While the North Koreans would be swiftly crushed in any sort of military conflict, it would not come without cost. Potentially millions of lives could be lost in incredibly fierce, if brief, conventional fighting, not to mention what would happen if the conflict went nuclear.
But according to the Tribunist, one former Navy SEAL turned author and commentator, Jocko Willink, just came up with an idea for how to possibly bring an end to the brutal authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un, all without firing a single shot.
Asked for his thoughts on how best to approach the North Korean situation, Willink tweeted, “Drop 25 million iPhones on them and put satellites over them with free wifi.”
While such a solution seems rather unconventional and is a far cry from other ideas — bunker-busting MOABs, assassination squads and even tactical nukes — it really isn’t as crazy of a plan as it may initially sound.
“Kim Jong Un understands that as soon as society is open and North Korean people realize what they’re missing, Kim’s regime is unsustainable, and it’s going to be overthrown,” explained Yun Sun, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Center, in an interview with Business Insider.
The Kim regime is notorious for keeping the North Korean society tightly closed off from the rest of the world, and would staunchly oppose any sort of effort to provide the people with unauthorized access to uncensored information.
In fact, Sun pointed out that South Korea had tried something similar in the past, using balloons to drop DVDs and pamphlets on the people of the North, an effort which drew a military response from the communist controllers.
Sun also warned that dropping millions of iPhones and providing free WiFi could be in violation of U.N. economic sanctions and construed by some as “rewarding a illegitimately nuclear dictatorship,” one that “we know has committed massive human rights against its people.”
“They’re not going to denuclearize until their regime changes and society changes,” Sun stated. “This approach may be the longer route, but it has the hope of succeeding.”
Indeed it does, though it is not without some danger and risk, particularly for the North Korean people, who would likely find themselves suffering the wrath of the frustrated ruling regime in such a scenario.
According to the U.K. Daily Express, all information and media is tightly controlled in North Korea, and the North Korean people are subject to harsh punishments if caught accessing unapproved information from outside of the isolated regime.
In fact, merely watching South Korean media or listening to a foreign radio broadcast can earn a person 10 years in a “re-education” prison or hard labor camp. Actually communicating with the outside world, such as via a phone conversation, can even result in a death sentence.
Dropping millions of iPhones on North Korea doesn’t sound quite as fearsome as dropping millions of pounds of high explosives, but even as unconventional as it may sound — and in the interest of possibly preventing unnecessary deaths — it could prove more successful in the long run in achieving the ultimate goal of ending the Kim regime.