As Secretary of State John F. Kerry prepares to travel to Korea next week, the United States can use White House back channels to talk to Kim Jong-un — but all efforts to pressure Mr. Kim into better behavior will fail if the United States caves and grants formal talks (“‘Reckless’ Kim Jong-un won’t be tolerated; Kerry strikes back at North Korean threats,” Web, Tuesday).
Mr. Kerry should follow the example of newly elected South Korean President Park Geun-hye: Continue a dialogue with North Korea for evolutionary confidence building and reduction of tensions, but do not grant any more grand bargains. A grand bargain would give the communist “hermit” state more aid in return for more false promises, while it exports its new missiles with nuclear technology to Iran and continues to sponsor terrorists around the world.It seems that in this crisis former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan probably would have called Mr. Kim’s bluff and held the line, but the same cannot be so easily expected from President Obama. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon already has stated that Korean tensions are so high the world must negotiate with boy dictator Kim Jong-un. Mr. Obama and leftist Democrats have shown a tendency to subordinate American interests to those of the United Nations. The Obama ideology that American exceptionalism and world leadership has to be taken down to submit to the wishes of the United Nations will make it hard for Mr. Kerry to be firm and stand up to North Korea. It seems that Mr. Kerry probably will be under pressure from the White House to give the boy dictator more money, food and concessions.Over the years, Pyongyang has faked outrage at the joint annual exercises by U.S. Marine and Navy forces, which maneuver along the coast only to conduct landings with South Korean forces at their home bases. Pyongyang is now faking outrage at B-52 and F-22 demonstrations and U.N. sanctions approved after the Feb. 12 nuclear tests. If Mr. Kerry and the U.S. is drawn into appeasement and any grand bargain with the North, Mr. Kerry probably will be portrayed as a servant to the young Mr. Kim. An Obama-style appeasement also will see the United States come under Chinese pressure to pay off Pyongyang with another deal that North Korea has no intention of honoring.
LT. COL. DOMINIK GEORGE NARGELE
U.S. Marines (retired)