The ICAS Lectures
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
November 18, 2019
Mr. Donald J Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I am a former North Korean official who worked for the North Korean regime for 3 decades.
As someone who had worked for a long time under the Pyongyang regime and comprehends the true nature of the regime better than anyone else, I regret the two-year Denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea have failed to move forward. Thus, after much deliberation, I have decided to send a letter to you, President Trump, with my deepest respect.
My family and I are big fans of your policies that put the nation's interests first. I would like to offer a piece of advice to you on how to make sure to complete the denuclearization of North Korea within your first term. I hope you could read it.
I had lived in North Korea for 5 decades and served 30 years as an executive at the core of the regime, the Workers' Party of North Korea. The Kim family regime has been in power for three generations for 75 years and most of its policies have been very consistent.
Having experienced all three North Korean leaders, I have an insight into the nature of the leadership and I understand better than anyone else what Kim Jong-un's fatal weaknesses are and what the solution of the North Korean problem is. Therefore, if you take my advice, I am sure that the North Korea issue will be solved.
As long as Kim Jong-un remains in power, denuclearization of North Korea is permanently impossible because Kim Jong-un regards nuclear weapons as the last means to defend his survival and the extreme socialist system and to use to help unify South Korea under his control.
First, Kim Jong-un will not give up his nuclear weapons because of anxieties and fears that eliminating his nuclear weapons would lose competitiveness in the confrontation between the North and the South and the fear the North could be absorbed into South Korea. Kim Jong-un feels that the existence of a free and prosperous South Korea poses a great threat to the North Korean regime. Therefore, he is obsessed with nuclear weapons to support his single-minded ambition to unify the Peninsula by subversion, coercion, and use of force.
Second, Kim Jong-un firmly believes that nuclear weapons are the last means to protect himself from the enemy’s pre-emptive strike and to maintain rule for another 50 years. Third, if Kim Jong-un gives up his nuclear weapons program, he will face a crisis that loses the trust of his people, the party, and the military as it destroys the legitimacy of his nuclear development, which the three generations of the Kim family regime carried out by tightening general public’s belt. The entire North Korean nation has sacrificed for the development of nuclear weapons. The Kim regimes have appeased the people for decades that the country is poor, and the people suffer because the regime has been concentrating capital on nuclear development and defense capabilities for the safety of people and unification of the socialist Korean Peninsula.
Now, Kim Jong Un is following the nuclear strategies and tactical manuals his grandfather and father made and is cheating on the United States and you by repeating the pattern of the past 25.
North Korean dictators have never made a decision to denuclearize North Korea for 25 years since the 1994 Agreed Framework and have never used the term “denuclearization of North Korea.” Kim Jong-un and his father, Kim Jong-il said the extensive denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was the dying instruction of their predecessor.
For instance, Kim Jong-il boasted about the outcome of the Agreed Framework. The first was that North Korea gained time to develop nuclear weapons, the second was to get two million kilowatts of light water reactors worth $4.6 billion for free, and the third was to receive 500,000 tons of free heavy fuel oil every year until the light-water reactors were completed. At that time, the North Korean elites called U.S. officials stupid.
The former U.S. government negotiators were deceived by the Kim regime for two decades because they failed to understand North Korea and the Kim family regime and its strategy and objectives and; therefore, developed North Korean policy based on erroneous information. In addition to this, the U.S., South Korea and the international community provided a lot of money to help them complete their nuclear program. If these had been North Korean policy makers, they would have been executed as traitors.
The North Korea's claimed denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula aims to eliminate nuclear threats against the North by withdrawing its nuclear weapons-capable U.S. troops and their strategic assets, while the regime's security demands are also aimed at eliminating U.S. military threats completely, to include withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Korea so that it will be able to attains superior balance of military power.
Hence, Kim Jong-un signed on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, not the denuclearization of North Korea, at the Singapore summit (as well as the Panmunjom and Pyongyang Declarations). Both Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un tricked the U.S. President. As we know, Kim Jong-un has promised to denuclearize but has not given up a single nuclear weapon in a year and five months. He rather continues to build more advanced nuclear weapons while testing SLBMs, short range ballistic missiles and longrange rockets to target ROK and U.S. military bases in South Korea. He has the more nuclear weapons than ever.
The results of negotiation with the Kim regime over the past 25 years have scientifically proven that it will never complete denuclearization through dialogue.
