The untimely but welcome death of one of histories most brutal dictators, Kim Jong il this weekend is a gift from heaven. This is a chance to fix a wrong that has polluted the free world for over 60 years, and we would be foolish to waste it. And the best part is we can do it at a minimal cost.
Considering the fact the vast majority of th DPRK’s weaponry is pointed at South Korea and Japan, and the other well known fact of China propping up this failed regime all these years, means the 3 of them can handle the work on the ground, and we can make China pay for most of it. Sure we can contribute and give them a bunch of fuel, medical supplies and tons of food, but make that new kid in charge pay for it. I’m talking demilitarization or regime change, period. But I think we can do it without force. I’m saying lets us and Japan, China, South Korea and Russia simply buy them, or take them out before the garage sale starts. Call me crazy, but is it not realistic or feasible? How about that Right to protect framework?
Fact 1: Here are the basics of the DPRK’s military, with an estimated annual budget of 4-7 billion: The DPRK has enough Plutonium to fuel 6-7 nuclear weapons, most likely they are not yet mated to missiles, but they are getting close. The North has at least 1,000 missiles of various types, including some with a range of more than 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles). As far as chemical and biological weapons program, they have one assumed to still be in the R&D phase, but have stockpiled 2,500-5,000 tons believed to be anthrax, mustard gas, sarin, botulism and phosgene. Not pretty at all. They also have a shiny new uranium program. This list they must give up, period. It must be accounted for and destroyed immediately, no negotiations. Give it up or we topple you and take it.
As far as conventional forces the DPRK’s military currently number about 1.2 million, with reserves of 7.7 million. (Mind you the whole population is around 28 million.) The DPRK must reduce their forces to fewer than 500,000 and a reserve force of a million, That’s all they need to still be a force to be reckoned and maintain security, with but severely neutered.
The army has weaponry that includes 4000 ,, 2,500 apc’s, 7,500 pieces of artillery, 2,500 multi rocket launchers, 7,500 mortars, an unknown number of anti-tank guided weapons, 1,700 recoilless launchers, and 11,000 air defense guns. The navy has a large fleet of submarines, estimated at 92. It also has three frigates, six corvettes, 43 missile craft, 158 large patrol craft, 103 fast torpedo craft, more than 334 patrol force craft, 10 amphibious ships, two coastal defense missile batteries, 130 hovercraft, 23 minesweepers, eight midget ships, and four survey vessels. The air force has an estimated 80 bombers, 541 fighters, 316 transport planes, 588 transport helicopters, 24 attack helicopters and at least one unmanned drone as well as an ample supply of air-to-air missiles and surface-to-air missiles. The DMZ has most this in hidden emplacements all along the tightly controlled border along side approximately the highest density of land mines in the world: 2.3 for every square meter. How to clean up the DMZ, the 155-mile-long, and two-mile-wide no-man’s land will be a major predicament to say the least and could take decades and cost billions. Let them keep a number of weapons to supplement their militaries at a reasonable (and for now) controllable size.
Fact 2: Out of that 28 million, since the end of the Korean war there have been estimates of 4-6 million dead due to starvation, disease and murder. There are approximately 150,000-200,000 political prisoners as well, locked away in “re-education” and internment camps. Entire families locked away. In the civil population the average citizen is not much better. Basically farmers, peasants and soldiers mostly, along a capitol bought and paid for by the regime of around 3.2 million of the most loyal.
What kind of price would you put on this? How much have they milked from the world already? It is after all, not the North Korean’s fault, it’s the 2 Kim’s (soon to be 3) responsibility. I say if he agrees to hang it up once and for all and switch to trying to save his newly gained country from total collapse and really reform the country, by all means let’s help out. Well, then he can stay and the regime will be secure and get all the help they need. Because I promise you, Iran’s already shopping. I’m sure we can come to an agreement that will secure the country financially and save it from ruin, as well for the first time in over half a century, put some stability back into Asia.
And if they don’t give it up? Smash him. The world is fed up with this madman and his legacy already. Or do we wait for another 2 million dead?
Jeff Treesh is @IranAware