Carrot-first policy invites disguised peaceRegarding the execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle, it is now clear that young Kim is distant from reform. Publicly ousting his uncle, who was considered a pro-reform soft-liner in the reclusive regime where military hard-liners dominate, demonstrates that Kim intends no reform.
Rather, the unusual public display of a high profile execution again reminds the world of the intrinsic nature of the Kim dynasty’s single-minded focused on its grip on power. From father to son to grandson, the ruthless political demotion and purge only highlights the tradition of a failed state.
Failed states fear hard power and military might the most; they have nothing to lose but their existence. That’s why the North remains insular to economic sanctions and diplomatic gestures. That’s why the North has exhausted all its resources on its nuclear weapons program to gain the ultimate leverage at the cost of state failure.
A stick-first, carrot-second approach will contain the irrational North. A carrot-first policy invites disguised peace.
* Choi Si-young Editing adviser of Yonsei European Studies at Yonsei University