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.

 

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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The North Korean Missile Test Was Unsuccessful

Hot Air posted an article tonight about the North Koreans’ unsuccessful missile test. The article reported the basic facts, but had some interesting theories about why the test took place and an interesting idea as to how it was reported.

One source cited in the article wondered if the test after the agreement signed on February 29 was an indication of miscommunication between the political and military branches of the government.

I think the conclusion of the article is very interesting:

Update: Let’s say the NorKs had managed to launch this thing without a hitch and that it completed its 10-minute flight path before landing in the ocean. What incentive would leaders in the west (or the east, for that matter) have to report a successful long-range missile test by NK? All it would do is heighten panic over North Korea’s intentions, and the greater the panic, the greater the risk that South Korean or Japanese leaders would be forced into some sort of brinksmanship with Pyongyang that would end in a catastrophic war. The international consensus on NK has typically been to avoid poking the hornet’s nest for fear of what might fly out if you do. Confirming a successful test would, almost necessarily, require subsequent poking. That’s not to say western officials or anyone else are lying about tonight’s launch having gone bust, but I am curious as to why they’d report it accurately if they could keep it quiet and in so doing keep the public off their back while they plot a strategic response. In the interest of avoiding greater bloodshed, the world already looks the other way at the concentration camps run by the Kim family. If they’re willing to grudgingly tolerate something as filthy as that in the name of “peace,” why wouldn’t they fib about a missile test?

Is it time for a new conspiracy theory?

 

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When Was The American Media Going To Tell Us This ?

English: Animated atomic bomb explosion. Polsk...

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On March 5, DEBKAfile posted an article confirming an article in the German Der Spiegel and Welt am Sonntag that Western intelligence had known for eleven months that at least one of North Korea’s covert nuclear tests in 2010 was carried out on an Iranian radioactive bomb or nuclear warhead.

The article lists five facts that we are sure of:

1. In April and May North Korea conducted two covert underground nuclear explosions equivalent to 50- 200 tonnes of TNT.

2. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBOTO) monitoring stations in South Korea, Japan and Russia detected highly lethal heavy hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium.

The third fact according to the article:

3. The presence of tritium in one of the tests led several intelligence agencies watching North Korea’s nuclear program and its longstanding links with Iran and Syria to examine the possibility that Pyongyang had tested the internal mechanism of a nuclear warhead on Iran’s behalf.  This strongly indicated to German and Japanese intelligence that Iran had already developed the nuclear warhead’s outer shell and attained its weaponization.

4. There was also a possibility that North Korea had tested a ‘dirty bomb.’

5. There were three events that lead to the conclusion that this was testing of an Iranian device.

a. A group of Iranian nuclear scientists arrived in Pyongyang shortly after the first test in April, seemingly to be involved in setting up the second test.

b. Near the end of April Tehran shipped to Pyongyang a large quantity of uranium enriched to 20+ percent, apparently for the second test.

c. Right after the test in May Central Bank of Iran transferred $55 million to the account of the North Korean Atomic Energy Commission.

The article concludes:

It is not by chance that this incriminating disclosure about Iran’s nuclear achievements sees the light Monday, just hours before US Barack Obama receives Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the White house for an argument over an expeditious military action to stop Iran going all the way to a nuclear weapon.
The disclosure invalidates the main point the US President made in his speech Sunday to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC convention in Washington that there was still time for diplomatic pressure and sanctions to bring Iran’s leaders to a decision to halt their nuclear momentum before military action was called for, whether by the US or Israel.

It now appears that Western intelligence has known about the North Korean tests for Iran for eleven months. Therefore, it is too late for him to try and persuade the Israeli prime minister that there is still time to spare for cutting short a nuclear Iran.

It was announced in Washington Monday that no joint American-Israeli communiqué would be issued at the end of their talks, meaning they will have agreed to disagree: Obama, to stand by his opposition to military action against Iran; Netanyahu, to decide what Israel must do in the interests of its security.
There is no doubt he would have preferred an American initiative for – or partnership in – an operation for curtailing the Iranian nuclear threat. But that is not part of Obama’s policy.  

When was the American Media going to get around to mentioning this? It does seem rather important.

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