Pyongyang or outside the city, is just incredible.”

Anyone who up till now doubted Antifa was a seditious, anti-American movement, may now shed all doubt.

But there are still Democrats and left-wingers who romanticize Antifa because its hooded thugs supposedly stood up to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. And some prominent Democrats are actually part of Antifa. For example, Refuse Fascism lists Ivy League academic and DNC platform member Cornel West as one of its “initiators.”

Many Democrats who aren’t part of Antifa aren’t exactly strangers to its goals and tactics.

Remember that the Democratic Party, by way of a DNC resolution supporting Black Lives Matter, officially endorses black-on-white violence and the murder of police officers. Condemning vicious radical left-wing hooligans hurts Democrat office-holders’ reelection chances as they risk being ridiculed by Michael Moore and others for being soft on “fascism.”

President Obama allowed Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to run wild in recent years. Obama even rewarded riot-inciters and those who support killing police by hosting them at the White House. Instead of protecting citizens and their property, some politicians even admit pro-rioting policies openly, as when then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D), at the time a DNC executive, acknowledged in 2015 that authorities “gave those who wished to destroy space to do that.”

Don’t expect Democrats, or the handful of Republicans like Paul Ryan, who have endorsed Antifa to abandon the movement anytime soon no matter how rabid its support for North Korea becomes.

Trump, Putin, Xi: Talking fades to shows of force

July 31, 2017

Trump, Putin, Xi: Talking fades to shows of force, DEBKAfile, July 31, 2017

(Please see also, Haley Says ‘No Value’ in Another UN Resolution Against North Korea: ‘The Time for Talk Is Over’. — DM)

The message from Beijing was clear: The threat to Chicago and Los Angeles would have to be dealt with by the White House in Washington, not Beijing.

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Over the weekend, three world leaders, US president Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s leader Xi Jinping stepped off the diplomatic path over their differences on world issues and switched to displays of military might.

In a show of force after North Korea’s two ICBM tests, two US B-1B bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons, escorted by South Korean and Japanese fighters, took off from Guam Saturday, July 29 and cut across the Korean peninsula. There was no word on whether they entered North Korean skies.

Further west, US Vice President Mike Pence toured East European capitals. Speaking in Tallinn, Estonia, he assured “our Baltic allies” – as well as Georgia and Montenegro, his next destinations: “We are with you and will stand with you on behalf of freedom.”  He said that the president would soon sign the latest round of sanctions voted on by Congress, since “Russia’s destabilizing activities and support for rogue regimes and its activities in Ukraine are unacceptable.”

Shortly after President Donald Trump criticized China over failing to deal with North Korea, President Xi Jinping in a general’s uniform viewed a huge military parade Sunday marking the People’s Liberation Army’s 90th anniversary. Xi is the PLA’s commander in chief. Whereas the annual parade usually takes place in Beijing, this one was staged at the remote Zhurihe military base in Inner Mongolia., with the participation of 12,000 soldiers, 100 bombers and fighters and a display of 600 weapons systems, 40 percent of them new products of China’s arms industries.
“The world isn’t safe at the moment,” the Chinese president told his people. “A strong army is needed more than ever.”

The Russian president meanwhile showcased his naval might in a huge parade of vessels stretching from the Dnieper River in Moscow to Saint Petersburg, through the Baltic port of Kaliningrad, to Crimea on the Black Sea and up to Russia’s Syrian base at Tartus.  Taking part were 50 warships and submarines.

Standing on the deck of the presidential warship as it sailed past the Kremlin’s walls, Putin congratulated the Russian navy on its great advances.

He then disembarked, headed to his office and ordered 755 U.S. diplomats to leave the country by Sept. 1, in retaliation for the new round of sanctions against Russia ordered by the US Congress. More than 1,000 people are currently employed at the Moscow embassy and three US consulates in Russia.

“We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had much hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon,” Putin said. “It is time for us to show that we will not leave anything unanswered.” He added menacingly that there are many areas of Russian-American cooperation whose discontinuation would be harmful to the US. “I hope we don’t have to go there,” he said.

