An America First Korea Policy

By Pat Buchanan

Nuclear War
An America First Korea Policy
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(  “The North Korean regime is causing tremendous problems and is something that has to be dealt with, and probably dealt with rapidly.”

So President Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden this week.

But how this is to be done “rapidly” is not so easy to see.

North Korea has just returned to us Otto Warmbier, a student sentenced to 15 years hard labor for stealing a propaganda poster. Otto came home comatose, and died within days.

Trump's conundrum: How to keep such a regime from acquiring an ICBM with a nuclear warhead, which Kim Jong Un is determined to do.

Having seen us attack Iraq and Libya, which had no nukes, Kim believes that only nuclear weapons that can hit America can deter America. He appears willing to risk war to achieve his goal.

Trump's options as he meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in?

First, the decapitation of the Kim dynasty. But the U.S. has been unable to accomplish regime change for the 64 years following the Korean War. And killing Kim could ignite a war.

Then there is a U.S. pre-emptive strike on North Korea's nuclear sites and missile arsenals. But this would surely mean a war in which Americans on the DMZ would be among the first to die, as thousands of North Korean artillery and mortar tubes fired into the suburbs and city of Seoul, which is as close as Dulles Airport is to the White House.

Asked by Congressman Tim Ryan why we don't launch a war to end this threat, Defense Secretary James Mattis replied that, while we might “win … at great cost,” such a war would “involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital … one of the most densely packed cities on earth.”

Seoul has a metro-area population of 25 million.

We are thus approaching a point where we accept North Korea having a nuclear weapon that can reach Seattle, or we attack its strategic arsenal and bring on a war in which millions could die.

What about sanctions?

Kim Jong-un's Birthday Party Suddenly Took A Weird Turn
Kim Jong-un's Birthday Party Suddenly Took A Weird Turn

The only nation that could impose sufficient hardships on North Korea to imperil the regime is China. But China refuses to impose the Draconian sanctions that might destabilize the regime, and might bring Korean refugees flooding into China. And Beijing has no desire to see Kim fall and Korea united under a regime aligned with the United States.

What FDR said of one Caribbean dictator, the Chinese are probably saying of Kim Jong Un, “He may be an SOB, but he's our SOB.”

Early in his presidency, Trump gave the franchise for dealing with the North Korean threat to Beijing. But his friend Xi Jinping has either failed Trump or declined to deliver.

As for President Moon, he wants to negotiate, to engage the North economically, to invite its athletes to join South Koreans on joint teams for the Winter Olympics in 2018. Moreover, Moon is said to be willing to cut back on joint military exercises with the U.S. and regards the THAAD missile defense we introduced into South Korea as a negotiable item.

China, whose missile launches can be detected by THAAD radar, wants it removed and has so informed South Korea.

Where does this leave us?

We are committed to go to war to defend the South and have 28,000 troops there. But South Korea wants to negotiate with North Korea and is prepared to make concessions to buy peace.

As the nation that would suffer most in any second Korean War, South Korea has the sovereign right to play the hand. But what Seoul considers best for South Korea is not necessarily best for us.

What would be an America First Korean policy?

The U.S. would give Seoul notice that we will, by a date certain, be dissolving our mutual security treaty and restoring our full freedom to decide whether or not to fight in a new Korean War. Given the present risk of war, possibly involving nuclear weapons, it is absurd that we should be obligated to fight what Mattis says would be a “catastrophic” war, because of a treaty negotiated six decades ago by Eisenhower and Dulles.

“The commonest error in politics,” Lord Salisbury reminded us, “is sticking to the carcass of dead policies.”

But we should also tell South Korea that if she desires a nuclear deterrent against an attack by the North, she should build it. Americans should not risk a nuclear war, 8,000 miles away, to defend a South Korea that has 40 times the economy of the North and twice the population.

No vital U.S. interest requires us, in perpetuity, to be willing to go to war to defend South Korea, especially if that war entails the risk of a nuclear attack on U.S. troops or the American homeland.

If the United States did not have a mutual security pact that obligates us to defend South Korea against a nuclear-armed North, would President Trump be seeking to negotiate such a treaty?

The question answers itself.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 18 thoughts on “An America First Korea Policy

    1. I hope someone a lot smarter than most of us on here has a ‘plan’ for feeding the fat kid some bad kimchi or something…….

      Starting a shooting war with NoK would turn out very badly for Seoul, I’m afraid……altho’ we thought the same thing about Saddam’s troops – and look how THAT turned out in the first Sandbox War.

