Scenarios for reunification of Korean Peninsula

North Korea has, on several recent occasions, launched short-range missiles, including Scuds, the range of which is over 300 miles.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un emphasized his policy of pursuing economic development while continuing a nuclear program in his 2013 New Year’s address.

But the sudden purge of Jang Song-thaek, the head of the North Korean economy, has revealed that nuclear weapons have priority over the economy these days in that country.

It seems North Korea has changed its policy and decided to depend solely on nuclear weapons.

The press in the U.S. reported that North Korea was focusing on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the U.S., even though North Korea appear to be adopting conciliatory policies such as the recent reunions of families separated by the Korean War.

This claim seems to be proven by the recent missile launches of North Korea. It is really foolish of the North to pursue the development of such missiles.

North Korea seems to have the wrong idea that if it successfully launches a long-distance nuclear missile that can reach the U.S. mainland, President Obama will offer to have a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un.

In fact, however, it is highly likely that the U.S. would regard the launch as a declaration of war and, to defend its mainland, attack the North with surgical bombing to destroy nuclear facilities in North Korea.

With bunker busters and drones, it would destroy the nuclear facilities of North Korea so completely to ashes that they cannot be put into operation ever again.

I wonder if the old generals of the North Korean military know that the defense budget of the U.S. is close to the sum of those of the next 10 countries in military spending and that its military power is ranked as the overwhelming number one in the world. Maybe for this reason, every military expert in the world predicts that the North Korean regime, like a frog in a well, would not last long.

In other words, the reunification of the Korean Peninsula might come earlier than people think. President Park Geun-hye said that reunification would be like a jackpot, and many foreign investors feel that reunification is approaching.

In particular, Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, said that he would invest his whole fortune in the Korean Peninsula once reunification begins. Now is the time to build the foundation for the era of the unified Korean Peninsula.

There are several reunification scenarios.

First, we may wait for North Korea to collapse on its own, thinking that the collapse will occur soon. But the question is, how long we should wait for that to happen.

Second, according to a recent poll, 60 percent of young people in South Korea do not welcome the reunification of the two Koreas.

This is because they are too worried about the economic burden and instability that the reunification will bring. Hence, we need a “war bonds” program like the one used by President Roosevelt. This is a proven, highly successful, program.

Third, it is wrong to adopt the “sunshine” policy again. The policy failed. The aid provided to North Korea was used as the driving force of its development of nuclear weapons. The “sunshine” policy would only maintain the status quo by extending the life of the Kim Jong-un regime.

Fourth, we may persuade China to stop its support for North Korea. There are increasing voices in the Institute for International Strategies of the Communist Party of China that China should change the treaty that it signed with North Korea.

It wonders if North Korea is worth the international isolation that China has to endure as a result of protecting the country.

Fifth, the U.N.’s commission on human rights in North Korea recommended in its recent report on the cruel human rights abuses of the North Korean government that Kim Jong-un should be put on trial at the international criminal court.

The problem is that it takes the U.N. Security Council to refer a case to the international criminal court, but the certainty of China’s veto makes this not plausible.

Sixth, there is a preemptive precision strike. A bunker buster can fly 500 km and penetrate 30 meters underground. The problem is that hundreds of conventional North Korean cannons in the DMZ are aiming at South Korea.

Should we use military force sacrificing so many people in Seoul? I believe that simultaneous preemptive attacks can be carried out through joint operations such as Key Resolve between South Korea and the United States.

Jay Kim is a former U.S. congressman. He serves as chairman of the Kim Chang Joon U.S.-Korea Foundation. For more information, visit Kim’s website at


Lobbying should be legalized

There is a famous hotel in Washington, D.C., called the “Willard Hotel.” The hotel is more than 160 years old, but its interior is always maintained so well that it looks as if it were built recently. It is a historic hotel that has kept its 19th-century style of architecture, while maintaining a 4.5 star rating at the same time.

The hotel is the nearest hotel to the White House, but it is above all famous for originating the word “lobbyist.” In the hotel’s lobby, people in suits always have serious discussions, and one can quite often find a famous politician in a private meeting with someone. As such people always gathered in the lobby, people began to call them “lobbyists” or “power brokers.”

