North Korea must wonder: “Why can’t we have both – nuclear weapons and free trade, too?” The U.S. has both, as does Russia, China, England, France, Israel, India, and Pakistan. It is a fundamental question that deserves a logical answer. Imagine this exchange between leaders, Trump and Kim:
Trump: Kim, you must give up your nukes.
Trump: Because you cannot be trusted with nukes.
Kim: And you can?
Trump: You don’t need nukes. America will guarantee your regime’s safety.
Kim: And who will keep us safe from America?
The lack of logical response is the main reason Kim will not give up his nuclear weapons. Why should he? He did not steal them. His people built those weapons with their own hands, just like our people built our nukes. America could use military force against North Korea – give them a “bloody nose” – for having a small sample of what we have in abundance. But, how illogical is that?
Having a nuclear weapon is not dissimilar to owning a gun. Being a gun owner does not mean that you want to shoot somebody. It means you want to be able to defend yourself.
Nuclear weapons are defensive by nature. They are deterrents. Except when America first used Nukes in 1945 against a defeated Japanese nation, (ostensibly, to show the Japanese how such a weapon works), nukes have not been used since.
It is the international community’s concerted effort to brand Kim as a “madman” that has painted him into that “no-nukes-for-you” corner. The irony is that President Trump’s own diplomatic initiative has exposed Kim – not as a madman, but according to Trump himself, as an “honorable man” who is “smart”, “funny”, and “tough”. Trump, in effect, has fashioned an escape hatch for Kim to get out of the corner.
In the wake of Kim’s meetings with China’s Xi and South Korea’s Moon, the world could further see for itself that the North Korean leader can be personable, even charismatic. After years of atrocities, this recent flurry of face-to-face talks have humanized the man. In Singapore, crowds cheered at the sight of Kim. One girl remarked that even his signature on the Singapore Summit’s communiqué was “cute”.
Perhaps, Kim is not such a bad guy after all, except for that tyranny thing which must be some sort of birthright – and oh, what a tyrant he is! At the age of 26, he took on one the most impoverished (and sanctioned) nations on Earth and turned it into a nuclear power. It may well be said that no nation in history has ever achieved so much with so little. That, in itself, must garner a measure of the world’s respect.