The Cost Of Kicking The Can Down The Road

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.

Emulating Neville Chamberlain Is Never A Good Idea

Peace in our time is a wonderful idea. It would be nice if we could someday achieve it. However, I am not optimistic. There will always be bullies, people who sacrifice principles for power, the dishonest, the greedy, etc. These people cannot be dealt with peacefully. When people with these character traits are the leaders of countries, peace is not possible. Unfortunately, not all of our leaders understand that principle.

On Tuesday The Daily Caller posted an article about the deal reached between North Korea and former President Clinton that promised that North Korea would never develop nuclear weapons. We can see how well that deal worked out. President Obama negotiated a similar deal with Iran. That deal is following in the same direction as the deal with North Korea.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can range most of the continental U.S., and a new Defense Intelligence Agency assessment suggests that North Korea has successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads for its missiles. The North is, according to a recent defense intelligence report, expected to be able to field a reliable, nuclear-armed ICBM as early as next year.

In the early 1990s, Clinton faced a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, but he ultimately chose diplomacy and deals over the application of military force.

“I was determined to prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of war,” Clinton wrote in his memoirs. He decided to change course after receiving “a sobering estimate of the staggering losses both sides would suffer if war broke out.”

I agree that there would be staggering losses on both sides if war broke out, but did it occur to President Clinton that those losses would increase exponentially if North Korea went ahead with their nuclear program? As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Trust, but verify.” No one verified, and here we are.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I am truly glad that Donald Trump is in the White House and not someone who is unwilling to confront a bully. This may well get ugly, but it is becoming obvious that in this situation, there is no diplomatic situation.

 

At Least Hawaii Is Safe

Townhall.com posted an article today about the threat of North Korean missiles.

The article quotes Charles Krauthammer in a Washington Post article:

Across 25 years and five administrations, we have kicked the North Korean can down the road. We are now out of road.

On July 4, North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of hitting the United States. As yet, only Alaska. Soon, every American city.

Moreover, Pyongyang claims to have already fitted miniaturized nuclear warheads on intermediate-range missiles. Soon, on ICBMs.

However, in the midst of this unsettling news, there is some good news. At least Hawaii is safe.

The article reports:

But although there are questions about whether we can fully protect the mainland, Hawaii, the most vulnerable state to Korean attack, is well protected by America’s missile defense system. Early this year, a new missile-defense system in the state destroyed a target missile, proving that the area will be well-secured in the event of a nuclear attack.

The United States has had a successful test of its own recently. In late May, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency announced it had successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile during the first test of its updated ground-based intercept system.

The missile was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The intercept, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, collided with the missile an hour later over the Pacific Ocean.

The system had gone 9-for-17 in tests from 1999 through 2014 but had not tested an intercept since. It was the first successful test since 2014 and the first time the intercept had worked with no pre-programmed information on the location of the target – a true blind seek-and-destroy mission.

How completely we can protect mainland America depends on how many nuclear missiles the North Koreans have. In Israel, the Iron Dome has protected the country from numerous rocket attacks. I am not sure how useful the Iron Dome would be in the case of an ICBM attack. However, the most recent intercept test does show that we do have the capacity to protect ourselves. The “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) policy used with Russia during the Cold War does not apply to today’s tyrants. Iran believes it can hasten the coming of the Mahdi by creating chaos, and the North Korean leader is not a rational person. Our best strategy is to be able to shoot down anything that comes our way before it gets here. We also need to understand that America has very few allies in the world who would be willing to help with our defense. (And those who would be willing to help us are dealing with serious issues regarding their own defenses).

It is time to acknowledge that we can no longer kick the can down the road. It also might be a good time to make sure our defenses are up and running to protect all areas of the country.

What Kind Of People Are We Dealing With?

Reuters is now claiming that the story below is not true. It may or may not be, but it is worrisome that the world community’s opinion of Kim Jong Un is such that the story was believed.

Last week a Singapore Newspaper reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek, the No. 2 man in North Korea, by throwing him and his five top aides into a cage with 120 starving dogs. That is barbaric.

Aside from that, the execution is a problem for relations between North Korea and China.

The article reports:

First, China’s own security is at risk. The erratic and ruthless behaviour of Mr Kim Jong Un suggests that China should not underrate the likelihood of a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

The Internet version of the Global Times carried an article last Monday by Lieutenant-General Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of Nanjing Greater Military Region, saying that the recent incident showed North Korea had become increasingly provocative and was getting out of (Chinese) control. He urged a complete reassessment of security threats originating from that direction.

Second, China’s political and strategic influence on the Korean peninsula has been drastically reduced. China was widely considered to be able to rein in the unruly Kim regime, thus acting as a force for peace in the region. But it now appears China’s influence over its neighbour is close to zero.

China needs to learn an important lesson from this–when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas!

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Stacking The Audience

In case you wondered how a President who has presided over the worst economic recovery in American history manages to draw such favorable audiences, the following story might be a clue.

Today the National Review reported that at yesterday’s speech at the University of Central Missouri, students who held tickets but were wearing Tea Party, patriotic, or other clothing deemed to be Republican inspired were not admitted to the speech. Despite the fact that the students held tickets to the event, the students were turned away due to ‘security’ concerns.

The article suggests:

I’d like to offer a helpful tip to all College Republicans who hope to attend an Obama speech in the future: Odds of admission improve if you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt, an “I Heart Kim Jong Uncampaign button, and/or a ballcap displaying the slogan “Obama Girl” prominently above the brim.

We are currently being governed by thugs who specialize in propaganda.

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What Happens Next In North Korea ?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is dead. This was reported by North Korean state television early today. The North Korean media is reporting that Kim Jong Il died on Saturday during a train ride. The youngest of his three sons, Kim Jong Eun, will succeed him.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

South Korean shares tumbled along with other Asian markets on concerns about potential instability in the region. South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 3.4% to a four-week low after initially dropping 4.4%. South Korea’s currency, the won, tumbled to over two-month lows against the dollar before recovering somewhat.

Kim Jong Eun is believed to be 27 or 28 years old. In September 2010, his father appointed him a four-star general in the North Korean military and to high-level posts in the ruling political party.

An article in the New York Daily News today suggests that the chances of a military coup in North Korea at this time are very small. The concern that seems to come up in most of the articles written today on the death of Kim Jong Il is the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons. The unknown fact is who has control of those weapons and whether or not this change in leadership will mean that North Korea will become an aggressor in that area of the world. 

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