WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Albert Einstein is credited with defining insanity as "doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome." This Mr. Einstein is, of course, the Nobel physicist whose 1939 letter on atomic fission to President Franklin Roosevelt resulted in the Manhattan Project -- and the development of the first A-bomb. In the wake of North Korean "product demonstration" and claim to have detonated a nuclear weapon, U.S. decision-makers should heed the late scientist's pithy observation -- for our policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) certainly seems to fit the definition. It's time to face the facts: None of the "diplomatic initiatives" the United States has tried since 1945 have worked to prevent North Korea from becoming a serious threat to U.S. national security.
The post-World War II "diplomatic" decision to partition the peninsula at the 38th parallel allowed the creation of a family-run Stalinist dictatorship. When the DPRK invaded the democratic Republic of Korea on June 25, 1950 -- the United States took the case to the United Nations. Two days later, the U.N. Security Council resolved to "repel the armed attack" -- not to "unify" the two countries. Even this measure would have failed had the Russians -- with veto power -- not been absent when the vote was taken. The resulting four-year-long Korean War cost the lives of 54,229 U.S. servicemen and ended in a "diplomatically negotiated" stalemate right where it began -- on the 38th parallel.
Subsequent "diplomatic initiatives" have fared no better. In the 1990s, faced with the prospect of the DPRK developing advanced missile and nuclear technologies -- while millions of North Koreans starved -- the United States engaged in lengthy bilateral diplomatic discussions aimed at convincing the militant regime to cease and desist. The 1994 "Agreed Framework" has proven to be a disaster. The agreement required Pyongyang to stop all nuclear weapons development and the United States to provide North Korea with billions in foreign aid and two light water nuclear reactors for generating electricity. We complied. They lied.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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