Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The East German solution for North Korea

Duncan Currie at the Weekly Standard has an interesting potential solution to the North Korean problem. Convince the Chicomms to open their border with North Korea and allow starving and impoverished North Koreans to vote with their feet hoping that the exodus would cause the NK regime to implode. Hungary's refusal to return East Germans in 1989 contributed significantly to the end of the Honecker regime.

It's a fascinating idea. Convincing the Chicomms to do it wouldn't be easy. I am uncertain that Beijing is sufficiently uncomfortable with the lunatic in Pyongyang and probably revels to continue to be in the driver's seat in East Asia. Currie suggests increased American aid to cope with refugees and playing the Taiwan card - "a nuclear Pyongyang means a nuclear Taipei". Bit of dangerous brinksmanship there and the Chicomms are more likely to ask for an end of the US arms embargo in payment. The other issue is will the North Koreans massacre their own citizens by the thousands to prevent them from fleeing? And if they started to, would anyone do anything about it?

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