Joel C. Rosenberg posted an article on his blog yesterday detailing the history behind the current crisis with North Korea. The article asks the question, “How did we get to the point that Pyongyang may have 60 warheads?” That is certainly a very valid question.
Here are some of the highlights of the history reported in the article:
In October of 1994, President Bill Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in which Pyongyang agreed to “freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program,” reported the New York Times.
“This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective — an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Clinton told the American people.
“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” Mr. Clinton added. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.”
In return, the Clinton administration gave North Korea $4 billion in energy aid.
In addition, the Clinton deal gave North Korea two nuclear power plants, for which American taxpayers helped foot the bill.
“This is a good deal for the United States,” Mr. Clinton said at the time. “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”
Obviously, North Korea chose not to honor its end of the bargain. President Clinton would have done well to follow the advice of President Reagan–“Trust, but verify.”
The article explains that President Obama’s foreign policy toward North Korea was also not successful:
In February of 2012, President Obama was similarly duped.
Mr. Obama agreed to a deal in which Pyongyang promised (again) not to build nuclear weapons and stop testing long-range ballistic missiles.
In return, the Obama administration agreed to give North Korea 240,000 metric tons of food.
Experts warned the Obama team at the time that “it is naïve at best for the administration to herald a North Korean ‘commitment to denuclearization’ after the many years of North Korean actions definitively proving the contrary.”
Less than a month later, Pyongyang tested another long-range rocket in clear violation of the agreement, and a humiliated Mr. Obama had to suspend the food aid program.
Clearly, the policy of “strategic patience” (read: “do nothing and hope for the best”) run by Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a colossal failure.
Unfortunately, the North Korean model was used by President Obama as the template for the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama chose to overlook the fact that the North Korean model was a failure.
The article concludes:
If all this weren’t bad enough, it’s made worse by the fact that the insane Obama nuclear deal with Iran was essentially patterned — and sold — after the Clinton deal with North Korea. As I warned in this Fox News interview and elsewhere (see here and here), the ayatollahs in Tehran are working closely with Pyongyang on nuclear and missile technology. They’re also watching how the U.S. and the world powers handle a nation aspiring to become a nuclear armed power. So far, they’re learning the West can be played for fools, and a small but aggressive nation can build a nuclear arsenal without much fear of being stopped.
America does not want war, but we don’t want to be nuked by a third world tin-horn dictator either. It is unfortunate that Iran and North Korea have been allowed to progress as far as they have on their nuclear programs. We also need to understand that Russia and China are not innocent bystanders in this situation–both countries are not unhappy when America is put at risk. At this time we need to unite as a people behind a strong President. Otherwise, there is a good chance that this situation will escalate in the wrong direction very quickly.