What Beltway Republicans Need To Do
The premier source for
California political news
your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
tOR Talk Radio
Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist,
author and a popular speaker. Born into a military
family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East
Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces
service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross
of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation
from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both
the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive
for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work,
at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is
based in large part on his extensive experience in
Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman.
[go to Cucullu index]
Clouds on the Horizon
Korea hopes for a Kerry victory...
[Gordon Cucullu] 9/22/04
A huge explosion rocked North Korea and the world gasped and
held its breath. Was this the nuclear test that everyone feared?
Probably not, but our reaction is proof of our concern. There
is general agreement that North Korea possesses sufficient quantities
of enriched uranium to construct a bomb and is busily reprocessing
plutonium in order to manufacture an even more powerful weapon.
It certainly has more than enough radioactive material to supply
a dirty bomb factory.
There was good and sufficient reason back in 2001 when George
W. Bush consigned North Korea to charter membership in an Axis
of Evil. It was a country ruled by a dictator with an iron hand
who assassinated foreign leaders, kidnapped innocent people from
other countries, blew civilian aircraft from the skies, starved
more than a million of his own citizens and consigned hundreds
of thousands to slave labor camps. Since then the situation,
incredibly, has only grown worse.
We now know beyond
doubt that Kim Jong Il and his late father Kim Il Sung violated
the agreement they made with Clinton administration
officials to cease research into nuclear weapons in return for
billions in aid. The agreement, known as the Agreed Framework,
was cobbled together in 1994 by former President Jimmy Carter.
It was all carrot and no stick. Food, fuel, medicine and money
all poured into North Korea. There was painfully little transparency
in regard to food and medical supplies distribution, most of
which went to the army or into the black market. There was total
opacity on the nuclear side. While the US, Japan and South Korea
dumped hundreds of millions into manufacture of light water reactors
to alleviate North Korea’s power shortages, the North Koreans
conducted feverish research into enriched uranium weapons.
Only a public disclosure
in 2001 of what had been strongly suspected but previously
suppressed brought the truth to light: North Korea
had voraciously – and ungratefully – consumed all
of the proffered aid while thumbing its nose at the US and the
international coalition. At this point the North in effect said, ‘since
you’ve caught us in the act we’ll just finish what
we’re doing!’ In return, the coalition halted LWR
construction and food aid. Even China, North Korea’s last
friend in the region, turned off the spigot on oil flow for several
days to send a message of displeasure. None of these measures
have brought a change in either attitude or behavior from the
The situation on that
far off peninsula is rapidly approaching the boiling point.
It is very complicated because each country
involved – China, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Russia,
and the United States – has a different set of needs and
requirements and approaches the problem from a varying perspective.
It is critical that if any progress is to be made the coalition
must stay together as a unified front and yet North Korea, an
expert in this kind of negotiation, has already driven wedge
issues between some key players. North Korea, for its part, is
now in a holding pattern. Before acting it prefers to wait and
see who is elected American president in November.
The North Koreans
already know that President Bush is going to maintain a hard
line with them: he will demand nuclear disarmament,
transparency in processes, cessation of sale of missile parts
to rogue states, cessation of trafficking in narcotics and – it
is hoped – immediate improvement in the human rights situation
in North Korea. Conversely, North Korea expects that a John Kerry
presidency would be in essence a return to the Clinton policies
of live and let live. North Korea would expect bilateral talks
that provide the opportunity for them to play one side off against
the other and to negotiate very favorable deals. They expect
that a threat of hostile action will convince Kerry to placate
and appease rather than challenge and demand.
For these reasons
the North Korean regime has openly supported the Kerry candidacy
and runs pro-Kerry messages within North
Korea and on its web sites. Bush, conversely, is portrayed as
a monster and warmonger who oppresses their fellow Koreans in
the South. In a recent BBC production entitled ‘Access
to Evil’ the news crew interviewed North Korean students
whom when asked if they had a message for President Bush replied ‘stop
killing the children of South Korea.’
There is no easy solution to the North Korean problem. It might
be possible for Kim Jong Il to take a stand similar to Libya,
for example, but would be almost impossible for him to permit
internal reform. His regime has instituted such strict control
measures over its population that it is going to be difficult
for Kim to ease back on controls without a popular uprising.
This is the pressure cooker theory of dictatorship: the tighter
the lid, the hotter the fire, the greater the explosion when
pressure grows too great. Kim and his cohorts are limited by
the extent of their repression to what actions they can take
and remain in power.
Ultimately regime change is going to be necessary in North Korea.
Peacefully through the means of concerted international pressure
if possible, through more stringent measures if necessary. For
the moment Kim Jong Il has some breathing space to review his
options and make his choices. Which course he selects will determine
his fate and that of many others. CRO
Gordon Cucullu 2004