After I finish writing this essay, I'm going to read the article that Niall Ferguson recommends on the matter of President Trump and North Korea. To Ferguson, this is his make or break moment. I think it's not but it should be. I really don't expect anything persuasive out of the White House. Americans did not vote in either Obama or Trump for their facility for understanding the world, as is evidenced by the current mawkish blather over punching Nazi's in Charlottesville. Then again, I'm sure PT Barnum had something to say about the moral perspective of the average American sucker too. I'll not dig up that nugget, and I'm not even tempted to find another clever insult against the current state of American political discourse.
While I'm making loud pronouncements about foreign policy, I may as well say that if Carolyn Glick is to be believed, all of the Palestinian authorities are wheezing out their dying breaths over an even more balkanized set of inner tribes. Their last best hopes for nationhood are about go out with a whimper, but for random First World billions, wherever they trickle. So yeah. One state solution. I said as much a decade ago, and i didn't really care then either.
Speaking of one state solutions, that's my prescription for Korea. I wonder where the Seoul boys stand on that idea. Of all the ideas, there seems to be only one with a possible happy ending which is that the people who speak the same language and eat the same food give the Norks a taste of Gangnam Style. Actually, they should drown them. Here in California, lots of folks have gotten a taste of KPop and their daytime dramas. It's a contagious, and I think powerful way forward. Psy Ops.
I am convinced that any military coup-like action by China would produce a huge refugee crisis that they seriously don't want to handle, presuming that the DMZ stays intact. Bodies floating down the Yalu is not a pretty sight, but it is preferable to bombed out cities to the south. So everybody ought to be urging the South to welcome the starving millions. Still, we know (don't we?) that the only way to keep a country from eating itself alive in the vacuum left by a deposed despot is to keep the powerful bureaucracies in power no matter how corrupt they might be. At least they know where all the secret accounts are that move money around with any semblance of order, something which would have to be very disciplined under a supreme leader. Nothing America does that doesn't encourage and empower the Seoul contingent to march towards pacific unity can be of any help. No matter how much of a beating Guam might take, the US is going to have to suck it up and work through Seoul, period. We have Hyundaied, Kiaed and Samsunged them onto the world stage, so let's give them more and more billions to become even more irresistible to their Northern cousins. Buffett is into POSCO, and for the sake of peace, I bet even Apple's CEO would shake more hands.
Trump doesn't have a leg to stand on beating up the Norks, despite their Axis of Evil status. It's not what he was elected to do. A simple firm hand is all. Tit for tat. But if anybody takes it on the chin from a DPRK first strike, I wouldn't mind seeing one week of shock and awe. OK maybe two days of taking out air power and telecoms. The Norks would have about one week's sympathy for shelling the South or lobbing missiles at Japan even from the most diehard America haters. Essentially all America would have to do is provide one sure-footed kick in Pyongyang's balls, turn around and walk home. I presume that our best military minds know exactly where those balls are located and are stretching their hamstrings. IE, standard readiness, elephant walks and all that generic saber polishing.
So that's my take. Seoul needs to get its reunification rhetoric engine tuned up and be prepared to make arrangements with the remnant DPRK state bureaucracy. America and the world need to see eye to eye on this and push the South as well. There is no other reasonable way. One Korea.