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Run Operation Iron Mask against North Korea’s Kim Jong-un

No one knows what to do about North Korea. No one believes Kim Jong-un is prepared to peacefully give up his nation’s nukes. So, what to do?

Initiate Operation Iron Mask.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is almost unique to the degree that power is exercised by one Dragon Kimman. Naturally, proposals for regime change are circulating in the U.S. and South Korea. But there is no obvious way to reach North Korea’s Supreme Leader.

Moreover, no one knows who would follow him. In international affairs it always is dangerous to assume that things can’t get any worse.

A better idea would be to substitute a new Kim for the real one. Let everyone believe that the same old Kim continued to reign.

A candidate for the “new” Kim is Kim Minyong, known professionally as Dragon Kim. He is a Kim Jong-un impersonator who has modeled the “real” Kim. Who better to take over in the DPRK?

To put Operation Iron Mask into motion, Kim Minyong would announce that he was exhausted from running his business as well as acting as Kim Jong-un in events around the world. He would leave on a “vacation” of indeterminate length, no forwarding address included.

Then he would meet up with his intelligence team to handle any contingency. Obviously, the most delicate task would be switching the new for the real Kim.

Thankfully, Dragon Kim’s appearance would allow him to do what no one else could: go anywhere and everywhere. Get into the royal residence with his confederates and magic would happen (think of the movie The Man in the Iron Mask, that sort of thing!). The next morning the new Kim Jong-un would emerge.

At which point the possibilities would be endless.

His first decree could be to freeze missile and nuclear tests. After all, as he’d said before, the DPRK had “completed” its nuclear deterrent. No need to unduly frighten the imperialist powers.

NK’s next step could be to quietly inform his security services that he has uncovered threats against the revolution by the military, and tell the military the same about the security services. After they arrested each other he could appoint a new generation to their positions, empowering a kinder, gentler leadership.

Especially after NK officially invited people from around the world to visit the DPRK. Come one, come all, and see paradise in action. Bring your money, books, and videos.

Next, he could announce that he felt his people’s love, so he was abolishing the songbon system of social classification. Why punish people for the actions of others in the past? Along with that would be an amnesty for those currently held in labor camps.

Then it would be time to unveil the “socialist market” system, by which the DPRK would copy Western economic methods, while putting “socialist” in every name and description of the respective activities. NK also would end conscription and encourage young men to enter the work force and copy the West’s entrepreneurial model—in the DPRK’s unique socialist way, of course.

That would be the moment for NK to approach President Donald Trump. The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, informally called the Hotel of Doom, continues to sit empty. The reforming Supreme Leader should suggest that the Donald take the structure over as Pyongyang’s very own Super-Duper Trump Tower.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony between the two leaders would offer a good opportunity for an informal summit. NK might suggest sizable investments in the North in return for dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear and missile facilities.

After which NK would announce that he was tearing down the “wall” separating the North from both South Korea and China. He would indicate that it was time to spread his nation’s blessings to the imperialists and their puppets.

Finally, NK would announce that he had completed the Kim family legacy by reuniting the Koreas. At which point he would visit Mount Paektu, the sacred mountain featured in family mythology. As NK headed for the cloud-shrouded summit he would be seen no longer, exiting on the Chinese side into the care of the multi-national team that planned and executed Operation Iron Mask.

Coincidentally a bit later Kim Minyong would reappear in South Korea, shorn of his familiar Kim Jong-un look. He would reopen his business, while analysts debated the mysterious transformation of Kim Jong-un before the latter’s equally mysterious disappearance. And the people of Northeast Asia would enjoy a new era of peace and prosperity.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon).

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