[May 13, 2014] North Korea is a socialist country that is impressive in its ability to remain a viable nation for so long, despite its self-inflicted problems. Recently, the senior leadership of the country insulted just about everyone outside the socialist dictatorship run by Kim Jong Un and his military. See my comments here and here for a recent view of their leadership.
While the study of North Korea’s senior leadership is a work in progress, we do know that the vitriolic rhetoric is typical – nothing out of the ordinary for them. So, what is the U.S. policy toward this hermit nation? The U.S. does have a long-term and largely unchanged policy that has avoided a full conventional war on the peninsula since the original armistice was signed.
We can call our policy one of “strategic patience.” In essence, we will simply wait for North Korea to make its own decisions about how to merge with the modern world. If it fails and collapses or if it succeeds economically, we will wait on the sidelines with our ally South Korea.
We will study alternatives to how to deal with an economic and governmental collapse or how to deal with another nuclear-armed socialist nation. What we cannot afford to do is provoke a confrontation.
U.S. strategy toward North Korea is an example of a successful strategy. The goals are clear, the end state is clear, the methods to achieve those goals are clear. Our resources are prioritized and little is wasted applying those resources to the strategy. At least the strategy has worked for over 60 years.
When the history of the U.S. and the Korean peninsula is written, our strategy will be used as an example of how to produce and maintain good strategy.
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[Note] North Korea is actually known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
[Note] From a previous entry on December 01, 2013 with link to full blog here. North Korea’s government has a “military first” policy, known as Songun, that establishes their Army as primacy in domestic and international affairs. This means the culture of North Korea is very military centric. In the study of North Korean history, the military plays a dominant role in establishment of the state. North Korea still blames the United States with starting a “genocidal” war against it in 1950 and accuses the U.S. with “war crimes.” The entire issue of the Korea War remains, to this day, a very dominant and emotionally powerful issue to the country’s leadership and society.