Pursuing opportunities with North Korea

I worry about North Korea and its future. But I also have high hopes for North Korea and its potential.

It is common sense that the way to solve the North Korean crisis is for North Korea to accept the norms of the international community and become a stakeholder.

But I would like to suggest that maybe the solution to the North Korean problem could also be the opposite approach. That maybe if we change our basic assumptions about international relations and security and how we address difficulties and disagreements, a solution can be found somewhere quite unexpected.

Perhaps the solution is for us to rethink the nation state as the basic unit of international relations, or to consider the environment, and other serious non-traditional threats, as the primary security issues for our future, and to redefine the role of finance, trade, technology and consumption in our society. Maybe the solution to the North Korean problem can be found in Peter Drucker’s famous adage, “Don’t solve problemsPursue opportunities.”

We should not be obsessing about how to solve North Korea’s intractable problems. Rather we should put forth a bold and inspiring vision for what possibilities are out there in Northeast Asia and encourage everyone to reach our for something beyond him or herself. When that happens, when a new hope takes root, the walls of separation will fall down, not because we tear them down, but because they no longer serve any purpose.

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