Guaranteeing Kim Jong-un’s Safety

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Robert Ringer


One of the most poorly thought-out comments President Trump has made to date is when he guaranteed Kim Jong-un’s safety if a peace settlement is reached.  Good intentions, no doubt, but the reality is that it’s a guarantee he can’t make good on.  Here’s why:

Let’s take a best-case scenario and assume a deal is struck that calls for the complete denuclearization of North Korea, including the unfettered right of the United States and South Korea to inspect.  Let’s further assume that U.S. companies — along with those in other advanced nations — would invest in North Korea, just as they have done in such former enemy states as Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

This would almost certainly bring about a level of prosperity to North Korea heretofore unimagined.  North Koreans would still be poor by South Korean or U.S. standards, but not destitute.  That’s an important distinction, because people who are impoverished and starving think only of day-to-day survival, not revolution.  But the “newly poor” — those who are poor but don’t have to worry about starvation — have the luxury of being able to think about overthrowing their perceived oppressors.

Which raises the peace-settlement question that no one is addressing:  In the event there actually is a settlement, what happens to the 25 million people in North Korea who are virtual slaves — slaves suffering from malnutrition and disease?  I’m talking about those who live in fear of being put in concentration camps for uttering the slightest comment that can be interpreted as subversive by Kim Jong-un’s enforcers.  How does Kim keep them from revolting?

It goes without saying that even if a settlement is reached, North Korea still will not hold free elections and Internet access will be tightly controlled.  In other words, except for starvation, things will pretty much continue on as they have been for the past 65 years.  It’s the only way Kim Jong-un can hope to stay in power.

Which raises another question:  Following a peace settlement, would North Koreans be allowed to visit South Korea?  If so, can you can imagine what their reaction would be when they saw, firsthand, that South Koreans are living lives of unfathomable luxury?  And what happens when many North Koreans refuse to leave South Korea?

Likewise, what would happen when South Koreans visit North Korea?  Wouldn’t they be horrified by the poverty and suffering they witnessed?  Worse, North Koreans would tell them about the brutal oppression of the Kim regime.

It wouldn’t be long before protests erupted in North Korea and the ruling elites would have no choice but to employ brute force to silence the protestors.  In such an environment, would the United States continue to protect a brutal dictator?  On the other side of the coin, if the U.S. threatened Kim Jong-un, it would almost certainly bring retaliatory threats from North Korea about restarting its nuclear program if the United States interferes.

Thus, sooner or later the United States would have to make a choice:  Turn a blind eye to Kim Jong-un’s repressive tactics or give him a one-way trip to visit Muammar Gaddafi.

Of course, it’s always possible, though highly unlikely, that Kim could become a benevolent dictator, but that would be a life-ending mistake on his part.  North Koreans are not going to forget their suffering under his regime, and it would only be a matter of time until they rose up and overthrew him.  I don’t believe Kim is naïve enough to allow this to happen.

The bottom line is that unless Kim Jong-un is removed from power and a democratic government installed, oppression of North Koreans would have to continue after a settlement is in place.  If the United States attempted to use force to remove Kim from power, the unintended consequences could be catastrophic.

The real solution to the North Korea problem is one that everyone seems intent on ignoring — that the United States should be negotiating directly with China President Xi rather than his puppet in Pyongyang.  In other words, acknowledge the reality that China has always had 100 percent control of what happens in North Korea and act accordingly.  When Kim recently returned from a secret trip to Beijing and did a one-eighty on Trump, it was obvious he was carrying out orders from above.

Let’s stop the game-playing and acknowledge that China could get rid of Kim Jong-un in about an hour-and-a-half if it put into place a fail-safe plan to prevent millions of North Koreans from flooding its border, a plan it certainly has the resources to enforce.  That said, it’s time for Trump to forget Kim Jong-un and have a series of face-to-face talks with his pal, Xi Jinping.  It might take a while to negotiate the details of a peace deal with China (chiefly because trade issues are involved), but a workable solution to the North Korea problem would be much more likely.

