Sunday, August 13, 2017

Give up megaphone diplomacy Don and focus on improving regional alliances with South Korea and strengthening sanctions against Kim Jong-un

Malcolm Rifkind, [original article contains lins]

Try speaking softly, Donald...but carry a big stick

Image from article, with caption: Lyndon B Johnson was able to issue private warning while showing public diplomacy

President Trump should give up megaphone diplomacy and replace it with private messages to the North Korean leader warning him that any use of his nuclear or conventional military capability against the US or its allies would result in the full force of the US being used against him and his regime.

President Lyndon B Johnson was successful by using such an approach in 1968. The North Koreans had seized the Pueblo, an American Navy ship with a crew of 83, which was near their coast.

By a combination of public diplomacy and very private warnings of a willingness to use military force if necessary, the US President persuaded Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, to release all the warship’s crew unharmed.

That is what “speaking softly and carrying a big stick” is all about. President Trump should start trying it.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary from 1992 to 1997. He is a Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London.

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