Best Defense

What we can do to the North Koreans, besides put our hands over our eyes

I think it is pretty clear that the NoKos aren’t going to change their behavior unless compelled to do so. So I was struck by this quick note from an expert that laid out some possible steps to do just that. By Dean Cheng Best Defense guest columnist I think there are a range of ...

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Wikimedia

I think it is pretty clear that the NoKos aren’t going to change their behavior unless compelled to do so. So I was struck by this quick note from an expert that laid out some possible steps to do just that.

By Dean Cheng
Best Defense guest columnist

I think there are a range of actions that could be taken, if there were the fortitude to do so.

On the military side, a steady stream of exercises on Korea’s east and west coasts, to tie down NK forces, force them to maintain them at a high alert, and prevent them from going into the countryside to help with the spring planting and/or dealing w/ natural disasters.

Deployment of UAV detachments and other advanced capabilities into the Korean peninsula, again, to maintain the pressure, and be able to respond promptly to the next North Korean provocation.

On the non-military side, clamping down on Department 39 activities throughout the region and globally. Pressuring banks that deal w/ the NKs to cease and desist. (The Chinese, who are loath to do much on the NK peninsula directly, WERE willing to cooperate against the Banco Delta Asia group when the US gave them the stark choice of US or NK business.) We should increase efforts to get all the UN P-5 guys (especially the PRC) to live up to the UN sanctions that THEY HAVE ALL AGREED UPON to impose since NK is still pursuing nuclear and missile efforts.

Raising the issue of NK with both Chinese PLA officers during the Gates visit (and stopping the delusional idea that the PLA is somehow divorced or apart from the CCP on such issues), and with President Hu Jintao during the Hu state visit to the US. Making it clear that the US will both NOT be bullied out of the Yellow Sea (the gyrations about the George Washington battlegroup are, frankly, shameful and unworthy of the US as a major power) AND will stand by its ROK ally.

And that’s just the first set of steps …

Dean Cheng is a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation for Chinese political and security affairs.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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