Receive "The World According to Tom Barnett" Brief
Where I Work
Search the Site
Buy Tom's Books
  • Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
Monthly Archives
Powered by Squarespace
« Chart of the day: Where government control of banks is for real | Main | Podcast of my recent appearance on "The Black Fridays" »
1:44PM

The Politics Blog: 5 Ways to Get Help on the North Korean Mess (from China)

Is Kim Jong-Il mad or what? As if this weekend's Eastern diplomatic swing to ease tensions over the sinking of a South Korean warship didn't seem fruitless or frustrating enough, now the world's least-favorite despot is really screaming to respect his authorit-ah by freezing ties with Seoul this morning.

Having long ago reversed its own "sunshine policy" toward its evil twin, South Korea now seems truly fed up. President Lee Myung-bak checked all the usual boxes over the weekend (cut remaining trade, block sea lanes, resume pysops, seek UN Security Council resolution, etc.), then pointedly added a call for regime change, vowing that North Korea "will pay a price." But before you go screaming World War III on today's developments, take heart: The solution, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains in "intensive consultations" with Beijing over both NorKo and Iran's nuclear program, remains in China. And the time for tough choices seems to have arrived, both for Beijing and the Obama administration.

I have long argued — and since persisted, with regard to both Pyongyang and Tehran — that the U.S. should punt on Iran's nukes (there's nothing undeterrable about a Shia bomb) and target North Korea for regime change. I still believe that. Engaging with Iran serves tangible, near-term purpose (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-vs.-Hamas/Hezbollah), while toying with Kim serves none. And I still believe that China is in the driver's seat, whether we're talking Beijing's $80-billion investment in Iran's energy sector or its dreams of lifting $6-trillion worth of NorKo's mineral reserves (at bargain basement prices). Understanding that China must save face as well as sunk costs, here's my plan for making everyone — save Israel and Kim — more, shall we say, respectf-ah in the short run.

Read the full post at Esquire's The Politics Blog

Reader Comments (2)

$6-trillion worth of NorKo's mineral reserves

What is your source for this figure?

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuest469

WAPO

The potential profits are eye-popping: China is one of the world's most voracious consumers of raw materials, and North Korea's mineral reserves are worth $5.94 trillion, according to an estimate by South Korea's Ministry of Unification. China has been critical of North Korea's nuclear program and missile tests, but it also has vastly increased its economic ties with Kim's government.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/02/AR2009110203603.html

May 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>