Home | About | Donate

It’s Time to Make a Deal With North Korea


It’s Time to Make a Deal With North Korea

John Feffer

The United States faces a new nuclear power ruled by a communist dictator. Washington is worried that the leadership of that country is crazy enough to use its new weapons — even against the United States. Meanwhile, other countries fear that the “madman” in the Oval Office might just launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack.

This description captures the situation today, with U.S. President Donald Trump facing off against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.



If North Korea will execute their leader, we’ll execute ours.


Dear Mr. Trump:

You have portrayed yourself as a deal maker extraordinaire, possessed of the greatest business acumen in recent history.

Yet, at every turn, you approach all of the world’s problems today behind the shield of a presumed overwhelming military superiority. Did you listen yesterday to Shinzo Abe’s address to the UN? Most of his comments were meant to suck up to the current belligerence that you have embarrassingly exhibited through these last several months. However, near the end of his remarks Abe alluded to the great mineral wealth that lies within the confines of North Korea and openly stated that “That is where North Korea’s future lies.”

This is not new knowledge, and yet China, the DPRK’s protector and ally has done little to help that government develop those resources and potential wealth for its people. There is an opportunity there that is going begging, and you of all people, possessed as you are of superior business intellect and cunning, do not see it.

You complain that China is not doing enough to help diffuse the situation. Propose to the DPRK a joint mining and refining development and watch how quickly China will become actively involved.

A similar situation exists in Afghanistan. Recently you have bitterly complained that after all of the billions of dollars that the US has wasted there the end result will be a dispirited US withdrawal, leaving all of that nation’s mineral wealth to be exploited by China. Again, there is an opportunity, plain as day, that is going begging. Make a deal with Iran for a joint rail development through the southeast portion of that nation from the common border with Afghanistan to the sea. Iran also has substantial mineral wealth (very near where such a rail line could run,) and such a rail line could benefit them as well.

It goes without saying of course that our dubious allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, would have an apoplectic fit. Consider though Sir, that the actions and intent of those so-called allies handcuff US diplomacy and true interests into a no-end-in-sight continuing debacle of war, death and destruction. In the end the schemes of both Israel and Saudi Arabia will bankrupt the US and allow the resurgence of a belligerent Russia, and the unrestrained avaricious hunger of China.

Obviously Mr. President I am not one of your fans or supporters. The reason for that is because I see, like many do, a man of infinite bluster and very limited knowledge, someone who hardly deserves the mantle of “a great deal maker” which you claim for yourself.

It could be different, but it would take a person of great courage and vision to arrest these current crises, and possibly set the world on a more peaceful and prosperous course.


I have hesitated writing this, or something similar, for some time. Obviously there are many aspects of sovereignty, justice, and conflicting interests (the MIC would be apoplectic also,) that this never-to-be-sent communiqué ignores.


“North Korea has even negotiated successfully with the United States on nuclear issues: with the Clinton administration in 1994 and the Bush administration in 2005”

Indeed they did. Now they have thermonuclear capability and maybe the means to deliver as well. I would say they are pretty adept at negotiating.


The time to get together with somone to iron out differences is Before you call them names.


i can’t tell exactly what is snark and where you’re serious. getting the natural resources of these countries? what rape of the planet is happening in each of your scenarios? ok, what rape or exploitation of the countries?


Your comment is one that I most expected. Whether anyone here likes it or not, the mineral resources of both N. Korea and Afghanistan will be developed. My main point was that, even within the mental universe that Trump claims to exist, he is unable to envision anything close to a mutually beneficial deal. ie - he’s a phony.

Your valid objections to so much of what was lurking in that post is the biggest reason I hesitated to post it. If making deals between US and N Korea and Iran for mineral extraction and development would promote more normal relations between our countries, then I would be for it. Do I think Afghans would or could become happy, productive miners and manufacturers? History would seem to indicate otherwise. The N. Koreans? Very possibly.

What shaped much of my political and environmental outlook was growing up in the coal fields of eastern Ohio . In the short span from my childhood to adulthood the surface coal industry wasted the better portion of the surface of three entire counties here. I saw firsthand the destruction we humans are capable of doing, so I’m not unaware of the relation between the extractive industries and capitalism.

Details matter also. From what I understand both NK and Afghanistan possess significant deposits of rare-earth minerals which are critical to many of our high-tech devices. We could debate endlessly the merits and liabilities of that, but one thing we could probably agree on is that they are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Whether the US has a hand in mining, refining, and exporting these things from Afghanistan and N. Korea, it will happen nonetheless.

Trump of course has no qualms about the environmental and social justice consequences of any of this, and yet he is incapable of making any such deals. He’s a fraud and a phony. I’m pretty sure I understand your list of objections to what was bound up in that pseudo-letter. I expected those objections, and worse. Keep an eye on these issues, and watch what happens.


V, thanks for an excellent posting. Please know that I wasn’t being cheeky or critical in the last two questions I asked, nor were they rhetorical questions. I was sincerely asking about possible repercussions. I’m not as articulate or knowledgeable as you but do realize the reality you describe. And of course, I think you’re being too kind in what you say about dump.


Toni if I did think you were being cheeky or critical, I also felt I probably deserved it. Sometimes I have an idea or point I try to make and I fall flat on my face - ie “the letter.”


Not to worry… I just wanted you to know I was sincerely asking…