With President Trump being accompanied by three U.S. carrier groups during his trip to Korea, South Koreans should pull a “Brexit” on the United States. As I counseled last April and August in two separate articles, South Korea should dissolve their alliance with the United States and kick all U.S. troops out of the country. (See “South Korea Should Give U.S. Troops the Boot” and “South Korea Should Give U.S. Troops the Boot, Part 2.) The time to do so is now, before it is too late.
The top priority of U.S. officials is to prevent North Korea from acquiring the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear bomb. Everything else, including the lives of South Koreans and even the lives of U.S. civilians in South Korea and the lives of U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea, is of secondary importance. If hundreds of thousands of those people must be sacrificed to protect the United States from the threat of nuclear attack, there is a growing possibility that Trump and the generals surrounding him will seek war, either by provoking it or initiating it.
Throughout the controversy, most U.S. commentators have assumed the U.S. military presence in Korea as a permanent given. They are unable to think outside the old Cold War box. Their proposed solution to the crisis has been for U.S. officials to sit down with North Korea and try to work out a deal.
That might work, but then again it might not, especially since North Korea knows that the U.S. government cannot be trusted to keep its word in any deal that is reached.
The reason North Korea wants a nuclear capability is not to start a war with the United States or with South Korea. The reason it wants a nuclear capability is to defend itself from one of the U.S. government’s storied regime-change operation or to deter such an operation. If the U.S. government were no longer in South Korea, then the threat of a U.S. regime-change operation would plummet. Most likely, so would the desire of North Korea to acquire a nuclear capability to strike the United States.