North Korea destroys the 'nest of wickedness' (virtually)

Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un presides over an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party in this undated recent picture released by North Korea's official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang February 3, 2013.

Article Highlights

  • Video of missile attack comes from regime that Chuck Hagel believes should be engaged directly

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  • We would be better off if we started treating Pyongyang as a nuclear state

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Sometimes, the North Koreans make it too easy. An official Made in Pyongyang video has been rocketing around the Internet since yesterday that fantasizes about destroying U.S. cities with missile attacks (see Jillian Melchior’s post on it yesterday). All this after the Obama administration tried in vain to make nice with the new “leader” of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Such compensatory fantasy by young Kim about being big enough to destroy your enemy (the “nest of wickedness” according to the video) would be laughable if it weren’t a) about murdering hundreds of thousands of people, and b) suddenly more realistic, given North Korea’s successful long-range ballistic-missile launch last year.

Yet this is the same regime that secretary-of-defense-to-be Chuck Hagel believes should be engaged directly (more unconditional talks, perhaps?) and that isolating the nut jobs of Pyongyang is the “last thing” that we want to do. Unfortunately, reality has a way of scotching even the most dogged of dialogue advocates, and we are clearly past that point now. Our diplomacy with the Hermit Kingdom has failed, as I wrote recently, and we, the world, and even North Korea would be better off if we just stopped trying to negotiate with them, gave up on sanctions, and instead treated Pyongyang as a nuclear state. Then, if it crosses the line by using WMDs against us or our allies, it will be Kim Jong Un’s villas that disappear in a puff of smoke. Sometimes, simplicity is indeed the best choice.

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About the Author

 

Michael
Auslin
  • Michael Auslin is a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Asian regional security and political issues.


    Before joining AEI, he was an associate professor of history at Yale University. A prolific writer, Auslin is a biweekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal Asia, which is distributed globally on wsj.com. His longer writings include the book “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the study “Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy” (AEI Press, 2010). He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.


    Auslin has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington, and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University.


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