Defector: N. Korea’s Kim Is World Problem

In keeping with Roger Simon’s challenge, here’s what North Korea’s highest-ranking defector says:

The only way to combat North Korea’s dictator is for the world to unite against him as it has against terrorism, North Korean’s top-ranking defector said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. … On his first trip to the United States, Hwang Jang Yop also said he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is fully prepared to start a war and that there’s no telling whether Kim will ever give up his nuclear program.
“It’s like … asking whether a venomous snake will bite or not,” Hwang said in the interview.

Roger feels, and I agree, that the pledge made in 1945 — never again — has transformed definition from ‘never allowing genocide to happen again’ to ‘never recognizing genocide again’. We missed it completely in Cambodia after the much-derided “domino theory” came to pass. We missed it in Rwanda, and we’re missing it in the Congo. We stopped it, eventually, in the Balkans, and we deposed Saddam but only years after his massive slaughters had begun, and even at that we’re still learning just how extensive they were. Kim Jong-Il may not be killing an ethnic minority, but he is starving his own people to death in a country that is little more than a concentration camp writ large.

“Kim Jong Il has sacrificed a lot — the economy, the people,” Hwang said, referring to a famine that has killed estimated millions. “And all the sacrifices were for the expansion of his military. I don’t believe he was (just) trying to display them and brag about the fact that he has these things. He really intends to start a war,” Hwang said.

I believe Bush can concentrate more on North Korea now that he isn’t pinned down in a diplomatic stalemate with Saddam Hussein any longer. We need to pressure Russia and China, who seem open to cooperation with us, into understanding that a nutbar like Kim Jong-Il threatens their stability at least as much as Japan’s, and to take action to ensure North Korea never goes nuclear. But, regarding that, we are rapidly approaching the time when we won’t have the luxury of allowing possession of nuclear weapons to stalemate us. We can’t let the Irans and North Koreas of the world continue to wreak havoc and support terrorism just because they have a nuke or two. We faced down the Soviets; surely we can face down a tinhorn dictator and a few mad mullahs.