But, of course, this approach would be too logical and too simple for the pro-war folks in Congress who have a vested interest in seeing to it that problems are never actually solved.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

21 responses to “Guaranteeing Kim Jong-un’s Safety”

  1. wjk says:

    This all sounds logical to me!

    Robert is right. Only people with hope revolt against their rulers. Wait until the people of N. Korea realize the price that Kim has been placing on them. I'm sure they have relatives in S. Korea who will enlighten them.

    And since the leader of China has declared himself the Supreme Ruler of the world, I'm sure that he is including the people of N. Korea in his mythical kingdom. Since they are Kim's only close friend, he must be bowing low to anything that China says.

  2. Scott theczech says:

    It's time to study the re-unification of East and West Germany. It may be a model, albeit not a perfect fit, to apply to the North/South Korea situation.

    Of course it is way too much to hope it could be like the "velvet revolution" with the Czech Republic and Slovakia; They sat down at a table, reached an agreement, went their separate ways with nary a shot fired. I know, a divorce, not a marriage…but marriages are supposed to be a thing of celebration and joy.

    • patg2 says:

      I don't know how comparable the re-unification of Germany is. Different culture, for starters. And there was no notorious national tyrant that I am aware of. They were simply a satellite of the USSR. I could be mistaken, but the cultural differences are huge. I could only hope it would work as well.

      • Scott Theczech says:

        You’re right, the cultural and sociological differences are vast from those of the Koreas. However, there are many similarities and I hope that the designated negotiators are taking those into consideration. People who have not tasted nor appreciate individual liberty are not only Ignorant of the benefits, both personal and societal, they are afraid of it!

        • patg2 says:

          The third problem is they wouldn't know what to do with individual liberty if they had it. They are a heavily status-based society, and the idea of equality (which I consider an essential part of liberty) is simply unthinkable.

          • Scott theczech says:

            Yes, North Koreans will have to be taught the distinction between "created equal" with "equal opportunity and treatment under the law." Oh wait, we're still having to educate Americans on this fundamental understanding!

  3. William Dillard says:

    I can only think by the statement by Trump in regard to his safety means that the US will never allow the South to invade the North.
    This is a situation that can't be resolved in full because to to remove Kim from power even by means of China would mean that the US could never be trusted to deal honestly with any tyrant again. So it is limited what can be taken from an agreement with Kim. But having him unable to fling missiles around those Pacific areas will have to suffice !

  4. Scott theczech says:

    We've worked out deals with tyrants and despots in the past and we can do so in this case. Sometimes one has got to make concessions in order to keep an eye on the bigger prize. Helping China and the South Koreans insure his safety will be less expensive and more manageable than stationing US troops in theater for 70 + years. This problem may resemble the Gordian Knot of our time, but it can be untied rather than cut.

  5. Bob Diamond says:

    I usually am 100% in agreement with your insights and your conclusions you are flat out brilliant. But in this case I have another view on your conclusions- if all we achieve is de-nuclearization of North Korea isn't that enough right now? We protect our interests and although people in N Korea will still be treated horribly we will have achieved a major objective. I agree that dictators cannot ramp down the oppression – their folks would revolt, but all problems cannot always be solved at the same time. But if a deal is struck at least nuclear war will be eliminated as a threat and our interest will are protected. Also millions of South Koreans and Japanese will be safer as an off-shoot.

  6. sam239 says:

    Not so sure the North Koreans are naive about South Korea – there's an active black market of bootlegged materials. Some, at least, must have a good idea that it's more prosperous south of the border. Also, Kim is undoubtedly backed at some level in Beijing. Think having him in power serves as a proxy for them so they will help keep him propped up.

  7. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    We have to hope that enough close-thinking American voters continue to exist that no more O'bozos are ever voted in again for "sentimental reasons". Like maybe voting in a "FIRST DOG or CAT" FOR PRESIDENT!

  8. Rick G. says:


  9. Rick G. says:

    Nobody can ever guarantee anyone's safety.

