How do you solve a problem like Korea? How do you hold a snowflake in your hand?
The current maniac in chief who currently sits in the Oval Office chair, has insulted practically everyone that he can think of, on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality, socio economic status, size, and practically anything else that you can think of to the point where insanity is the new normal and perpetual outrage is the order of the day; every day.
We will balance the U.S.'s felonious crime against our country and our people with something thousands of times worse, and if the U.S. does not retract its attempts to crush us to death and behave prudently, we will be ready and not hesitate to take ultimate measures.
- North Korean Media, as quoted by NPR, 8th Aug 2017.
This week, we had an equally insane threat from an equally insane leader, when the leader of the Undemocratic Hermit Republic Of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, was reported as saying that he could launch a nuclear missile strike and hit the United States' territory of Guam. The 45th President of the United States responded in typical fashion to him (and in decidedly atypical fashion for the previous 44) by in a press conference, opening a fresh can of insanity; just when you thought that there wasn't any more (in case you were wondering,
insanity comes in 20oz (568g) cans in America).
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.
They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening ... and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."
- President Donald Trump, 8th Aug 2017.
The problem with trying to write articulate pieces about politics at the moment is that in a time where everything is going crazy all time, trying to speak words of calm is the act of a madman. In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Yet despite this, I believe that from the ends of my fingers and in just a single blog post; in fact just a single sentence, I bet that I could solve most of the world's problems with the rogue rouge nation which lies to the north of the 38th parallel. Here goes:
Be nice to North Korea.
That's it. I have nothing else that I can add here. In the decades since hostilities sort of ended (because officially, they have not), I don't know if many governments around the world have bothered to think that the current status quo just doesn't seem to be working all that well, either in terms of solving any problems or in terms of making people's lives better. Demonstrably imposing further sanctions on a country which he been in the cold for so long that it doesn't even remember what warmth feels like, isn't going to achieve very much when the country has little if anything left to lose. At this point, the leaders and those people who have managed to work their way up the chain or command are doing well enough so that whatever happens doesn't really affect them any more. People at the bottom though, whose lives are probably pretty rubbish, are likely to accept more sanctions as just proof that the universe is horrible. Being not nice to North Korea doesn't appear to do very much at all.
Has anyone tried to be nice to North Korea?
Let's assume for a second that I am the President of the United States (which is never going to happen for many reasons; including not being a natural born citizen). I think that the most provocative act that could be done would be to hop into Air Force One, fly to Seoul and then announce that I was going to fly into Pyongyang. Just think of the absolute rain of confusion that would call from the skies. To shoot down Air Force One would be a direct act of war, which would bring down other sorts of rain. If the announcement was made that the trip was purely as an act of goodwill, then what sort of action would that illicit?
If it was then announced that the leader of North Korea would be made the guest of the United States and get to stay at the White House, then I bet that the entire direction of negotiations would change. If instead of being treated like a mad man, Kim Jong Un was treated like a respected businessman, would he continue to act like a mad man? Suppose that instead of being the President of a pariah nation with no hope of anything good happening to it ever, what would happen if he was treated like a responsible person?
Take him to a show on Broadway. Give him an audience in the Oval Office. Put him up in the state rooms at the White House with the fanciest room service that the nation has to offer. Take him to a restaurant to have that famous meat loaf which the President of the United States seems to like so much. It's probably really difficult to tell bad things when you are seated at the dinner table and have a mouth full of slow cooked lamb shanks.
Forgive me but doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result, is the act of a mad man. If you want to trap a wasp, you don't use a stick and repeatedly hit the wasp's nest, you lay out some honey. If you want to remove the coat from a person standing out in the cold, yelling at them and turning on an industrial fan isn't likely to make them take it off; bringing them inside and offering them a cup of cocoa is.
I'd suggest sending in a C-17 Globemaster which was filled with Levi's jeans, McDonald's hamburgers, and Coca-Cola. I have a somewhat crazy theory that the single biggest contributor which finally brought down the Iron Curtain, wasn't the threat of nuclear annihilation but the sudden realisation by people on the dismal side of the Iron Curtain that cheez-wiz comes in a can, that you can put pineapple on a pizza, that Opels are decently made motor cars, that Madonna and Wham! had CDs and that you could listen to them on your own personal discman. I suspect that the three biggest weapons that can be dropped in North Korea, would be Wal-Mart, Aldi and IKEA.
I think that it's reasonably safe to assume that the stance that North Korea adopts to the rest of the world isn't based on religious fervour. There are definitely unresolved aspects in the tragedy of history that need to be discussed but continuing to leave the door closed and refusing to speak is never going to address them. What we have seen at international level is a lot of sabre rattling for a very long time and the only thing that appears to be changing is the size of the sabre.
I might not have any idea about the protocol for solving the world's problems but I do know that provocative statements like this from both sides of this brouhaha don't go any further to solving them either. If there is a tiny shred of truth in what Mr Trump has to say, then I sincerely do hope that there is a certain kind of fire and fury that the world has never seen before and that there is a piece of steak put on that fire. In my lifetime at least, the world has not seen anything like that before.