The challenge facing the U.S. is not that the NK issue is structurally any different than it was in 1953 (Armistice), but that now, after years of chronic policy neglect, the situation is no longer simply about trade, human rights, boarder spats and the occasional hit and run antics of the N. Korean Military. The entire theatrical matrix is now tinctured with a Nuclear Threat, the source of which involves Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia.
If that weren’t enough to sting the mind, you have the various area residents (primarily S. Korea, Japan and Taiwan) facing a more immediate threat and in the case of N. Korea, concerned that U.S. actions might unleash a N. Korean storming of their northern border.
As to China and/or Russia, they are presently delighted with the situation as it is; a tin-pot dictator (Kim) wagging the body of the U.S. policy apparatus as it struggles with facing the fundamental truth that if any action is to be sponsored the U.S. will chafe from the heavy lifting.
At this point the U.S. has one option:
(1) Set a trip-wire that Kim is sure to breach.
(2) Respond with an overwhelming force targeting military targets and rounding up Kim’s Political Regime and Military Leadership.
(3) Install a Transitional Administration that will co-manage (with S. Korea) the unification of the peninsula and the sanitizing of the DMZ.
(4) Concurrent with #3, secure U.N. endorsement of the unification effort if only on humanitarian grounds and the formal recognition of a now Unified Korea.
Then, Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan can reimburse the U.S. for two-thirds of the operations cost. All one has to do is look at China’s rather dark humanitarian to understand that they possess no intimate relationship with the concept of sovereign human life. And as such their stated concerns relating to their shared border with N. Korea and the threat of refugees flooding the boarder is laughable, at best.
Russia’s, frankly, greater concern would be that they’d have lost, as would China, a Manipulable Saber they’d rattled at will. If China were smart they’d have worked with the U.S. years ago to unify Korea, but neither side has wanted to pursue this option. Favoring instead the day-to-come where one would out-wit the other and stand victoriously at the expense of their opponent and human tragedy that has been and remains, presently, N. Korea.
Curtis C. Greco, Founder