South Korea and Japan, for reasons that should be obvious (North Korea, China, an unsteady and retrenching American presence), have elected right-of-center hawkish governments. They are uniquely open to dealing with reality, not a common occurrence in international politics. Reality in this case means taking all necessary deterrent measures against a nuclear state (Tokyo and Seoul appear poised to actually call North Korea a nuclear-weapons state, which — for those unfortunate to have witnessed to the unfolding tragedy of North Korea policy — is a big deal). Rather than engage in diplomatic conferences that result in more North Korean extortion, more North Korean nuclear weapons, and more illusions that through combined U.S. and Chinese exertions North Korea can actually be persuaded (against all evidence) that the illegal possession of nuclear weapons actually has a price, we would be wise to consider Dr. Lee’s basic idea. Let’s deal with North Korea as Dr. Lee describes it — a criminal enterprise whose crimes can and must be stopped.
Talk about winning – South Korea still exists and there’s been no regional conflagration since 1937 – and declaring it a defeat. “Uniquely unique”?! Is this an argument or a self-serving grant proposal?