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.
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