Save the Date for this most timely and important program!
CONFRONTING NORTH KOREA
Dr. John Scire, Professor Xiaoyu Pu, and
Former Assemblyman Pat Hickey
Tuesday, May 16, the Ramada, 9:00 a.m.
For decades North Korea has been a “2nd-tier” crisis for the United States, as America focused its diplomacy and war-fighting capabilities on other global “hot spots”. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, Yemen, Sudan, etc., all took precedence. Every President since Bill Clinton has played for time, hoping that either the regime in Pyongyang would collapse, or even evolve into a normal country. At times we and regional allies have even propped up the regime by relaxing sanctions or providing food aid. Nothing seems to have worked, and North Korea remains a totalitarian country run by a mercurial, unpredictable and provocative ruler, Kim Jong-Un.
The most dangerous challenge from North Korea comes from its possession of nuclear weapons. Since 1994, the leaders in Pyongyang have at various times agreed to halt their uranium and plutonium-based nuclear programs. Every American president–Bush, Clinton, and Obama–have employed a variety of sticks (mainly sanctions) and carrots (food and monetary aid). Various governments in South Korea have done the same. “Engagement” has clearly failed to influence the regime in Pyongyang, as Kim Jong Un has accelerated the pace of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, tightened its borders, sent a team of assassins to kill his half brother in Malaysia, and restricted internal supplies of food to achieve political aims. The result—most of the populace can barely find enough food to survive.
Yet North Korea’s nuclear program continues to grow. The fourth nuclear test this past January forced the U.S. and South Korea to apply more stringent financial and diplomatic pressure. Yet the nuclear tests continue, as have attempts to launch medium-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. While North Korea has not yet demonstrated the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and successfully mate it to these missiles, there is little doubt that within 3-4 years Pyongyang will have an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit the United States.
Our distinguished panel of experts will take a deep look at the North Korean regime, its internal politics, its relations with regional powers such as China, Japan and South Korea, and American plans to change the regime’s direction (either by force or persuasion). Dr. Pu is an assistant professor of political science at UNR and former China and World Fellow at Princeton University. Former Nevada Assemblyman Pat Hickey serves as Nevada’s Honorary Consul for the Republic of Korea. He also is an adjunct professor in political science at UNR, and the Executive Director of the Charter School Association of Nevada. Dr. John Scire is an adjunct professor of political science at UNR and spent 8 years in the Army Reserve working with the South Korean Military on Psychological Operations against North Korea. He served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps in infantry, intelligence and psy-war assignments.
We envision this as the first of a two-part series on the North Korean challenge, with the follow session featuring a US Ambassador to a country in the region or senior military official with experience in the Pentagon’s planning for conflict with North Korea.
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