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Pat Buchanan asks: Is it time for South Korea and Japan to get nuclear weapons?

The United States can only lose from a new Korean war.

Now that North Korea may have a working H-bomb in its arsenal, the world is asking what does Kim Jong Un want?

It’s simple really…Kim wants the Unites States to halt joint military exercises with South Korea, recognize his regime, tear up the US security pact with Seoul, and remove American forces out of the Korean peninsula.

A diplomatic negotiation can take place around Kim’s demands to reach a peaceful compromise, because all military alternatives are nothing short of disastrous.

Pat Buchanan asks Should Japan and South Korea Go Nuclear?

By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention.

What else does he want?

Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U.S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam, his country would be destroyed and the regime his grandfather built annihilated.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” wrote Sun Tzu. Kim likely has something like this in mind.

His nuclear and missile tests have already called the bluff of George W. Bush who, in his “axis of evil” speech, declared that the world’s worst regimes would not be allowed to acquire the world’s worst weapons.

Arguably the world’s worst regime now has the world’s worst weapon, an H-bomb, with ICBMs to follow.

What else does Kim want? He wants the U.S. to halt joint military maneuvers with the South, recognize his regime, tear up the security pact with Seoul, and get our forces off the peninsula.

No way, says President Trump. Emerging from church, Trump added, “South Korea’s … talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

On Monday, South Korea was accelerating the activation of the high-altitude missile defense implanted by the United States. Russia and China were talking of moving missile forces into the area. And Mattis had warned Kim he was toying with the fate of his country:

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response.”

As the United States can only lose from a new Korean war in which thousands of Americans and millions of Koreans could perish, the first imperative is to dispense with the war talk, and to prevent the war Mattis rightly says would be “catastrophic.”

China has declared that it will enter a new Korean conflict on the side of the North, but only if the North does not attack first.

For this and other reasons, the U.S. should let the North strike the first blow, unless we have hard evidence Kim is preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

But if and when we manage to tamp down this crisis, we should ask ourselves why we are in this crisis. Why are we a party to this frozen conflict from 1953 that is 8,000 miles away?

The first Korean War ended months into Ike’s first term. Our security treaty with Seoul was signed in October 1953.

That year, Stalin’s successors had taken over a USSR that was busy testing missiles and hydrogen bombs. China was ruled by Chairman Mao, who had sent a million “volunteers’ to fight in Korea. Japan, still recovering from World War II, was disarmed and entirely dependent upon the United States for its defense.

What has changed in six and a half decades?

That USSR no longer exists. It split, three decades ago, into 15 nations. Japan has risen to boast an economy 100 times as large as North Korea’s. South Korea is among the most advanced nations in Asia with a population twice that of the North and an economy 40 times as large.

Since the KORUS free trade deal took effect under President Obama, Seoul has been running surging trade surpluses in goods at our expense every year.

The world has changed dramatically since the 1950s. But U.S. policy failed to change commensurately.

The basic question that needs addressing:

Why do we still keep 28,000 troops in South Korea as a trip wire to bring us into a second Korean war from its first hours, a war that could bring nuclear strikes on our troops, bases, and, soon, our nation?

We cannot walk away from our Korean allies in this crisis. But we should look upon the North’s drive to marry nuclear warheads to ICBMs as a wake-up call to review a policy rooted in Cold War realities that ceased to exist when Ronald Reagan went home.

Consider. North Korea devotes 25 percent of GDP to defense. South Korea spends 2.6 percent, Japan 1 percent. Yet these mighty Asian allies, who run annual trade surpluses at our expense, require us to defend them from a maniacal little country right next door.

After this crisis, South Korea and Japan should begin to make the kind of defense effort the U.S. does, and create their own nuclear deterrents. This might get Beijing’s attention, as our pleas for its assistance with North Korea apparently have not.

Already involved in land disputes with a nuclear-armed Russia and India, China’s dominance of Asia — should Japan and South Korea acquire nuclear weapons — begins to diminish.

“As our case is new,” said Abraham Lincoln, “we must think anew and act anew.”

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Matt Hol
Matt Hol
September 6, 2017

A rising S.Korean politician was saying this in the 80’s. He was killed. By the US as per Chalmers Johnson.

S.Korea is an occupied country that produces goods that get sent to the US and then loans the proceeds of said goods to the US govt in the form of US treasuries. Obama S.Korea trade deal in 2012 seen an 100% increase in US/Korea trade deficit (Korea sending the US goods) and an 80% increase in US treasury holdings for SKorea (SKorea sending proceeds to US govt.)

September 6, 2017

The US still controls SK’s military as did in 1950. SK has no say in its armed forces.

louis robert
louis robert
September 6, 2017

“Is it time for South Korea and Japan to get nuclear weapons?”

It is high time for the Empire to DEnuclearize, thus respecting both the letter and the spirit of that famous Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, for once, and at long last.

“The United States can only lose from a new Korean war.”

Indeed, it has already lost the Korean game. Hence the hysterical lies and deception.

September 6, 2017

Just what the world needs now is more nuclear weapons. M.A.D theory on steroids. Not the way to go. Off to the aged care facility with you!

I think buchanan has shares/stock in the nuclear arms industry.

Keith Smith
Keith Smith
September 6, 2017

US selling Japan nukes? they may just go kamikaze at the only nation ever to test a nuke upon a civilian population. twice…

Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians
September 6, 2017

Madness. No need at all.
Just don’t threaten North Korea. Get the US troops out of South Korea. Stop all sanctions and restore economic and diplomatic ties. Don’t spy on them. Then North Korea is no problem at all. Let’s thrive each other economies: Jobs!

Reply to  Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians
September 7, 2017

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September 6, 2017

This article is bullshit.

Reply to  hestroy
September 6, 2017

I agree. I doubt very much that the US wants Japan of SK to have an INDEPENDENT nuclear capability.

What the US really wants are nuclear weapons paid for by Japan and SK BUT under ultimate US control.

Lisa Karpova
September 6, 2017

Neither country is threatened by anyone, so no. Join the growing company of those who refuse US “full spectrum dominance” then we will revisit the case because then they will be after you.

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