Unfortunately for Bush, he has permitted his State Department to dither away three-fourths of his term; the North Koreans are just about there. One expert thinks the North Koreans don’t have that much time.
But a researcher with the Korea Institute for National Unification said North Korea is too fragile to hold out, despite the big talk. “Internal political issues delayed decision-making in the North,” he says. “But the country is at a critical juncture and must make important decisions now because the U.S. financial sanctions have dealt it a severe blow.
I’m skeptical. Simply tightening the vise won’t crack North Korea. Only a dramatic economic shock, combined with a very forthright, politically subversive message will destabilize the regime’s balance of competing factions and ministries, and raise the confidence of the downtrodden to challenge the regime. The latter could take years. The best course left is to begin the process of training a core of North Korean refugees to be North Korea’s next generation of doctors, technocrats, politicians, judges, and soldiers, while striking at the regime as hard as possible.
. . . and pray that the next Administration doesn’t bring it to a sudden end for thirty pieces of plutonium.