“Give Kim Jong-il the Erich Honecker treatment?,” The Marmot’s Hole, http://blog.marmot.cc/archives/2005/02/23/give-kim-jong-il-the-erich-honecker-treatment, 23 February 2005.
The Marmot has a great post on China, North Korea, and Taiwan. He mentions adding People’s Republic to the G8. He voices the concerns of many that selling out a democracy is a bad idea. And then he gives the clearest reason, yet, why trading the Taiwan security guarantee for North Korea will not work:
Now, Currie does suggest two possible cards to use with China. One is inclusion into the G-8. Seems worth a shot, but doesn’t exactly strike me as something that the Chinese would be willing to tank North Korea for. The other is the “Taiwan card,” in which case we’d warn China that should North Korea go nuclear, Taiwan is next. Makes sense, and fully justifiable, but I’ve yet to be convinced that anyone in the White House has the balls to actually play it. Thomas P.M. Barnett suggests we trade Taiwanese defense guarantees for North Korea. Again, a completely reasonable proposition by an individual much smarter than myself. The problem with it, however, other than the prospect of selling out an economically vibrant democracy, is that it would seem to suggest that without U.S. defense guarantees, the Taiwanese would simply do what we want them to do and make nice with China. I’m given the impression, however, that the Taiwanese might not necessarily play along, and one of the reasons they haven’t actually declared independence is because of U.S. pressure/possible loss of U.S. support. Take away U.S. defense guarantees, and Taipei might go for broke, test a nuke and declare independence, in which case China would have not one, but two possible headaches on its borders, headaches that could become ours if things get out of control.
As Taipei is already a virtual nuclear state, it would not take long for the Republic of Taiwan to be a nuclear power.
Do we really want to live in a world where there is yet another isolated nuclear state in Asia, where democracies know they cannot trust the United States, and where China’s strategic position gets even worse?