It appears Monday, May 7 Pres. Donald J Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un where among other things they will discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This comes after the North Korean leader and South Korea’s prime minister had meetings earlier this week in which North Korea expressed interest in halting their nuclear program.
So why this complete 180 from North Korea’s nuclear stance from earlier this year when ICBM (Inter Continental ballistic missiles) testing was at an all-time high. Credit has to go to Pres. Donald J Trump for this change because his style of leadership certainly helped to bring North Korea to this point. But there are many other factors that led to this historic moment in the Korean Peninsula’s politics that it seems no one has really addressed the media.
Let’s start with the change in geopolitics in the last 60 years. At the time of the Korean War in the 1950s, Korea held great strategic importance for Russia and China because it allowed a buffer zone between NATO countries and the actual homeland of Russia and China protecting their eastern coasts. But in the subsequent years since then, military technology has progressed greatly, thanks to the Cold War, to the point where an area as small as North Korea serves no real purpose in protecting China and Russia from the new long-range weaponry developed by all modern superpowers. Because of this China and Russia no longer have a vested interest in maintaining control of North Korea. It is no longer warranted to support such a state especially when that state has such a tinderbox of leadership at the head.
So with no superpower with any interest in protecting North Korea, North Korea’s leadership if they want to continue to abuse their power and maintain the exquisite style of life that comes from that, they will have to become independently powerful. And since North Korea cannot begin to rival any superpowers with manpower or industrial capability its only hope is nuclear weapons.
Now there is great debate over exactly how far along North Korea’s nuclear program is. Because in 2009 North Korea expelled all the UN nuclear inspectors from their country so all the information we have pertaining to North Korea’s nuclear program comes from the notoriously unreliable North Korean state news and a little from escaped low ranking officials from the actual North Korean nuclear program. Unfortunately, because the only escapees were low ranking we still have and an incredibly vague picture of the situation. Some say the reason for Kim Jong Un’s assassination attempt on his half-brother was because of fear of him leaking information on their nuclear program.
So the question remains why now does North Korea want to denuclearize. I think it is because they realized that they are no longer are needed by Russia and China and they needed their own nuclear arsenal and that’s why we saw them ramp up their nuclear program to this all-time high recently. But I think all that testing did was show the North Koreans how far they are from nuclear weapon capabilities, and knowing that the US would instill regime change before the country could actually acquire nuclear weapons and they would have no help from Russia and China in this. Their only option that would be left, if they wanted to remain in power, would be to make concessions to the US and South Korea while they still had at least a little negotiating power.
To me, this is the only explanation for the recent nuclear testing and the sudden outreach to the US for negotiations and their nuclear program. But I could be wrong about all of this and this could be just another attempt by North Korea blackmail more money out of the United States as they have done in the past with these negotiations. Nothing is certain until the actual meeting takes place and we see the outcome but if the earlier South Korean meetings are any precedent it appears this could be genuine.