As of 2007, there were 15,000 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. But, nowadays the number has been reduced to about 11,000, as demand has diminished. The reason is that the regulations on lobbying have become more and more complicated since the Lobbying Disclosure Act was passed by Congress in 1995. For example, according to the law, lobbyists have to submit detailed reports to congressional clerks by the 21st of every third month, as well as an annual year-end report, which should contain the details of their expenditure, including gifts and travel costs, and especially fundraising dinners.

The real reason for the diminishing demand for lobbyists is that many law firms in Washington, D.C. have been buying small lobbying firms through mergers and acquisitions, maybe because they think that lobbying makes easier money. I heard that some big law firms have hundreds of lobbyists. Another reason for the disappearance of small lobbying firms is that a growing number of special interest groups, such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), tend to meet the members of Congress directly to lobby privately. There was a report from Reuters that the current number of lobbyists is at least above 100,000 if one counts these people as lobbyists. In other words, there are 25 lobbyists for each House Representative.

I was once the mayor of Diamond Bar, a city in Los Angeles County. Though the city was one of the richest in the county, it could not afford to hire its own lobbyists. Thus, the city hired a small lobbying firm jointly with other nearby cities and shared the costs with them. It did so because, at the time, it was difficult for a city located on the west coast of the U.S. to know properly in time what kinds of laws were being passed in Congress and what kinds of things were happening in Washington.

The job of the lobbyists was to inform the city quickly about a bill to be submitted by some Congressmen, if it was related to the interests of the city, such as who was sponsoring the bill, when it would be submitted, what kinds of effects it would have on the city, and also to work together on ways to respond to the bill in case it had a negative effect on the city. Sometimes, they acted as an intermediary for getting the funding for the necessary projects of the city, when the city could not send its people to Washington, and they also regularly gave information on current weekly events in the political sphere of Washington, especially on issues related with local governments.

Lobbying is illegal in Korea. Any kind of lobbying is treated as a crime, and many people have gone to jail for involvement in it. On the other hand, there are also many people who lobby legally or discretely. For example, if a high government official who is not an attorney is hired as a high-wage advisor by a big law firm after retirement, what the person does in the firm is, strictly speaking, lobbying.

When big corporations hire former ministers and vice ministers as advisors, it appears that the corporations have clear intentions to use the networks of those retired government officials for business connections. These people are lobbyists in reality, even though they are not legally. Even to correct this situation, I think, lobbying has to be legalized as it is in the U.S. I am talking about an American lobbyist system where lobbyists are registered, and lobbying is taxed and strictly monitored by the government. Lobbying happens anyway in reality, so I think they should legalize it under a proper system.

Jay Kim is a former U.S. congressman. He serves as chairman of the Kim Chang Joon U.S.-Korea Foundation. For more information, visit Kim’s website at

Visit with the Overseas Koreans Foundation

231605999On March 12, Jay Kim visited the Overseas Koreans Foundation with other officers of the World Korean Politician Council of which he is a standing adviser. They recommended that the “World Korean Politician Leadership Forum” should be resumed, and suggested various ways to hold the event regularly in Korea every two or three years. They also discussed various ideas about expanding the “Global Korean Network” to develop Korea and overseas Korean communities together.

Kim said that the forum would strengthen the foundation for the continuous development of Korean politicians and leaders overseas, stronger Korean identity among overseas Koreans, and the progress of Korea and overseas Korean communities.

Supporting President Park Geun-hye’s vision for the reunification of two Koreas

서울과 미국도시들의 협력방안은?

Jay Kim appeared on the “Power Interview” of Kyung-In Broadcasting iFM on March 3. Supporting President Park Geun-hye’s vision for the reunification of two Koreas, he suggested that a national bond should be issued to raise funds for reunification, as a way to prepare for the financial cost or a possible financial crisis caused by the reunification. He claimed that the value of the bond would increase by 200% after reunification, and that a tremendous amount of money would be raised through investment.

He also suggested that a national defense fund raised from people’s donations could be used to finance reunification and that foreign investments will rush in from or for the Manchu region, or the Vladivostok region.