Archived 10/2/2003...

Should Military Force be Used to Remove the Regime of Kim Jong Il in North Korea?

In a Nutshell



  1. North Korea likely has nuclear weapons and has repeatedly threatened to use them.
  2. They are spreading weapons around the world recklessly; e.g. the missile sale to Yemen.
  3. They could give nuclear or other WMD to terrorists.
  4. North Korean civilians are starving and oppressed, with little hope for a better life.
  5. It would be inconsistent to not attack North Korea after the Iraq War, giving more substance to the Blood-for-Oil argument.
  6. It would act as a further deterrent to other would-be dictators and terrorist sponsors.
  7. Kim Jong Il has created many atrocities, such as the kidnapping of Japanese citizens.
  8. North Korea's desperate financial situation may leave it no other choice but to sell nuclear technology.
  9. Kim Jong Il has repeatedly provoked us (e.g. entering DMZ, locking on to a recon plane, breaking treaties, etc.)
  10. It's better to strike now with nuclear capacity at a minimum than to wait for them to build 100s or 1000s of nukes.
  11. No peace agreement can ever be trusted after they wouldn't even live up to the one-sided oil-for-ending-nuclear-program Clinton deal.
  12. It would back China into a corner as the only significant remaining communist power.
  1. World opinion would grow even more anti-American.
  2. A great number of U.S. soldiers and Korean civilians would likely die.
  3. There are plenty of diplomatic routes left to try.
  4. A nuclear catastrophe, possibly on our own soil, could occur.
  5. Unlike Saddam, the current regime of North Korea has never attacked anyone with a WMD; thus, nuclear ambitions are likely for deterrence only.

Related Links

North Korea: Stay the Course
Cato Institute: What to Do About North Korea
Time for a New North Korea Policy

Is anything missing? Is any of the material inaccurate? Please let me know.

Written by:
Joe Messerli
Page Last Updated: 10/02/2003