The public always enthusiastically support a strong leader. Your powerful image is your strong suit. We believe that the North Korea issue should be handled as tough as that of the Chinese issue to succeed.
In a nutshell, North Korea is an extreme socialist system and a fanatical pseudoreligious group that you must naturally dislike. The fanatical socialist system has kept the country in isolation for 75 years, confined 25 million people in closed spaces, and conducted brutal executions and this oppression has wiped out their freedom, ideology, human rights, and even religious freedom. At this moment, North Koreans are locked in huge jails and filled with anger and hatred toward Kim Jong-un.
You have stopped Kim Jong-un from launching missiles and conducting nuclear tests, but he is still mounting nuclear threats behind the scenes of dialogue and is attempting to take advantage of the relationship with you.
He blames the U.S. for suffering from sanctions, appealing to the people for "selfreliance" in preparation for a long-term war. He wants a breakthrough in sanctions with tourism revenues by building two special tourism zones: Mt. Baekdu zone and Wonsan- Mt. Kumgang zone. Then there will be no problem in maintaining his regime. He is also getting money out of cyber hacking to meet his slush fund and support the “royal economic” but provides nothing for the national economy.
I would like to present the clearest strategy and the fastest solution for the denuclearization of North Korea. The strategy and solution would be to impose all-out sanctions on North Korea for its tourism and cyber-hacking, and at the same time conduct combined psychological warfare and military pressure against North Korea, which can be won without shedding blood, and complete it in a swift manner.
Firstly, the U.S and international community including China have to impose and enforce a complete sanctions regime on North Korea for tourism and illicit cyberactivities to cut off the Kim regime’s source of funds.
At this very moment, Kim Jong-un is avoiding sanctions against North Korea while securing governing funds through tourism and hacking. In addition, he has been pushing for the construction of Mt. Baekdu Tourist Zone and the Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone to expand tourism revenue from next year to prepare for a long-term war with the U.S. Now, the revenue through tourism and hacking are the main source of income for Kim Jong-un’s slush funds.
Secondly, send a U.S. economic delegation to North Korea to launch a psychological warfare campaign that shows directly that there will be a great chance for prosperity if North Korea denuclearizes. I think it would be good to send them in December this year.
The dispatch of an economic delegation will be a trigger for the North Koreans to recognize that if North Korea gives nuclear weapons up, North Korea will have tremendous opportunities for economic development and can get out of the pain of sanctions against North Korea. It also gives the North Korean elites a good image of the U.S. and expectations that they can cooperate with the U.S., thereby energizing them to facilitate economic system change and denuclearization.
If U.S. firms examine the North Korean economy for the first time in history and conduct business shows, the eyes of the entire world will be focused on the show and it could create a great sensation.
Even if the Kim regime refuses to accept the U.S. economic delegation, the mere proposal will bring a good result that the Trump administration is fully engaged in diplomacy, and it will show that President Trump has done more than any other U.S. presidents to denuclearize North Korea and help with North Korean economic development.
The third and fourth points are powerful ways that the U.S government should conduct without stopping under any circumstances until success is achieved.
Thirdly, the most effective way to resolve the North Korean issue is to conduct psychological warfare operations (also known as information and influence activities) against the North through information leaflets as well as the full spectrum of electronic media (the 6.5 million smart phones in the North as well as DVDs, and thumb drives, and TV and radio). It is a very efficient operation to win without shedding blood and it can have the same power as a nuclear bomb. It is also an ideal way to get North Koreans to solve their own problems by themselves.
The Kim family has not opened their country and has blocked all types of information from the outside to maintain its authoritarian socialist system for seven decades. On the other hand, the North Koreans desperately want freedom, and are furious and angry at Kim Jong-un's anti-humanitarian reign and are anxious to be liberated from the yoke of oppression. They are also thirsty for information from the outside world.
The Kim regime has been making citizens hate the Unites States by educating them that their suffering is caused by the U.S. Thus, through an effective information and influence activities campaign, the United States should enlighten the North Korean citizens who are looking for hope in. the darkness caused by Kim Jong-un pouring all sources of money into nuclear development and his luxury life without caring for the starving people. Information will awaken them from their forced ignorance by informing them of the justice and truth of the free world.
In addition, by informing North Koreans that if the Kim regime clings to the nuclear program, a terrible nuclear disaster could occur in North Korea, which will influence citizens to oppose the dictator’s nuclear development. Furthermore, if we send messages through the information leaflets and electronic criticizing Kim Jong-un for eliminating personal freedom, freedom of thought and freedom of religion and committing brutal crimes against humanity, it will have a great effect of changing the system from within North Korea.
