Luttwak considers the means by which the government in Pyongyang survives. China props up the Kim regime, South Korea is feckless, and the US is tied down militarily. He argues that nothing is achieved with the North by issuing solemn warnings and indignant declarations; mere words do not impress the hard-bitten North Korean regime. But former President Carter has done us a great service. As usual, we need only do the exact opposite of what he recommends, this time by rejecting talks with the Kim dictatorship until (at a minimum) it makes full amends for its most recent crimes. Nothing will be lost since all past negotiations have proven futile, and the US will avoid rewarding North Korean aggression.
Luttwak, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is the author of “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace” (Belknap, 2002).