  10. Greg B. says:

    After living outside of America for 30 years and looking at America from the outside in, I think Americans should be concentrating on how to avoid becoming like the N. Koreans. Hasn't anyone noticed that the American government and their minions has caused more death and grief to other people in other countries than N. Korea ever has? What I've noticed over the years is that the American government and it's shadow government is slowly becoming just as bad as N. Korea as far as the oppression being constantly elevated. What is true about both countries is they both are run by a shadow government spewing fanatical patriotism and propaganda which keeps the people from really seeing straight.

  11. George Sam says:


    Been a fan since the 70's and your adventures in Beverly Hills and the Ryder Truck episode. Truly, You have been "fired in the flames of adversity" and as such speak candidly from the gut (heart). As a preeminent reader of political intrigue, winds of war and an accurate reader of wind blown tea leaves count me in as a listener.

  12. Rick G. says:

    Oh yeah, how I remember reading about that in Looking Out For Number One.

  13. RealitySeeker says:

    Americans have watched for decades as Castro kicked the shit out of his own people right in our backyard. So, what's the difference if we give China and Chublet Kim the same deal as Kennedy gave Khrushchev and Castro?

    Has it really escaped your notice that Trump is negotiating with President Xi albeit not openly for all to see? You must be slipping. And what Trump has offered Xi and the Chinese communist cabal is a face-saving deal: I call it the Fidel Castro exchange, i.e., the U.S. keeps its hands off Chublet Kim in exchange for denuclearize, peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and a stalemate on Taiwan.

    Trump openly told everybody what he would do regarding China and Korea during the presidential campaign. Remember? Or has IQ and memory suddenly dropped in the last two years? Trump just finished the walk-away part of the deal he told everybody he'd do. Now Trump is "smoothing out the lumps".

    I think Trump is doing a great job. And that's really more than I expected, i.e., "winning".

  14. B Wilds says:

    To understand North Korea we must remember that North Korea claims a long list of grievances against America dating back to right after World War II. Sadly the validity of such claims are supported by detailed reports from two well-respected groups. To be quite frank I was appalled at the allegations levied against America but knowing how facts are twisted and propaganda is used by governments I should not have been.

    The cruelty of war is often swept under the rug or justified in many ways. Still, if any validity at all exists to the claims made in the 1952 IADL and the 2001 Korea International War Crimes Tribunal reports some of North Korea's fear and distrust of America becomes more understandable. More about these claims in the article below.

  15. kevinkruse26 says:

    President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that we might "assure" Kim Jong Urn’s safety at their planned summit assembly write my coursework for me. Trump became protecting a press conference inside the Oval office with South Korean President Moon Jae-in when a reporter asked if he may want to guarantee Kim might be safe for the duration of their deliberate assembly. “I can assure his protection, yes. We will assure his protection, and we have talked about that from the start," Trump said. "He will be safe; he will be satisfied. His u. s. might be wealthy; his USA might be hard-running and really rich."

  16. gopcongress says:

    I agree with the sentiment. The only way Kim Jong Un remains alive is if he goes on a global version of the Federal Witness Program, and completely changes his name, continent, and hemisphere. He could probably do well in Ecuador or Argentina. Africa is out of the question, as is western Asia or Europe.

    However, it's a choice he must make, because his nuclear creating ability is now bottomed out, and with Trump not going anywhere for at least two more years, and likely six, as long as the US plays Type 1 on China, China will be forced to maintain their sanctions on North Korea, so there will be no way Kim maintains control of his country. His last gasps of public defiance to try to get the world to pressure Trump to back off aren't even close to working. Kim, start looking at South American timeshares, stat.

  17. Lauren says:

    I think this whole North Korea thing is just a game of big kids to be honest. This is completely pointless and makes no sense. Both Trump and Kim should grow up for the love of God. I remember that tweet when Trump said something like "if Kim wants to play with nuclear button, please inform him that my button is bigger and it's working". Isn't this just a childish behavior? I think it is. I don't take them seriously anymore. Although, it can back fire if one of them will go on a childish tantrum and press the button. Scary times, lads, scary times! Was writing a what is leadership essay recently and included them both as an example of bad leadership. Change my mind :)