The information and influence campaign will allow the North Korean elites, military generals and residents who are disillusioned with Kim Jong-un's brutal reign of terror and repressive regime to replace the dictator and establish a new regime for justice and freedom. If the psychological warfare information are poured into the areas where the North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, major cities, and military headquarters are located, it will deal a deathblow to the nuclear-obsessed leader Kim Jong-un, giving hope to all residents, and at the same time leading to the birth of a new political system.
If a new administration is established in North Korea, the U.S. could easily complete denuclearization by comprehensively discussing with the next leader on the issue of stability of the new government and issues for denuclearization and prosperity.
Finally, the best way to complete the North Korean denuclearization is to show off the Unites States’ strong military power along with the information influence campaign. If Kim Jong Un continues nuclear and missile provocations, you must always retain the option to be able to strike the nuclear facilities and the dictator's office where the nuclear command and control resides to end the vicious circle.
You gave an incredible speech at the South Korean National Assembly in November 2017. “The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times. The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation.”
North Korea's nuclear threat is spreading not only in Northeast Asia but also around the world, including the Middle East and the U.S. mainland. North Korea has long been engaged in weapons and missile proliferation with Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Iran, Egypt and Pakistan. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before North Korea sells nuclear weapons, materials, and technology to Middle Eastern countries and terrorists.
If North Korea's nuclear weapons fall into the hands of Middle Eastern countries and terrorists, Israel and Saudi Arabia are in grave danger, and the terror attacks worse than the 9/11tragedy could reoccur on U.S. soil. Therefore, I believe that if Kim Jong Un makes another nuclear and missile provocation, the U.S. military's strategic assets should be deployed around North Korea, and conduct joint military drills with the U.S., Japan, and Israel, and based on circumstances, the U.S should conduct always plan for a pre- emptive strike against North Korean leadership and nuclear facilities. An excellent example is that Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear facility built by North Korea in 2007.
If the U.S. launches a pre-emptive strike, in order to prevent counterattacks from the North Korean military, inform the North Korean generals and elites of the strong power of the U.S military and undermine their faith in and morale in their leaders by dropping information pamphlets and through all electronic media. Only by launch an effective psychological warfare campaign now can you influence the generals to make the right decision not to obey an order to attack during crisis. Also, the U.S government should deliver a strong message to North Koreans that if they use nuclear weapons or respond to U.S. attacks, they will all be annihilated, but if they do not take any action against the U.S. or the Combined ROK/U.S. military, they will be treated well or rewarded.
Furthermore, by informing the North Koreans that the U.S. never wants war with the North Korean military and only attacks nuclear facilities and the leader who possesses nuclear command and control, the U.S. has the chance to influence them to not fight back. The U.S. government also gives a sense of stability to North Korean elites that If the dictator dies, the U.N and the U.S. would cooperate with the next leadership. Here is important information you and your advisors may not know. I have experienced this twice before.
There will be no chaos in North Korea even if the dictator dies. Due to its isolation and the system in which the Workers' Party controls all power, media and military on behalf of the dictator, the Workers’ Party will appoint a new leader and stabilize the nation even if the dictator dies suddenly. I watched the process of control close by the leadership of the Workers’ Party when Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il died in 1994 and 2011. At that time, the Workers’ Party kept the death of leaders in secret for two days and they announced their death after everything was under control. Of course, the outside world had no idea what was happening. Hence, the theory that the removal of the dictator in North Korea creates chaos may be nothing more than abstract fiction though I do agree that contingency plans should continue to be developed for all situations.
I do believe we should not show leniency to a villain like Kim Jong-un who threatens the world with nuclear weapons and oppresses his own people, and we should protect peace with strong power. If we don't act today, tomorrow will be even more dangerous because Kim Jong-un will have more nuclear weapons. Also, I firmly believe the 75 years of the tyrannical regime cannot be eternal. Thus, I hope you will make a plan to cooperate with North Korean elites in the case of an emergency.
I have an earnest wish that you would meet with me and my family to have productive talks on the situation and economic development in North Korea as a way of targeting the North Korean elite. If you meet me and my family, it will be the most glorious moment of my life and give the North Korean elite a sense of trust and hope.
With Utmost Respect.