The North Korean crisis: a Machiavellian perspective

SETH MICHAEL MEYER

Special to The Leader

Let’s be real — the hopes of a peaceful resolution to the North Korean crisis are long dead and now the world faces a harsh reality.

North Korea’s claims of possessing long-range ICBM technology combined with their more frequent missile launches have put them in the crosshairs of international actors. The situation keeps escalating, too.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council implemented sanctions on the tyrannical regime by limiting oil imports, banning textile exports, along with other measures. This was a slap on the wrist to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after authorizing another threatening missile test.

But sanction after sanction has yet to prove burdensome to North Korea. Just last week the United States issued their own unilateral sanctions on the small country, despite warnings from China, the biggest trade partner of both the U.S. and North Korea.

These sanctions seek to economically isolate North Korea by cutting ties with those who do business with them.

Many critics believe such a tactic won’t have much effect. A CNBC report lists only eight banks that would be affected by the sanctions.

However, the Trump administration believes putting pressure on the North Korean economy will bring Un to the negotiating table. I wouldn’t put my money on it.

In the past century, we’ve seen that in times of economic disparities, leaders rally their people in a militaristic fashion to sustain a sense of nationalism and to avoid revolt.

Adolf Hitler was able to blame a marginalized group as the cause of Germany’s post-war depression, and now North Korea’s blame is pointed at the United States.

Niccolo Machiavelli, a philosopher of the Renaissance, describes just how an unruly nation like North Korea should be dealt with: “Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries — for heavy ones they cannot.”

A move on North Korea’s despotic regime must be brutal and short to ensure that nuclear retaliation is impossible.

North Korea has killed tourists, imprisoned the families of criminals and has threatened the world with their nuclear weapon expansion. We cannot allow them to continue, especially with more sanctions that will only make them more irrational.

Our nation’s leaders have been all bark and no bite against North Korea and now they need to do what’s right: eliminate the threat before we have nuclear war.

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