Defector: How to denuclearize the North; Why Trump doesn’t trust Seoul leader

FPI / September 29, 2019

[Editor’s note: The following was written by Jong Ho-Ri, a former senior North Korean economic official. His last assignment was in Dalian, China as head of the Korea Daehung Trading Corporation, which is managed by Office 39, a clandestine organization under direct control of the ruling Kim family. Office 39 is responsible for procuring hard currency for the Kim regime, which is critical to sustain the economy and ensure the loyalty of party elites. Jong defected with his family to South Korea in late 2014 and currently resides in the greater Washington, D.C. area.]
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In

The Korean Peninsula is facing a crisis now. Of course, there is no doubt that Kim Jong-Un’s reckless nuclear and missile provocations are worsening the situation on the Korean Peninsula. However, what’s more serious is that U.S. President Donald Trump does not trust South Korean President Moon Jae-In and his administration.

On solving North Korea’s nuclear weapons issue, it is important for the U.S. to establish a vision and strategy for a post-Kim Jong-Un contingency situation.

After Kim Jong-Un’s rule is over, how should the U.S. cooperate with the next regime? How will the nuclear weapons, facilities, and materials be managed? The U.S. needs to prepare now. If it doesn’t, then the North Korean elites can look to China.

The U.S. needs to conduct operations to win over the North Korean elites and generals now, and to show them the vision of their future and unification, and make them friends of the U.S.

The U.S. president’s perspective is that the Moon Jae-In administration does not share the U.S.- Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance strategy and common values, and that the Moon administration is not doing enough of its role on the Korean Peninsula.

The Moon administration says the “ROK-U.S. alliance” is strong, but the Moon administration is too devoted to North Korea and China.

Thus from President Trump’s perspective, it appears he determined that the Moon administration is no longer useful for the U.S.’s Northeast Asia security strategy. He pointed out that the combined U.S.-ROK military exercises to protect South Korea were a complete waste of money to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Aug. 24, 2019.

Around the same time, Kim Jong-Un tested missiles multiple times and threatened South Korea by saying it is a direct warning, and criticized president Moon with harsh words and curses. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the worsening South Korea-Japan and South Korea-U.S. relations, Chinese and Russian military aircraft violated the KADIZ (Korea Air Defense Identification Zone) & the Russian aircraft entered ROK airspace over Dokdo.

The simultaneous pressures and attacks are brought about by the incompetent leadership of President Moon Jae-In.

First, President Trump sees the Moon administration leaning too much toward North Korea, and not sharing the U.S.-ROK alliance strategic interests and values.

Moon’s slogan is “People First.” But North Korea’s Juche ideology also states “People are the master of everything and decide everything.” North Korea’s constitution’s first paragraph, section 3 also states “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ‘people-centered’ world view.” Thus, Moon’s values ironically reflect North Korea’s Juche ideology and constitution.

The South Korean president and the majority of the key figures in the Blue House, the South Korean government, and the ruling party believe in the Juche ideology and were anti-U.S. activists, so they directly confront the values in the constitutions of South Korea and the U.S.

Therefore, the Moon administration cannot respond strongly to North Korea’s nuclear & missile provocations and remains silent on North Korea’s human rights violations. They’re only devoted to removing the sanctions on North Korea and giving economic aid to North Korea.

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