*Pic: Image from HERE
First published September 5
All the experts keep saying that there are no easy solutions to the North Korean nuclear missile crisis; that the alternative of war is too horrible to contemplate and we might need to accept and normalise an evil, nuclear-armed, Kim family dictatorship.
Perhaps there is a better way we can respond? Not with threats of war, but with love, truth and noodles.
I was inspired when I saw an article on South Korean activists sending balloons over the border with North Korea with propaganda, including as one activist put it, empty packets of noodles to show how rich they were in the South.
Sending empty packets of noodles to a starving enslaved country is cruel.
But how about sending full packets of noodles to North Korea? How about enclosing those noodles in packets that contain messages of love for the people of North Korea and the truth about how well the people of South Korea are doing under their democratic free-market government?
The North Korean regime relies on the isolation of North Korea from the rest of the world to keep their people enslaved. Sanctions helps the regime to keep control, it has not stopped their missile program. Their propaganda machine relies on the threats of military action from America to justify the repression of their people. And Trump, it seems, plays along.
Sending thousands of balloons over the Korean border and from the sea delivering free food to the people of North Korea might seem antagonistic. It is intended to be. Nuclear tests and firing missiles over Japan should not go unanswered …
… But it should be answered with true strength, not bellicose threats.
The truth is an existential threat to the North Korean regime in a way that war is not.
The nations of the world need to embrace this, and start thinking constructively, not fearfully, on how to adapt to a collapse of the Kim regime. Food is a critical issue. China and South Korea both fear the consequences of millions of refugees streaming across their borders. Having a plan to feed the people of North Korea, in North Korea, is part of the solution. Air-dropping noodles perhaps?
Politically, we need China to be comfortable that a reunited Korea will not mean further encroachment of US military bases and forces. It should be agreed that a reunited Korea no-longer needs US bases, and will have an ‘armed neutral’ status, similar to Sweden or Switzerland.
And finally, the Kim family needs a way out. Many of them probably want this. I doubt being the prince of a prison camp is much fun. Kim Jong Un’s brother was disowned for trying to go to Disneyland, and later murdered in Malaysia. If China offered political sanctuary and South Korea offered a big bribe, the Kim family might just be willing to accept wealthy exile as an alternative to extermination and war.
But it starts by saying we have an option other than war, by saying we should help the people of North Korea, feed them and let them know what is happening in the world outside.
It starts with love, truth and noodles.
*Alexis Wadsley is an analyst working for the State Government. This article represents his own views and not those of his employer or any other organisation. If you think this idea has any merit, please pass it on and add your own ideas. We need to think creatively to avoid a Hobson’s choice between war and the appeasement of evil.