These muscle-flexing steps by the three world powers add up to an ominous shift from their brink-of-cold war diplomatic interaction to a new level with the potential for tipping over into limited military clashes.

The penny has finally dropped for Trump that President Xi has no intention of cracking down on North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, even though he declared after a successful second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that “the US mainland is without our striking range.”

The message from Beijing was clear: The threat to Chicago and Los Angeles would have to be dealt with by the White House in Washington, not Beijing.

Xi may accept that the US president may eventually be forced to take some military action against North Korea’s missile and nuclear facilities. But he may also be counting on such action being a one-off, like the 59-US Tomahawk missile barrage that hit the Syrian air base of Shayrat on April 7.  Because that dramatic strike was not the start of an organized campaign against the regime in Damascus, it failed to unseat Bashar Assad and in fact made him stronger. Once America has vented its anger, the Chinese president hopes its military offensive against Kim will be over and done with.

For six months, Putin waited to see whether Trump was able to beat down the media-boosted war waged against his presidency by political and intelligence enemies at home, much of it focused on the Russian dimension. His patience with the US president and his troubles at home is clearly at an end.

On Sunday, July 30, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the new sanctions “completely weird and unacceptable,” adding “If the US side decides to move further towards further deterioration we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate,” he stressed.

The gloves have clearly come off for the ramping up of friction among the three powers in the various world flashpoint arenas, whether in Europe, the Far East, or other places.

Rex Tillerson authorizes North Korea travel ban

July 21, 2017

Rex Tillerson authorizes North Korea travel ban, Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke, July 21, 2017

The ban is due to “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention” by the rogue regime. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has decided to ban all travel by Americans to North Korea, due to “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention” by the rogue regime.

“Once in effect, U.S. passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and individuals will be required to obtain a passport with a special validation in order to travel to or within North Korea,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Friday.

Hallelujah — North Korea thinks Trump’s nuts

June 24, 2017

Hallelujah — North Korea thinks Trump’s nuts, Washington Times

President Donald Trump speaks during the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

We want our enemies quaking in their boots, uncertain of how America might react.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

North Korea, via its state-run Communist Party newspaper, put out the message that President Donald Trump’s a “psychopath” who needs to be curbed and controlled.

Hallelujah. North Korea thinks Trump’s a nutcase. It’s just such messaging that’s great for America — that’s great for America’s national security.

This is what the Communist Party newspaper wrote: “South Korea must realize that following psychopath Trump … will only lead to disaster.”

Awesome.

The more U.S. enemies regard U.S. leaders as basket cases, one cross word shy of flying off the handle and starting a worldwide war, the better. In terrorist lingo, that’s called Respect. And with respect, comes hesitation to act impulsively — something we surely want terrorists, murderous nations and despotic dictators to keep in mind as they go about planning their terroristic murderous, despotic aggressions.

We want our enemies quaking in their boots, uncertain of how America might react.

Leftists will wring hands and moan, wailing about the loss of America’s diplomatic prowess on the world stage. But let ‘em moan. America’s allies — our true allies — already know Trump’s not a live wire, poised to push the nuclear button. As for the rest? Fact is, diplomacy’s overrated.

We saw diplomacy under Barack Obama, and it brought us red line upon ISIS-expanding red line, with a little anti-Israel, anti-West Iranian treaty thrown in for good measure. North Korea loved America when Obama was in charge. The regime could shoot off as many test missiles as it liked without having to fear anything more than a strongly worded memo from the Obama administration.

Now, with Trump at the White House helm?

Why, there’s “Mad Dog” Mattis — and who the heck knows what he’s up to? The guy doesn’t even allow the press to travel with him. It’s almost as if — and perish the thought — but it’s almost as if he doesn’t care what the world thinks of him.

It’s almost as if he’s more focused on military matters than poll numbers and overseas’ perceptions.

And now Trump’s been labeled a “psychopath” by the brutal North Korean regime?

Well now, national security for America has indeed taken a turn for the better. We can all sleep safely knowing America’s enemies are having trouble sleeping safely.

