Little Rocket Man wins the round
And while he surely welcomes the U.S. commitment to fight the North on his country's behalf as an insurance policy, Moon does not want a second Korean war, and he does not want President Trump making the decision as to whether there shall be one.
Understandably so. He is looking out for South Korea first.
Yet Moon rightly credits Trump with bringing the North Koreans to the table: "I give President Trump huge credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, and I'd like to thank him for that."
But again, what are the U.S. interests there that we should be willing to put at risk of nuclear attack tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Korea and our bases in Asia, and even our great cities, in a war that would otherwise be confined to the Korean Peninsula?
China shares a border with the North, but is not treaty-bound to fight on the North's behalf. Russia, too, has a border with North Korea, and, with China, was indispensable to saving the North in the 1950-53 war. But Russia is not committed by any treaty to fight for the North.
Why, then, are Americans obligated to be among the first to die in a second Korean War? Why is the defense of the South, with 40 times the economy and twice the population of the North, our eternal duty?
Kim's drive for a nuclear deterrent is propelled by both fear and calculation. The fear is that the Americans who detest him will do to him and his regime and country what they did to Saddam Hussein.
The calculation is that what Americans fear most, and the one thing that deters them, is nuclear weapons. Once Soviet Russia and Communist China acquired nukes, the Americans never attacked them.
If he can put nuclear weapons on U.S. troops in Korea, U.S. bases in Japan, and U.S. cities, Kim reasons, the Americans will not launch a war on him. Have not recent events proven him right?
Iran has no nuclear weapons and some Americans clamor daily for "regime change" in Tehran. But because Kim has nukes, the Americans appear more anxious to talk. His policy is succeeding.