R. Nicholas Starr
Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party features this perspective from R. Nicholas Starr in accord with our strong opposition to weapons of mass destruction and to the threat of nuclear war – as, for instance, expressed in Section IV of our Platform. The U.S. Transhumanist Party thus welcomes the progress of negotiations that could considerably reduce the probability of a nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea.
~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, June 13, 2018
I don’t like, trust, or support Trump. But his approach with North Korea might just work.
From 2004 to 2011 I was an intelligence analyst for the USAF. As such I spent a lot of time reading and briefing about North Korea, especially during my time stationed at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. While most of my knowledge was focused on specific aspects and activities, if you spend enough time reading about a regime, you begin to get a sense of their point of view.
The US military spends a lot of time and money on preparing for a North Korean threat. Constant simulations on how to destroy the North are a provocation. How would you feel if someone was practicing the best way to destroy you, every year, for decades? Not only does it present a clear military threat, we must remember that there are innocent lives at risk – innocent people that live completely in the dark and don’t really know why these exercises happen, Just extremely limited information, often paired with editorial fear mongering, that is distributed through Rodong Sinmun. Any objective observer would notice that the years of sabre-rattling have not created peace, but exacerbated the issue. A promise to limit or completely end these exercises seems like a rational decision.
Treating Kim Jong-un as an equal also seems like the right thing to do. After all, he is the leader of his country, a country tired of fighting to justify its mere existence, regardless of how he stepped into the role. He isn’t his father or grandfather, even though there is significant pressure to be so. He is only playing the hand he was born into. So coming into a summit with a positive attitude towards Kim just might do the trick into diffusing international tension.
From Kim’s point of view, he likely feels weakened now that seismic activity, caused by his underground testing, has made his nuclear program unsustainable, and so he is looking to come out of the situation in the best way possible. He may also see that the work of his predecessors has not had the desired effect. Kim, much like Trump, might believe that a new course of action is necessary. So if Trump needs to lose some military and political leverage to make it happen, then fine.
HOWEVER, if Trump steps out of the strict lines of total peace toward North Korea, we risk a swift decline into war. And let’s face it, Trump has a history of saying one thing and doing the opposite. He also tells people exactly what they want to hear and does what he wants anyways. So the risk of breaking whatever agreement was made is high and very real. If ever there was a time for Trump to be honest, it is now, because Kim Jong-un will hold him to it. The fate of peace stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. I can’t imagine a better time for Tolkien’s wisdom than right now. This is the closest we have come to resolving the issue, and previous methods have proven ineffective. So maybe it’s worth a try.