How to Defuse the Crisis with North Korea

May 2, 2017

How to Defuse the Crisis with North Korea, American ThinkerHerbert E. Meyer, May 2, 2017

(There is no excellent solution and the concept behind the suggestion needs to be expanded. However, something along its lines may be the best we can do. North Korean peasants would be better off as East German clones and China would prefer the arrangement to a reunification of North and South Korea. Please see also, Krauthammer: U.S. does have cards to play against North Korea and my parenthetical comment there. — DM)

North Koreans would have far more confidence that a guarantee of sovereignty by the U.S. and South Korea would hold if China’s leaders backed it publicly, as well as privately. And if the Chinese would promise to provide the level of economic support that North Korea needs to keep it at least stable, and perhaps more prosperous than it is now, that would help encourage the generals to act. Let’s hope that President Trump at least talked about all this when he met at Mar-a-Lago last month with his new best-buddy, Chinese president Xi.

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The looming crisis with North Korea provides a perfect illustration of what’s gone wrong with the way Washington works. Everyone is so eager to propose a policy, no one can be bothered to articulate an objective. So policymakers start arguing about what to do, before deciding what they want to accomplish. That’s like arguing over what route to take, before deciding where you want to go. (Which, to point out the obvious, is why we keep ending up in the middle of nowhere, or upside down in a ditch.)

Here’s one possible objective that would defuse this crisis and perhaps even bring a few decades of stability: to turn North Korea into a modern version of East Germany.

For those of you too young to remember the Cold War, during those decades after World War II Germany was divided. West Germany was free, prosperous, and an American ally. East Germany was a miserable dictatorship, not very prosperous, and a Soviet satellite. (To get a feel for what life was like in East Germany, watch the great movie The Lives of Others, and the German television seriesWeissensee.) But during all these decades, East Germany was never a threat to West Germany, or to the U.S. Its communist regime wanted only to be left alone. And in return, the West Germans and the Americans made it absolutely clear they had no intention of unifying Germany by attacking or otherwise bringing down the East.

When the Korean war ended with an armistice in 1953, that country was divided. South Korea became free, prosperous, and an American ally. North Korea became a miserable dictatorship, not very prosperous, and a sort-of satellite of China. The difference between Germany and Korea is that while East Germany wanted only to be left alone, North Korea keeps threatening to conquer South Korea and reunify the country under its control, and to fire nuclear-armed missiles at the U.S. itself.

President Trump’s Got Their Attention

But now, for the first time in its history — and thanks entirely to President Trump — North Korea faces the real possibility of a massive military attack, certainly to destroy its nuclear facilities and perhaps even to obliterate the regime itself. And there’s nothing like the looming prospect of an attack by the United States to get a government’s attention.

Simply put, it may be possible to defuse the current crisis without a war by cutting a deal along these lines: If North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons and cease threatening South Korea and the U.S., the U.S. and South Korea will guarantee North Korea’s sovereignty.

Once again, there’s an historic parallel between Korea and Germany: Adolf Hitler was crazy; a foaming-at-the-mouth, chewing-the-carpet raving lunatic. He was also a brilliant, cunning politician who not only held onto power, but who kept within his grip the total loyalty of Germany’s military leaders. These generals weren’t crazy; they were hard, practical, highly intelligent men who had fought and lost World War I and then rebuilt Germany’s war machine. They knew in their bones that another world war would devastate their country. They understood that invading Russia would end in catastrophe.

Yet the generals didn’t get rid of Hitler. While a small number were prepared to overthrow Hitler, most were caught up in appalling, fawning loyalty to him that had more to do with twisted psychology than with military strategy. The minority willing to act received no encouragement from the Western Allies. The others plunged ahead, caught in Hitler’s hypnotic spell. There’s no way to know this for sure, but it’s widely accepted among historians that if the generals had gotten rid of Hitler in 1937 or 1938, there would not have been a Second World War. (Plots to overthrow Hitler by some brave German continued after the war started, but by that time it was too late; all their efforts failed.)

