By Tyler Bauer
One month ago, President Trump and North Korean Tyrant Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore to discuss their respective countries’ ongoing hostilities with one another. Following the meeting, President Trump announced that he intended to end the United States’ involvement in “war games” commonly practiced with South Korea and reduce the number of American military personnel in the Korean Peninsula. In return, the North Korean leader promised to work towards a complete denuclearization of the Koreas. (The full text can be read here.)
As usual, news outlets and political personnel reacted accordingly. Some publications, such as Vox, called this agreement “shockingly weak.” The President’s cabinet, meanwhile, insisted that the deal was much stronger than critics made it out to be. So, which is it?
The Truth about the North Korea Deal
Looking at the deal objectively, I believe that it is a bit weak. However, it’s definitely better than nothing. When offered a choice between a relatively weak deal or nuclear war, I would very much prefer a relatively weak deal. As Vox points out, the language in the deal is most certainly vague. “The DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” doesn’t mention the suspension of nuclear tests, disarmament, missile facility inspections, or anything else required for denuclearization. I think the vagueness of the text is purposeful.
Here’s the truth – North Korea has no intention to denuclearize, and – objectively speaking – they shouldn’t. For all their faults, the North Koreans are able to learn from history. Many Americans were talking about implementing a “Libya model” for North Korean denuclearization. The Libyan model was, and is, a terrible model. After agreeing upon a denuclearization plan with the United States, Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was dragged through the streets and sodomized to death. (WARNING: That link is VERY graphic.) Libya has since descended into a country full of violence and open-air slave trades. A “Libyan model” doesn’t work well for anyone, especially the country’s leader, so it should come as no surprise that Kim Jong Un didn’t agree to anything specific in Singapore.
Holding the North Koreans to a deal has been difficult in the past. This was proved in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent trip to North Korea, which was an utter failure. Pompeo disagrees, but the North Koreans and most news outlets confirm that the meetings were not productive. This recent failure is largelly due to the United States’ push for denuclearization. North Korea will never denuclearize voluntarily.
Nuclear weapons are the only way to guarantee security from the United States. Think of the countries the United States has gone to war with or intervened in since World War Two – none of them had nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, nuclearized countries like Pakistan and China – neither of which are allies of the United States – have been left alone since they nuclearized. Nuclear weapons are the only thing keeping Kim Jong Un in power. Without nuclear weapons, he could meet a fate similar to Gaddafi’s. Leaders like Kim Jong Un are often made out to be crazed lunatics determined to destroy the world, but they aren’t. Kim is a rational (albeit terrible) person, and he won’t be giving up his nuclear weapons without a fight, meaning that any deal including denuclearization is destined to fail.