Furthermore, the West should begin a political war against Pyongyang. Reports such as the recent publication that details the plight of the North’s 200,000 political prisoners should be immediately and repeatedly highlighted by senior administration officials. Additionally, the United States should work with countries in the region to ensure that North Korean escapees are not forcibly repatriated, but instead able to begin new lives free from that brutal dictatorship. Most importantly, the United States should place the cause of the freedom of the North Korean people at the very center of this effort by encouraging the spread of cell phones and radios within the population to facilitate the spread of badly-needed outside news and perspective and improve the quality of Radio Free Asia broadcasts to undermine the North’s propaganda, and inspire revolutionary action against Kim Jong-un and his generals.
As long as the North Korean regime remains in power, the resolve and will of the United States will be continually challenged. Until the Leap Day Deal, the Obama administration had demonstrated an admirable refusal not to reward North Korea’s brazen behavior with political concessions and economic aid. Last week’s launch attempt should prove that Washington’s twenty years of attempts to engage the Hermit Kingdom have been completely fruitless. Instead of more attempts to cajole the North, the United States and allied governments should orient their policies towards the ultimate goal of removing the regime from power. Only by ending the Pyongyang junta’s brutal reign can true peace ever come to the Korean Peninsula.
Evan Moore is a Policy Analyst for the Foreign Policy Initiative.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.