Open Letter to Kim Jong Un

Dear Kim:

With your people facing greater scarcities at home and you not being able to provide, it follows that you are getting anxious again. Will North Koreans see you as a failure? Will the growing unease spark a revolt?

Knowing that the mounting distress could turn explosive, you have gone back to doing what you do best – making noises with your rockets.

It doesn’t help, of course, that you’ve painted yourself into a corner and antagonized the international community, although you’re still able to reach out to other iron fisted rulers (Putin and Xi Jinping) and beg for assistance.

But since the pattern keeps repeating itself, I think the US and the international community have to get more imaginative in addressing the problem.

The fundamentals are clear: you will not give up your nuclear weapons and you will not surrender your leadership. But it may be possible that, with a little effort, you might be willing to embrace the state capitalism that has worked so well to lift up China.

Here’s how I think the US and the international community could take a fresh approach. They could say to you, “Kim, let’s accept the facts, you are a nuclear power. Your cunning and persistence have outwitted every American administration and all the sanctions they have set up and you are now an undisputed nuclear power. We give you that. You are nuclear, baby. You did it.”

But that is not going to feed your people and you and I know North Koreans deserve a great deal more.

So here’s a deal for you. The US lifts all sanctions and we start doing business.  How would that work?

In exchange for the lifting of the sanctions, you would grant American businesses the exclusive right to set up ventures in North Korea for a period of 10 years. This may include technology transfers with appropriate payment for patents. This will stir up the spirit of entrepreneurship in your people and be good for both countries and for the world.

Look, as a capitalist nation, we know how to make money, and we can help you learn how to do it, too.

Should this idea take hold, very soon North Koreans would be raising their standards of living, and if you keep a good system of surveillance in place – the technology is amazing – like the Chinese do, you will be able to stay comfortably in power.

Only 10 years, Kim. After that your land would be open for you to do business with whomever you would like.

During those 10 years we would invite you over to the White House and to Mar-a-Lago (while Trump is president) so you can get to meet all kinds of interesting men and women.

We’re all grownups here, so you should know that our intentions are clear. We, in America, would like for you to become more like us. And make money as you go. You don’t have to give up being communist, but you would be a money making, high living communist, like Vladimir and Xi (Trump could even get you started in the hotel business, building towers and the like. Imagine yourself building a ‘Kim Tower ‘ in Moscow?)

This idea may not be easy to sell but it’s worth a try. Trump may be initially resistant because he’s surrounded by some people who still believe that America can change another nation’s way of governing themselves. But those ideas are fast going out of fashion.

To make it easier for Trump to consider this lifting of all sanctions, you could tell him, “Look Donald, during those 10 years during which America would have exclusive rights to doing business with us, I promise that I will not sell my nuclear weapons to other nations. I won’t because there will be no need for it. My people will be properly clothed and fed, well educated and happy, and I will enjoy international recognition.”

Mind you, Trump may be reluctant to accept this promise – because you have made so many and broken them all – but the thought of lifting all sanctions is so radical that he just might go for it. Remember, he prides himself on being different.

One more thought. We know that you would like a unified Korea. I think that may be possible, down the line, and having a strong economy with a rising GDP will be a great incentive to persuade your brothers and sisters in South Korea. But for the foreseeable future, America should keep South Korea well armed with nuclear weapons, in keeping with the concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction).

How’s your golf game? We can help you with that too. We’ll be glad to send Tiger Woods over to teach you some moves. He’s the best.

Oh, before I forget, I think your sister should be given more authority. Equality for women is just good for business. We haven’t yet elected a woman president but it may happen soon.

Here’s my very best to the North Korean people.

Oscar Valdes

PS: I know that Trump has spoken in favor of tolerating torture but, for most Americans, that’s not a cool idea. So, please, don’t torture your enemies.

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