Regime change cannot be achieved by military means and, of course, we do not need to do it that way. We should incapacitate the regime ideologically, economically and diplomatically.
“Ideologically” does not mean psychological warfare, because psychological warfare will not work on a person like Kim Jong Il; a man who is capable of merciless violence against his own people. No, “Ideologically” means disarming and isolating the enemy in ideological ways.
That is, enlightening the people with advanced ideology and global thinking, and putting them in opposition to the dictator. Pulling down the enemy’s ideology is a tactic in this battle, as is arousing the people’s awareness of their leadership.
“Economically” means to isolate the North Korean economy, and “diplomatically” means to isolate North Korea diplomatically by strengthening our alliances. The core tools in the diplomatic battle are the Six-Party Talks, in which we have to focus on separating Kim Jong Il from China.
We, South Korea, have to lead the diplomatic battle to isolate Kim Jong Il in the Six-Party Talks. Since China leads the Talks, it advocates them. But is not asking Kim Jong Il’s ally to act as mediator the same as having the fox guard the henhouse?
It is no use to go directly to North Korea in order to deal with Kim Jong Il while ignoring these strategies. Nowadays, the U.S. only focuses on denuclearization, Japan prioritizes only a solution to the abduction issue, and here in South Korea we talk only of a Summit. But these are not the core of the North Korea problem.
The key thing is how to separate Kim Jong Il from China. The South Korean government should concentrate its diplomatic power on this issue.
Cutting off the alliance between China and North Korea is at the core of Kim Jong Il regime change
Although South Korea has close relations with China there days, China will not exclude North Korea. Nevertheless, China is not guaranteed to act as the North’s supporter forever; China assists the North because it is in their interest to do so.
China knows very well that Kim Jong Il is a bad leader. For the last three decades China has tried to persuade Kim to reform and open his economy, but he has not done so. This one thing proves to you that Kim Jong Il tends not to share his every intention with and to rely completely on China. Nevertheless, for China it is pleasing that a new U.S.-style democracy is not facing its border directly, because that would affect China politically.
Xi Zhongxun, a former vice-premier and the father of current Vice-President Xi Jinping in China, put it clearly when he was alive, “We don’t want anything else from North Korea, but as long as North Korea does not accept U.S.-style democracy, we don’t care what they try to do.” Kim Jong Il knows this fact very well indeed.
The holder of Kim Jong Il’s lifeline is China. A Chinese attempt to cut off its alliance with the North right now would sound the death knell for Kim Jong Il.
The current relationship between South Korea and China will not influence North Korea, although if South Korea and China sign a Free Trade Agreement, Kim Jong Il will suffer from nerves.
The South’s administration should watch the Kim Jong Il regime from a distance and avoid trying to cope with it directly. Instead, South Korea should urge China to deal with Kim Jong Il themselves.