The stakes here are very high. If North Korea keeps its weapons, it upsets the power relationships of all of East Asia. The threat runs to the South Koreans, Japan, Southeast Asia and even Australia. The power relations and regional stability will be upset.
What's more, the consequences of blinking on the Korean Peninsula will have ramifications in the global conflict we are in. The Chinese may finally get their age-old wish to get the U.S. out of the Western Pacific, leaving our allies to fend for themselves. If North Korea can leverage nuclear instability in the face of a decadent and shopworn West, why shouldn't China to likewise vis a vis Taiwan? Russia towards Ukraine? Iran towards Syria?
The Chinese and Russians will be emboldened should the United States be bluffed down. They may decide to back North Korea in a dispute that threatens our very existence. The stage could very well be set for a miscalculation by all world powers that could lead to a real world war.
For several years, American Opportunity has promoted the concept of Conservative Internationalism. This means that national objectives should be furthered by diplomacy, but diplomacy that is backed by force, and the plausible willingness to use force. President Trump has started out his first term by exercising precisely this principle; it is why the North Koreans have agreed to come to the bargaining table in the first place.
The principles of Conservative Internationalism recognize the world-wide interests that affect America. We must define our objectives, and offer diplomatic solutions, and economic pressures, but make it clear that we will be forced to take action if our nation is threatened. These stark choices are not desirable. It may be that more creative approaches might be developed that allows us to secure the safety of our country and our allies.
The North Koreans are attempting to send a message that their unpredictability puts them in the driver's seat. Should these negotiations go wrong, they say they can afford to simply walk away. This is a reality that the United States will correct with unmistakable force. We should continue our sanctions and use all our national power to resolve the crisis through economic pressure and diplomacy. We must make it clear that we will use military force if that crucial moment is reached that the North Koreans can actually threaten our homeland with a nuclear missile. It is the North Koreans who must negotiate to avoid their fate, created by their own misconduct, not we who must negotiate and beg for our own safety.
The world must clearly understand who stands on the high ground in this dispute. We have to send this message now to friends and adversaries alike, loudly and persistently. We must counter the North Korean public relations campaign. Our adversaries worldwide must understand that the United States -- though by nature reluctant to exercise the projection of force -- will be strong to protect itself, its allies, and the cause of world peace and stability.
We do not threaten the current peace; North Korea threatens war.
The United States did not create this crisis; North Korea created this crisis.
Time to speak truth to power again.
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