We can argue all day whether Kim Jong-un is crazy, but it’s obvious he isn’t, um, normal. He’s held onto power, and he’s kept within his grip the loyalty of North Korea’s generals. These generals aren’t crazy. Crazy people cannot build weapons, organize complex programs to develop nuclear bombs — or build roads, operate electric power systems, keep the trains and buses running, assure that at least some food gets produced and distributed, operate schools and hospitals. They must be hard, practical, and highly intelligent. And while they may not be charming and fun to hang out with, they aren’t suicidal.

How to Organize a Coup d’Etat

Today, just like the German generals in the Spring of 1939, North Korea’s generals are careening toward war. But the point of studying history is to learn from it. Back in 1939 there was no serious effort in London, Paris, and Washington to try and break Hitler’s grip on his generals and to help them organize a coup d’etat. So the world plunged into war. Might it be possible to do this now? Is there some way to break Kim Jong-un’s grip on his generals — to snap them out of their hypnotic spell and help them to organize a coup before it’s too late?

For an effort like this to have even a chance of success, we’ll need answers to these questions:

Who are these guys? Presumably our intelligence service knows at least something about the two or three dozen officials who actually run North Korea. Well, which ones are most likely to abandon Kim and work with us? Who are the ones we would like to see take power?

How do we reach them? Of course, we can communicate with these generals over the airwaves, so to speak. That would involve official statements by President Trump and his national security team threatening war, and clearly offering a guarantee of regime survival in exchange for disarmament. But there must also be ways of reaching these officials individually — and very privately.

What precisely do we want them to do? We want the generals to replace Kim and his closest advisors with officials who will work with the U.S. to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, then work with South Korea to establish the kind of sullen but stable peace that existed for decades between West and East Germany.

What help do they need? It’s possible that a serious threat to attack by President Trump, combined with the offer of regime survival in return for disarmament, will be sufficient to push at least some of the generals into taking action. But they may need more help, for instance a massive propaganda campaign to generate support for them before they act by telling the North Korean population how their lives will become immeasurably better once Kim is replaced. The generals also may need the kind of help that only a powerful intelligence service like ours can provide, for instance a covert communications system so they can be in touch with us, and with one another, without being overheard by Pyongyang’s security officials. They may even need the kind of help only the Pentagon can provide, for instance SEAL Team Six.

China’s help would vastly increase the chances of success. Beijing’s diplomatic and intelligence services probably have a better grasp of what’s actually going on in Pyongyang than ours. And they can probably provide detailed information about which generals to work with, and which to avoid — or remove. Most of all, the North Koreans would have far more confidence that a guarantee of sovereignty by the U.S. and South Korea would hold if China’s leaders backed it publicly, as well as privately. And if the Chinese would promise to provide the level of economic support that North Korea needs to keep it at least stable, and perhaps more prosperous than it is now, that would help encourage the generals to act. Let’s hope that President Trump at least talked about all this when he met at Mar-a-Lago last month with his new best-buddy, Chinese president Xi.

Don’t bother asking the usual Washington policymakers whether turning North Korea into a modern version of East Germany might actually be possible. They will reply — in unison, within two-billionths of a second — No, this is impossible! Kim Jong-un is crazy, and the North Koreans will never give up their nukes or agree to stop threatening South Korea and the U.S. Well, they may be right. On the other hand, these are mostly the same geniuses who told us, also with 100 percent confidence, that it was impossible to win the Cold War, and impossible for Donald Trump to get elected president. Impossible things sometimes do happen, even in politics — especially in politics. Given the risk we face of nuclear war, this is worth a shot.

Krauthammer: U.S. does have cards to play against North Korea

April 21, 2017

Krauthammer: U.S. does have cards to play against North Korea, Mercury News, April 20, 2017

(Mr. Krauthammer offers a reasonable alternative to the reunification of North and South Korea.

Do present-day South Koreans really want reunification? Nearly half a century ago, when I was an Army JAG officer and spent two tours of duty in South Korea, I travelled widely and got to know many Koreans. They were generally enthusiastic about reunification. Now? Not so much, I think.

