‘Pulling a Ronald Reagan’: How South Korea Can Defeat the North (The Korea Times, South Korea)

Should South Korea embark on an arms race with Pyongyang so costly that it breaks the back of the North Korean regime? That is the implication of this column by Oh Young-jin of The Korea Times, who counsels his frustrated countrymen that Reagan’s route for dealing with the Soviet Union is the one thing that Seoul has yet to try on Pyongyang – and which could work.

Portending a possible Reagan-style North-South arms race, Oh Young-jin writes in part:

For ten years under Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, we employed the “Sunshine Policy” of engagement with the North, in the hope of leading it to a “doctor-assisted,” death. It did not.

President Lee Myung-bak has applied the rule of reciprocity in dealing with the North. But this obviously hasn’t worked, either.

So we may feel like we have run out of options – but Reagan would say otherwise. … We still have a trump card to play against the North.

Let’s do a Reagan: play along with the North in a game that it calls its own, but statistics show it can never win. According to official data, our population is twice as large as that of the North; our GDP 40 times the North’s and GNP per capita close to 20 times larger.

READ ON AND READ MORE ON THE NORTH KOREA CRISIS AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

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Author: WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)

Founder and Managing Editor of Worldmeets.US

  • cjjack

    I’m sure the people who sell arms to South Korea think this would be a wonderful idea, but someone needs to remind them (the arms dealers, South Korea, and the author of the piece) that the “Reagan spent the Soviet Union into oblivion” myth is just that…a myth.

    Sure, the USSR had a hard time keeping up with the military spending, but the biggest factors in the fall of the Soviet Union were Gorbachev, Glasnost, and Peristroika. The regime collapsed from within, not from without, and the fact is that there is nothing analogous to the former Soviet Union going on in North Korea right now.

  • slamfu

    Also the North Koreans have completely brain washed the population. From everything that’s come out of there it is apparent that Orwell’s “1984″ has been actually executed in that nation and been in place for a few generations. The mere idea of revolution simply does not exist over there, the entire population has been programmed to love Dear Leader even as they starve. What has happened to North Korea is the worst thing any nation has done ever as far as I’m concerned. The idea that financial considerations could have an impact is wrong. Look at the night time photos of North Korea, its completely dark. They have kept their people under control by denying them everything, from material, food and even any kind of modern convenience. Those are reserved strictly for party members of affluence.