How Would You Solve the Korea Crisis?
Solutions offered for the Korea problem
Koreans are people, whether they live in the South or in the North. The Cold War divided them into the South and North. The Cold War is now over. They deserve a respite from the 35 years that the Japanese occupied Korea before World War II , to the Korean War up until 1953 (five years), up into the Cold War (37 years), up until now (22 years). That makes 99 years and counting.
The Koreans, and I mean in the North and in the South, are the ultimate victims of the present Korea problem. How to solve it?
Co-existence. North Korea and South Korea should renounce jurisdiction over the whole peninsula. Each should remain as one nation. However, each should be open to a peaceful unification.
Co-existence is the principle that had brought about the rapprochement between the United States and China. President Richard Nixon, in his first meeting with Mao Tse-Tung of China, said:
“What brings us together is the recognition of a new situation in the world and a recognition on our part that what is important is not a nation’s internal philosophy. What is important is its policy toward the rest of the world and toward us. That is why – this point I think can be said to be honest – we have differences. The Prime Minister and Dr. Kissinger discussed these differences” (February 21,1972. At Mao’s Residence in Beijing).
The Prime Minister referred to was Chou Enlai of China; Dr. Kissinger was the presidential assistant on national security of the United States.
The present stalemate in the civil war between the North and the South came about because neither the United Nations army in South Korea nor the North Korean army with support from China could dominate the other. They could go on slaughtering each other that shows bad leadership. North Korea may be capable of annihilating South Korea now with nuclear weapons. But for what? Other nations would not allow that either.
Two-Korea policy. The United Nations should recognize each as a nation. So, there will be a two-Korea policy and each can take a seat in the United Nations.
This is a different matter from that of People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. The United States agreed with China that Taiwan is not an international issue but a domestic issue. China promised that it will solve the Taiwan problem in a peaceful manner in the summit between Pres. Richard Nixon of the United States and Mao Tse-Tung of China. Nixon promised that the United States military would withdraw from Taiwan. Immediately after the summit Nixon withdrew the Phantom-4, with nuclear capability, from Taiwan.
Chiang Kai-Shek, then president of Nationalist China driven to Taiwan, called Mao a bandit and Nixon a bandit, too.
Subsequently, the United Nations adopted a one-China policy. Taiwan was made to vacate its seat at the U.N. that China came in to occupy.
Non-aggression pact. North Korea and South Korea should enter into a non-aggression pact.
Preempt revolt of the people. It means there should be reforms to alleviate the plight of the Koreans. This was done in the USSR by Gorbachev. USSR was about to implode that was diffused by the reforms initiated by Gorbachev. Russia is still in a period of adjustments to a free society.
More elbow room for South Korea. The United States should allow more elbow room for the South Koreans. That is, in terms of political system, and economic system. The United States should revise its policy, to wit:
“If conservative nationalists likely to shift the economic assets of a new state from the old colonial power toward the United States dominated the resistance, as in Dutch East Indies, Washington was anti colonial and pro-independence. Where, on the other hand, the Left controlled the resistance and had a mass base, the United States recommended trusteeship or a prolonged but ‘liberalized’ continuation of colonialism, as in Indochina and Korea” (Kolko, J. and G. Kolko. “Korea, 1945-1948: The American Way of Liberation.” The Limits of Power. 1972: 277-299).
(I have Hubs "Why North and South Korea should live with each other in peace and prosperity," and "North Korea's 'Failed' satellite launch signals a move toward peace in the Korea problem.")
Leave the matter of nuclear weapons to the United Nations. This could be augmented with bilateral agreements with Russia, China and the United States. For that matter North Korea should voluntarily reenter the nuclear weapons covenant.
Reign in the American subsidiaries. The United States should reign in the American subsidiaries in South Korea. These subsidiaries are antagonistic to the unification of South and North Korea. They control the policy of the United States and United Nations toward the Korean peninsula.
Some of the investors in multinationals in South Korea are also investors in Chrysler corporation in America. When Chrysler was in financial crises, loans in over 100 banks due for payment, this corporation turned to the Congress of the United States to post a guarantee for its bank loans. The guarantee was in the tune of billion dollars. This was the first time that a government of a capitalist country did that (never mind the socialist countries). Powerful investors, like the Rockefeller groups, got the loan guarantee anyway, according to Lee Iaccoca in his autobiography. Iaccoca was then the Chrysler chairman. Iaccoca said that under his leadership Chrysler was able to redeem the loan guarantee before it was due.
During the Cold War, international business controlled the policy of the United States and United Nations in the Korean peninsula. Pursuant to a secret agreement made at the Yalta conference in 1945 by the Big Three (President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the U.S., Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain and Premier Joseph Stalin of Russia) Russia entered the war against Japan. Russia landed an army north of the 38th parallel and the United States landed its army south of the parallel. The United Nations wanted to unify the two when the Russian and U.S. armies will have left the peninsula to be given over to a trusteeship. The U.N. commissioned a committee to study the situation and recommend steps to take; this committee created a subcommittee of journalist from seven countries to make a study. The subcommittee recommended an election to install a government in the peninsula. However, the Canadian and Australian members of the subcommittee objected to this recommendation. The U. N. proceeded with the election anyway that effectively excluded candidates from the People's Republic Party dominated by leaders in the north. The U.S. saw to it that Syngman Rhee, a rightist who was in exile in the U.S., won the election and a new government was installed in the South with Rhee as president. The North hurriedly conducted its own election participated in by several residents in the south and installed a new government. Those caught voting in the North-sponsored election were punished by the South. Thus, South Korea and North Korea came about; each claiming jurisdiction over the other.
In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. The U.N. came to the support of South Korea with an army. The U.S. army contingent still in South Korea was under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Southwest Pacific theater that included Japan. The U.S. army was made caretaker of the U.N. army in South Korea and Gen. MacArthur was appointed commander of U.N. army that was able to push the Korean army back to the 38th parallel up to the Yalu river. Now China came to the support of the North Korean army that took refuge in Chinese territory. MacArthur wanted to bomb areas north of Yalu river to destroy the "privilege sanctuary" as he called it. When U.S. President Harry S. Truman, a Democrat, thought that he could not reign in MacArthur from giving statements of policy over Truman's head to the mass media, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command, including that of supreme commander of the Southwest Pacific theater (Kolko, J. and G. Kolko. Limits of Power. 1972).
MacArthur blamed international business for Truman's refusal to allow him to bomb the "privileged sanctuary" along the principle of hot pursuit. International business did not want to provoke Russia and China into an all-out war especially as it saw China as a great market, in the view of MacArthur. At that time China and Russia were still allies. With China joining the fray without declaring war, the Korean war raged until 1953 where thousands of American soldiers lost their lives. When the belligerents (U.N. army and U.S. army that subsumed the South Korean forces on one side; the Russian, Chinese and North Korean forces on the other) could not knock each other out the Korean war came to a ceasefire stalemate. But the civil war has not culminated up until now. In this lull, American subsidiaries built factories in South Korea that now controls 45% of the world market in flash memory used in the new generation of cellphones and laptops.