German reunification was widely embraced and cost the West about $1.9 trillion. South and North Korea have been separated about twenty years longer than East and West Germany had been. Now, younger working South Koreans — with fewer close relatives in the north than their parents and grandparents had half a century ago — would bear much of the cost of Korean reunification. Reunification gave former West Germany Frau Merkel. Korean reunification, providing a wave of unskilled, perhaps hopelessly brainwashed, North Koreans with very little to offer South Korea and needing much adaptation to South Korean democracy, would be about as useful to South Korea as a North Korean version of Frau Merkel. — DM)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Because Beijing has such a strong interest in the current regime, we could sweeten the latter offer by abjuring Korean reunification. This would not be Germany, where the communist state was absorbed into the West. We would accept an independent, but Finlandized, North.

During the Cold War, Finland was, by agreement, independent but always pro-Russian in foreign policy. Here we would guarantee that a new North Korea would be independent but always oriented toward China. For example, the new regime would forswear ever joining any hostile alliance.

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WASHINGTON — The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It’s not.

Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States — and thus destroy an American city at a Kim Jong Un push of a button.

The North Koreans are not bluffing. They’ve made significant progress with solid-fuel rockets, which are more quickly deployable and thus more easily hidden and less subject to detection and pre-emption.

At the same time, Pyongyang has been steadily adding to its supply of nuclear weapons. Today it has an estimated 10 to 16. By 2020, it could very well have a hundred. (For context: the British are thought to have about 200.)

Hence the crisis. We simply cannot concede to Kim Jong Un the capacity to annihilate American cities.

Some will argue for deterrence. If it held off the Russians and the Chinese for all these years, why not the North Koreans? First, because deterrence, even with a rational adversary like the old Soviet Union, is never a sure thing. We came pretty close to nuclear war in October 1962.

And second, because North Korea’s regime is bizarre in the extreme, a hermit kingdom run by a weird, utterly ruthless and highly erratic god-king. You can’t count on Caligula. The regime is savage and cult-like; its people, robotic. Karen Elliott House once noted that while Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a prison, North Korea was an ant colony.

Ant colonies do not have good checks and balances.

If not deterrence, then prevention. But how? The best hope is for China to exercise its influence and induce North Korea to give up its programs.

For years, the Chinese made gestures, but never did anything remotely decisive. They have their reasons. It’s not just that they fear a massive influx of refugees if the Kim regime disintegrates. It’s also that Pyongyang is a perpetual thorn in the side of the Americans, whereas regime collapse brings South Korea (and thus America) right up to the Yalu River.

So why would the Chinese do our bidding now?

For a variety of reasons.

• They don’t mind tension but they don’t want war. And the risk of war is rising. They know that the ICBM threat is totally unacceptable to the Americans. And that the current administration appears particularly committed to enforcing this undeclared red line.

• Chinese interests are being significantly damaged by the erection of regional missile defenses to counteract North Korea’s nukes. South Korea is racing to install a THAAD anti-missile system. Japan may follow. THAAD’s mission is to track and shoot down incoming rockets from North Korea but, like any missile shield, it necessarily reduces the power and penetration of the Chinese nuclear arsenal.

•  For China to do nothing risks the return of the American tactical nukes in South Korea, withdrawn in 1991.

• If the crisis deepens, the possibility arises of South Korea and, most importantly, Japan going nuclear themselves. The latter is the ultimate Chinese nightmare.

These are major cards America can play. Our objective should be clear. At a minimum, a testing freeze. At the maximum, regime change.

Because Beijing has such a strong interest in the current regime, we could sweeten the latter offer by abjuring Korean reunification. This would not be Germany, where the communist state was absorbed into the West. We would accept an independent, but Finlandized, North.

During the Cold War, Finland was, by agreement, independent but always pro-Russian in foreign policy. Here we would guarantee that a new North Korea would be independent but always oriented toward China. For example, the new regime would forswear ever joining any hostile alliance.

There are deals to be made. They may have to be underpinned by demonstrations of American resolve. A pre-emptive attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missile sites would be too dangerous, as it would almost surely precipitate an invasion of South Korea with untold millions of casualties. We might, however, try to shoot down a North Korean missile in mid-flight to demonstrate both our capacity to defend ourselves and the futility of a North Korean missile force that can be neutralized technologically.

The Korea crisis is real and growing. But we are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets. It’s time to deploy them.