Asia Times | Why Extradite The Madrid Embassy Raiders?

David Maxwell Comment:  “A short but very interesting assessment from north Korean expert Bradley Martin. I hope that we are making the decision to extradite this person based on US-Spain relations and not as any kind of concession to Kim Jong-un.  If anyone thinks that this move will buy some kind of good will with Kim they are are mistaken.  This will have no positive influence on Kim Jong-un.
At the risk of stating the obvious, north Korea is not Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.  Our policy not to seek regime change is correct.  But we do have a policy to seek unification and our policy should be to seek a United Republic of Korea (UROK). The existence of “two Koreas” – two very different “Koreas”makes the situation very different than the other examples. As I wrote in 2004 in my research project for a long term strategy paper beyond the nuclear crisis (HERE):
• Proposed mutually acceptable strategic end state: A stable, secure, peaceful, economically vibrant, non-nuclear peninsula, reunified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.
This end state implies regime change.  But it must come from within.  Most importantly while the US desires regime change it has not prepared for it.  Fundamental to the strategy is that near term crises must be managed (and exploited for possible opportunities) while it prepares the foundation for a post Kim Family Regime era.
The buried lead in the conclusion.”
The problem with any such scheme is that dynastic rule is at the root of North Korea’s problems. I have previously sought to advise young Kim Han Sol that the last thing his countrymen need is a fourth-generation Kim ruler.

Asia Times | Why extradite the Madrid embassy raiders? | Opinion · by Asia Times

Reader PJ emails: “Now what’s going on here? Is Donald Trump making deals with North Korea? Is he going to give Americans away in exchange for something?” The reference is to yet another weird story (this one from the Washington Post; here it is, sans paywall) about the mysterious 10-person group that raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February, tied up the people inside, stole their computers and turned the gathered intelligence materials over to United States authorities.

It appears the US government may be preparing to extradite a pair of alleged ringleaders, both of them Korean-Americans, back to Spain to face the music in response to Madrid’s request.

Regarding the reader’s questions, note that there are other reasons more likely to be foremost in administration thinking here than a desire to make a deal by giving Americans away in exchange for something.

First, agreeing to extradition requests when treaties call for doing so is the default response. Imagine what mischief might result if the Trump administration refused to consider handing the culprits over to Spain for trial. Washington has embassies abroad and certainly does not want them violated by revolutionaries – no matter how appealing the revolutionaries’ cause.

Of course, it would be hard for many Americans to think of a more appealing revolutionary cause than toppling the Kim regime. For the moment, though, regime change in Pyongyang is not US policy and the administration may well think it’s a good idea to remind Chairman Kim Jong Un of that fact, as the North Korean ruler ponders his future options in view of Trump’s apparent loss of enthusiasm for granting Kim’s number one policy wish: removal of US troops from South Korea.

Is there a consolation prize Kim might accept in return for some moves toward the denuclearization the US seeks? Trump, who keeps reminding us of his bromance with Kim, probably would be right to see no need to alienate the North Korean leader unnecessarily now.

Less to the point, the embassy raiders are the same guys who earlier helped to rescue and hide Kim Han Sol, son of Kim Jong Un’s elder brother Kim Jong Nam, after Pyongyang agents assassinated Jong Nam at a Malaysian airport. They may see the younger man as a future ruler or figurehead once they kick out Kim Jong Un.

The problem with any such scheme is that dynastic rule is at the root of North Korea’s problems. I have previously sought to advise young Kim Han Sol that the last thing his countrymen need is a fourth-generation Kim ruler. · by Asia Times

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