There are many options regarding North Korea, all the experts say, but all of them are bad! I think one move that’s never talked about has merit. I’ll need some space to offer a few facts that make the plan more plausible.
Most of us “own” territory here and there. If you were an exchange student in Norway, for instance, you will be sure to read everything you see in the press about Norway. You “own” Norway. Were you a Marine guarding our embassy in Kuwait? If so, you “own” Kuwait.
I “own” North Korea!
While covering the outpouring of refugees from Hungary after Soviet might denied Hungary its freedom in 1956, I visited a refugee camp for Hungarian students in Vienna. Many of those students had escaped Communist Hungary into free Austria only hours earlier. Among them was a young man with an Asian face. I thought perhaps he was a Japanese reporter or an Indonesian aid worker. Then I heard him singing along with the Hungarians! I bounded over to him and asked, “China?” He replied “Korea!” We embraced, both of us having been in opposing armies only three years earlier. He was one of two hundred North Koreans studying engineering at the University of Budapest. Hungary was one of the most technologically advanced of all the Communist countries, and all of those countries had students studying things in Hungary useful to the Communist military.
When the fighting started in Budapest all of the students from the Communist bloc remained obediently in their dormitories, except for the North Koreans. All of the North Koreans joined the Freedom Fighters and fought the Soviet troops in the streets of Budapest. Those Koreans taught the Hungarian students how to use Communist weapons. The people of Hungary know how helpful their Korean allies were in that failed but valiant Freedom Fight.
That young Korean, now an American citizen, remains my best friend to this day. He and his North Korean friends demonstrated that even in 1956 North Koreans had no affection for Communism.
Another North Korean warrior, a fighter pilot, defected to South Korea in a life-threatening dash for freedom inspired by an unusual discovery. While on vacation at a North Korean military beach resort, he spotted something colorful in the surf. It was a food wrapper from South Korea with a very polite message telling customers how grateful the producer was for their business, and that if there were any problem or complaint to please call! That pilot had never been addressed in such a respectful manner. Korean Communism is very rough. He deduced that all the dreadful things the North Korean Communists told the population about “the wicked South” were lies. He bet his life on it, and won!
With the collapse of the Berlin Wall and European Communism, it’s no longer “capitalist propaganda” that Communism was hated from the outset and that every subjugated population yearned for freedom. Owing to the incredible cruelty of North Korean Communism, we don’t expect a Hungarian-style revolution in North Korea, nor a “Velvet Revolution” as in Czechoslovakia, or open rallies and riots as in Communist Romania and Bulgaria. But the lust for freedom has repeatedly overtaken Communism worldwide.
North Korea is 100 percent Marx – 50 percent Karl and 50 percent Groucho! Some random examples. North Korean propaganda reported that Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, decided to take up the game of golf. He scored six holes-in-one-and came in 12 strokes under par! And that was his first game!
Millions of North Koreans have been lost to famine – but North Korea’s news service gave the people the joyous news that science had just proven the awesome health benefits of eating just one meal a day! Other Communist countries use ordinary ways of murdering their enemies. North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un had one of his “enemies” locked naked in a cage and eaten alive by wild dogs. And that was his uncle!
It’s easy to see the border separating North from South Korea from the air at night. South Korea is ablaze with light. The North is in total blackout.
OK, Communism is unpopular. North Korea has mastered the arts of cruelty and fear to safeguard its incredibly malevolent regime.
Muster every cutting-edge communications technique to pierce the bamboo curtain and unleash a firestorm of audio, video, cyber, the works, straight into the gut-work of the Pyongyang regime. Make it entertaining. Let the North Korean people know that we ache for the chance to welcome them back to freedom and prosperity. Let them know what they’re missing. Let them know that even the Communist countries are capitalist today, witness China and Vietnam.
Slap them with every rumor, particularly those that sow suspicion and divisiveness. Paralyze that whole diseased nation with the abrasiveness of distrust. With nothing but shortwave radio, freedom was solidly assisted over Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty way back in the 1950s. Today we can soften them up and make them more vulnerable.
During World War II there was a song, “When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World.” If we did it then, it’s worth a non-violent try to make the lights go on again all over North Korea.
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