At his point of time, the focus of the world is on the north Korea issue and a big problem with what is generally being presented, is in the shape of war preparation propaganda, presenting the north Korean political leadership as comic strip “bad guys” and those against them as the “good guys”.
Regardless of whether one is for or against their political system, the bottom line is that human beings live in this little part of the world and they have their own take on what is going on. It is not just the political leadership. Everyone is affected.
For them and for us, the choice is ultimately about risking a nuclear confrontation or finding a peaceful resolution of differences. From our side of the world, if we prefer the second path, the very first thing needed, is to consider what the situation looks like from the other side.
Here is a country that experienced an invasion in the 1950’s from a coalition of nations that split what was once Korea into two and killed on average at least one member of every family. For more than half a century, north Koreans have been threatened with a new invasion. Consequently the north Koreans are passionate about defending their independence.
These circumstances have kept the small nation on a constant war footing and they have paid a high price. For north Koreas, it would be much better using limited resources for other uses than to develop a nuclear program. So long as a military threat remains and the north Koreans are treated as pariahs, there is going to be no change. This much has become clear. Missile tests will continue.
This is the reason why the more Donald Trump threatens and this is echoed by the other usual suspects among world political leaders, the greater the resistance from north Korea is going to be.
What needs to be realised is that ultimately, this side of the argument will not win, because it draws China and Russia onto the other side. For their part, they realise that the Korea conflict is at least in part, a proxy for an American led confrontation against them. The more the shouting, the closer they will be drawn to the defence of north Korea.
This brings the possibility of a new world war closer. The cost to the world would be horrendous. Those who want to see a military response need to consider this.
The big problem facing the United States is that the louder the bluster and the more that this is not going to be matched by action, the weaker this power is going to look and be. The signal that this ends out is that the era of American dominance is over.
By contrast, China shapes up as the emerging power and wins greater prestige and influence, especially when closer ties are being forged with the Russians. The American camp will be forced into retreat. Either this, or risk mutual destruction.
The alternative is to pull back and start dialogue, to stop threatening and with practical steps, convince the north Koreans that their independence as a nation will be fully respected. Only this can put an end to the north Korean nuclear and missile program, as a contribution to the disarmament of the whole of the Korean Peninsula.
It should always be remembered that, unlike others, this small country does not have a record of military attacks on other nations. Nor does it have a military presence outside of Korea. It is not out for conquest. Sight should never be lost of this little reality.