Ron Paul: This week there was a lot of concern expressed about North Korea’s nuclear capability. It was reported that they detonated a small nuclear weapon. This indeed is a serious thing, but as usual, I think, most of the world has overreacted to it. But more interesting is the fact that they wouldn’t have had these weapons if they hadn’t been subsidized by the West.
We directly helped them in their nuclear program in the way of bribing them under the Clinton administration and actually helped them. During the Clinton administration, they were trying to negotiate a deal, so they promised some technology to the North Koreans if they promised not to build nuclear weapons.
But, you know, any type of nuclear intelligence and nuclear ability is always helpful. Not only that, we have subsidized the Pakistanis to the tune of tens of billions of dollars over the years and it is said that probably a lot of the technology also came from Pakistan. So this to me is sort of an expression of the weakness of our policy overall, and besides I think the reaction was overblown a bit.
If you look at what the South Koreans did, they hardly blinked an eye. They weren’t yelling and screaming and they are the most vulnerable and if there is indeed a military threat in that part of the world, it should be the business of South Korea. It should be the business of Japan. It should be the business of China. Not the American taxpayer.
Interestingly enough, there has been a treaty with South Korea for 50 years or so, which means that no matter what happens over there, we have obligated the next generation of Americans to go over there and fight. I don’t like these kinds of treaties. I don’t think we have the moral right or the constitutional right to obligate future generations to automatically go to war, and for this reason, I don’t think this kind of a treaty that we’ve had with South Korea is proper.
As a matter of fact, I think we’d be a lot better off if we follow a completely different program with South Korea. I’ve advocated bringing the troops home for a long time. I’ve advocated to get out of the way of any negotiations between the South and North Koreans, and obviously we shouldn’t give them any more money. That’s the last thing we should do.
North Korea is sort of like a spoiled child. They get up there and they yell and scream and they’re going to blow up the world, so we say, “Oh, don’t do it. We’ll give you more money”, or we threaten them, even, you know, militarily. And I don’t think we should do either one. I think it would be proper to even talk about trading with North Korea. We started trading with China a long time ago and they have become more capitalistic, not less.
While China has become more capitalistic, we have become more socialistic. So I don’t see anything wrong with talking about trading with them, but I don’t think we should threaten, we shouldn’t intimidate them, we shouldn’t promise them any more money, and I think the world would be a lot better off under those conditions.
North Korea is not going to start bombing anybody. They’re just threatening us and we’ve actually encouraged it indirectly by rewarding people who have nuclear weapons. They know that they will be treated differently if they can prove they have a nuclear weapon. The last weapon they exploded several months ago was, in essence, a fizzle. So they were really motivated to come back and show that they really know how to do it and that puts them in a different position for negotiating.
I don’t think for a minute they have any intentions of attacking South Korea or attacking Japan or attacking China. I mean, that is not their goal. Their goal is to play with us and it’s just a shame that a nation as powerful and supposedly as smart as we are that we can be easily intimidated by a Third World nation like this, a country can’t even feed itself.
So once again, I think it brings to our attention that we ought to reconsider our foreign policy overall. A foreign policy of non-intervention makes a lot more sense than us trying to be the policeman of the world. Besides, how much more can we offer to the world? We’re flat out broke, so we can’t be buying our friends any longer.
So it’s very necessary for us to be serious and start talking about changing our foreign policy to one of non-intervention and one that is based on the Constitution and one where we could save a lot of money and have a lot more friends around the world.