North Korea and Failed U.S. Leadership

By | July 8, 2016

[July 8, 2016]  The true test of the mantle of leadership is in the results obtained … regardless of obstacles.  In the case of North Korea, it is widely known that the country is notorious for the abuse of human rights including extrajudicial killings, forced labor, and torture.  If there is to be any country whose leadership is responsible for the continuation of such atrocities, it is the United States.  And U.S. leadership has failed.

From its intervention to save South Korea from an invasion by the North which began on June 25, 1950, America supported this poor, agrarian country.  Today, South Korea is a vibrant democracy with one of the strongest economies in the world.  But its immediate neighbor, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and what we call Communist North Korea, regularly calls for the destruction of both South Korea and the United States.

I’m sure there are some good psychologists who will tell me that the leaders of North Korea, and the DPRK Kim family, are megalomaniacs with persecution complexes.  But to me that is irrelevant.  We need to remember that North Korea lost its quest to conquer South Korea because of U.S. efforts.  What matters most is that the DPRK leadership has an advanced, although not fully successful, nuclear program with ballistic missile capabilities as well as proven gross human rights violations.

The United Nations and the U.S. recently imposed new sanctions to punish it for those same violations with no results.  And the UN (mostly the U.S.) has stationed troops there as a way to deter North Korean aggression and it has worked.  North Korea, however, continues its policies without effective hindrance and even China’s leadership continues to support this hermit nation.

That is why I will call U.S. leadership a failure.  Our policy since the armistice has been one of “strategic patience?”  Yet despite this, people’s lives are destroyed and many more are subject to extreme poverty, backward medical care, and an abusive secretive police state.  True enough, war has been prevented and thus the lives of our allies saved.  But is it not a moral imperative to take more forceful actions to release the North Korean population from such an existence?

U.S. leadership is opposed to any intervention.  That is why American leadership has failed.  No real actions of any consequence are taken.  Should the time now begin where the civilized world stood up and put North Korea on notice that business as usual is no longer acceptable?  The moral answer should be obvious.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.