      1. Larry Brickley, any “war” with China would never include the U.S. committing land troops into another meat grinder like in 1951-1953. No one excels in “high-tech” military hardware like the U.S. Don’t buy into the glossy pictures of “new” Commie-Chinese missiles, aircraft, tanks and warships; more fake-news. Recall 2001 force down of a Navy Lockheed EP-3 200+ miles off Hainan Island by a, 1965 era, Shenyang J-8II interceptor, basically an “improved” Mig-21? The Commie-Chinese claimed that Haninan Island contained the “most advanced and sensitive military installations” in all of China. Really? The Commie-Chinese “defended” this site with nearly 40-year old 3rd generation jet aircraft? At the same time the Chinese were still “transitioning” into Russian SU-27 fighters, purchased in 1991, (and a home-grown variant, the J-11). So, while much “superior” fighter aircraft were sitting on main land Commie-China tarmacs (while pilots still trying to figure how to fly them and ground crews still untrained in maintenance procedures,) the “best” the Commie-Chinese” could do was to send up 36-year (50-year old technology) interceptors to “guard” the most “advanced” military installation in the world. I’ll place my faith in the US Military, any day. Semper Fi

    2. Tell China we will cut out trade policies with them, plus we won’t pay our debt to them. That will force China to be more aggressive with North Korea.
      Yes North Korea would fire ever artillery shell that have in to Seoul. Tough situations need tough solutions

        1. Larry Brickey, fortunately you are wrong. Stop listening to the lying Maggot Media. The Chinese “economy” is veneer thin (always has been) and much more fragile than most believe. Even after 8-year horrible years under the Obamanation, the US economy still represents 25% of the entire world’s economic activity. No one is even a close second. Less than 60-million Chinese are impacted by all the foreign investment and most of the 1.5 billion Chinese still live on about $2 a day and dwell in dirt floor hovels. You should read George Friedman’s “Next 100 Years,” it will make you fee better. Mr. Friedman’s’ credentials include, being a former University Poli Sci Professor and presently a private “forecaster” much in demand by many Fortune 500 companies. Born in Hungary in 1949, young George witnessed brutal communism up front and whose Holocaust surviving parent’s wisely fled to the freedom and opportunity afforded by the West.

    3. The “Korean War” never ended, only an armistice was signed. In March of 2013, North Korea declared that it “invalidated” the 1953 armistice, and then stated that it entered a “state of war” with South Korea and declared that “The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over”. We still have a “defense treaty” with South Korea. So, maybe it’s about time we nuke first, ask questions later; but, that wouldn’t be the first time for us.

        1. We don’t have the will. Perversely, by being so successful in WW2 we have taken upon ourselves to be first in guilt and last in the desire to win. We can’t be both a player and the referee, and expect the world to laud our magnanimity. We have a political climate where if a Republican commits troops it must be wrong, but if a Democrat does it, it must be right. A house divided is what we are.

          1. @Clark and joe. Actually, we don’t have the Gill! If GFYG would do his patriotic duty and enlist, then we’d have just the smidgin more that we need to carpet bomb the North Side Violence Policy Center out of existence.

          2. The reason why we don’t win anymore is because the Brass hats became political animals and stopped being warriors. The other reason is because you have ass-hats in Congress that have never served but think they know how to prosecute a war, like that @sshole last POTUS we had. They love to do this so that they can throw around phrases like “mired down” , “protracted war” , “nation building” and etc. Sun Tzu said – “There is nothing to be gained from a long protracted war.” In other words “get in, handle business as quickly as possible with favorable results, and get out. Do not waste time, treasure, and most importantly the blood of any generation uselessly. In order to win you need your, Pattons, your Chesty Pullers, your Adm. Halseys – those who have the will to win. That is why I like Gen. “Mad dog” Mattis – he keeps other people up at night.

        2. Because carpet bombing will not stop the hundreds/thousands of artillery tubes from coming out of their caves in the mountains north of Seoul and killing hundreds of thousands of people before being stopped.

          You want THAT blood on our US hands…? History would NOT be very kind to the US.

          1. BillyBob,

            Did you not see that it was GFYG who wrote the “…carpet-bombed…” comment, and he(?) should be ignored by all other commenters here at Ammoland, as an effen instigator and a troll.

            But, having said that, methinks what Pat Buchanan is asking here is: Do we defend/protect South Korea at the risk of a nuclear attack against the South Korean people including our 28,000 troops stationed there, and potentially a nuclear attack against the American Homeland. And, the obvious answer is – NO WE DON’T..!

            1. Well, I agree with Buchannan – but……exactly how do we handle this. That fat-kid-nut less-job-boy would rain fire down on Seoul.

              Perhaps we should just threaten SoK with removing our troops – IF their new leftie guy thinks he can befriend the Psyco up in NoK.

              Oh, and another thing – we should be sinking EVERY SINGLE ship that comes out of any NoK port. Everyone! – when it gets out in the deep blue – in the middle of the night – and don’t pick up ANY survivors. Poof ! Gone. Wouldn’t take too many ‘missing’ ships to make EVERYONE stop sending any ships to NoK. “What? We don’t know nuthink!!”

          2. History is not going to be kind to the U.S. Its only a matter of time before we are history. I have no problem standing in front of God and my country, and declaring that I was the one that pushed the button that killed all of North Korea. As long as my countryman are safe to live and prosper, SCREW THEM’. They had their chance just like we did.
            As far as sinking the North Korean Navy, What Navy, didn’t know they had one. Their Air force should be in a museum. Their Merchant Marine ships still have sails for Christ sake.

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