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Just say 'no' to North Korea
John Kusumi and Majer Zhou
4/20/2003

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The United States correctly refused to negotiate bilaterally with North Korea in the face of its gambit of nuclear extortion and saber rattling. Like China, North Korea is a communist led nation of hideous human rights atrocities, and a dictatorship that we oppose. Moreover, we find a matter with North Korea that all taxpayers everywhere ought to oppose. The current crisis should be looked upon as attempted economic extortion, at nuclear gun point.

We are firm in our belief that there should be no reward for such treachery and misbehavior on the part of a communist dictator. To send the money of other nations' taxpayers, to prop up the North's Kim Jong Il, would be like paying "protection money" to gangsters. Every nation's government should care about what precedents are set here, and a better deal for the North would make for an exceedingly dangerous and disappointing precedent.

To reward Kim Jong Il's gambit would encourage every two bit dictator to follow suit with carrying out nuclear extortion. As a result, we also oppose any ad-hoc multilateral negotiations with North Korea. If this matter will go to any multilateral forum, that should only be the United Nations and its Security Council, where we also advocate a "Just say 'no' to North Korea" policy.

We are calling for everyone, worldwide, to just say 'no' to North Korea. Aid workers who already have business there should be permitted to continue their important humanitarian relief work. But, we would not expand aid, nor increase those budgets by any amount -- no way, no how. In our view, North Korea needs to become more economically isolated, allowing the world to perfect the art of the peaceful regime change.

The record of how North Korea is governed presents many compelling arguments for just such a peaceful regime change, and many common citizens of North Korea must already feel steamed at that regime, and well ready for such transition. Why would the world prop up a dying regime? Kim Jong Il's actions already display desperation and weakness.

South Korea can only feel heartbroken about the plight of their divided peninsula, but we would not follow the South's lead because they are too close to the situation, and too likely to allow sentimental emotions to color their judgment. We remain convinced that the free world is challenged by the world of tyranny, and that the border of the free world is the most important one to uphold. South Korea needs to remember on whose side of that border it stands.

Communists should not be handled with sentimental emotions, and U.S. President George W. Bush called matters correctly when he placed North Korea into the "axis of evil." For our part, we also term North Korea's ally and mentor, China, to be the "motherlode of evil," and another candidate for regime change. We advocate handling China in the same way as suggested here for North Korea.

At the same time, we call for military restraint in relation to North Korea. While, intellectually, North Korea is in the same category as pre-war Iraq, pragmatically, the solutions to each threat need not be identical. North Korea is not Iraq, and military options are best if kept on the back burner in relation to North Korea. The costs of war with North Korea could be hideous, and we caution restraint with any military option.

In summary, we call upon the world community to isolate evil; to refrain from rewarding communist misbehavior; and to just say 'no' to North Korea.

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John Kusumi and Majer Zhou are campaigners for Chinese democracy. Kusumi, also remembered as 1984's 18 year old candidate for U.S. President, serves as the Executive Director of the China Support Network. Majer Zhou serves as the American Director of the Free China Movement, and is also remembered for leading college students in 1989's Tiananmen Square movement.



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