In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on USNews.com
The shocking news of an intercontinental ballistic missile launch by the North Koreans has again focused attention on the communist regime of the Kim family. In a tedious pattern, the media wring their hands about the potential catastrophe posed by North Korean missiles, despair about the lack of options and criticize the lack of American strength that the same media has historically disparaged, before moving on to whatever nonsense passes for news.
It is hard for those of us who have lived and studied the Korean problem to attempt to put the focus on the root of the disease, rather than the symptom: The root cause is communist ideology interpreted by a corrupt dynasty, not the missiles it produces. Remove the cause and the symptom will expire.
Conservatives and liberals, realists and Wilsonian’s, all have an enemy in the ideology and practice of the North Korean regime. There is no American that can honestly espouse any American-based creed and be comfortable with this red dynasty’s existence. It is an illogical and immoral construct, even in its attempt. If one wants to understand why an American citizen was just murdered by this regime, one need only understand its policies against its people.
It is important to re-examine the atrocities that the North Korean regime engages in:
There is no greater symbol of the regime we are trying to deal with than the communist concentration camps it operates. The number of people currently in these camps could be as high as 120,000 in five infamous camps. Reports of torture, rape, forced abortions and murder are commonplace.
The very idea that America would ever consider any relationship with this regime should end here. The reader should ask themselves if they would have been comfortable having a relationship with Nazi Germany, knowing what we know of the concentration camps they operated. Estimates of those murdered in this democide range from 700,000 to 3.5 million over the majority of the regime’s existence. Some defectors report the use of poison gas chambers and harmful medical experiments. It is believed that communist guards are under orders to slaughter prisoners at these camps should the North be invaded.
Then there is the Songbun caste system, which creates an unbreakable system of slavery for all except those approved by the communist party. It has three large categories (loyal, wavering and hostile) and 51 sub-categories.
The regime uses food as a weapon, depriving those considered disloyal and rewarding those on top. Any policy restricting food shipments to North Korea will result in those that oppose the regime being starved first.
The regime uses public executions to keep the people in line. This policy is particularly used against religious believers, especially Christians.
Needless to say, there is no freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of labor, freedom of assembly or freedom of movement.
North Korea’s rogue regime status is constantly confirmed by its nuclear testing, missile program, state-sponsored terrorism and assassination, use of chemical weapons, and narcotics and counterfeiting programs.
Unfortunately, American administrations from the 1950s onward have kicked the can down the road. There were windows of opportunities that would have had less cost and less tragedy. These opportunities could have been taken if past presidents had acted on the root problem and not the countless symptoms.
There will be no peace, no agreement, no understanding as long as the communist regime in Pyongyang exists. The regime is an affront to any American, whether they look at the world through pragmatic or idealistic eyes. The regime must end.