How Obama got North Korea wrong

Discussion in 'Americas' started by LETHALFORCE, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    How Obama got North Korea wrong - Foreign and Defense Policy - AEI

    Just hours ago North Korea successfully tested what many consider to be intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology, underscoring the failure of two decades of U.S. policy. How Washington expected to halt Pyongyang’s missile development program without taking serious steps to do so remains a mystery. While ineffective policies date back to the previous Bush and Clinton administrations, the current administration bears its fair share of the blame.
    President Obama made a serious error when he failed to order that the rocket launched in April be shot down — if not destroyed on the launch pad, admittedly a highly provocative act. Had he done so, he would have deprived the North Koreans of the lessons it learned from that missile’s failure and we might not be where we are today. In fact, had the president established a new precedent — the United States simply does not allow North Korea to conduct unfettered missile tests — he might have quickly made such tests a thing of the past.
    But for whatever reason, when Pyongyang launched its rocket in April, the president chose to stick to an old playbook full of defensive formations that has never given North Korea pause. The State Department unwittingly admitted last week that the old approach — stern warnings before a launch, stepped up sanctions after — has all but failed. As spokesman Mark Toner explained at last Wednesday’s press briefing, “there’s always ways to toughen enforcement of sanctions. They can always be tweaked or modified so that there’s better enforcement of existing sanctions.”
    In other words, existing sanctions are porous and have failed to stop North Korea from developing its missile technology. Mr. Toner was right to assert that present sanctions enforcement can be strengthened, but there is little reason to believe that China, Kim’s favorite enabler, will acquiesce in any effort to do so. Indeed, following Wednesday’s demonstration that North Korea is closer to acquiring the capacity to strike the United States, Beijing merely expressed “regret” that the test had occurred and appealed for “calm” from all sides, while making it a point to emphasize that “the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has the right to make peaceful use of outer space,” albeit a restricted one in light of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
    If President Obama was mistaken in not adopting a more proactive approach in April, he was negligent in failing to do so this time around. New circumstances in North Korea virtually screamed for a novel approach in responding to the missile launch.
    First, the Kim regime may actually be less stable today than it was back in April. Top military officers have continued to be purged since the summer, and, according to some estimates, Kim has now purged at least 31 top military officers since taking control of the country after the death of his father a year ago. While that suggests Kim has sufficient authority over personnel choices, it also suggests he may be struggling to find lieutenants he can trust. Reports that Kim goes nowhere without conspicuous armed guards and that he has stepped up repression of the hungry masses point to an insecure leader uncertain of his own safety.
    Second, this launch marked the shortest-ever interval between North Korean long-range missile tests. The four previous tests occurred in 1998, 2006, 2009, and April 2012. The decision to conduct a second test this year may have indicated that the young Kim is desperate to consolidate his power over the military. But the stepped-up testing frequency also suggests Pyongyang is actually serious about developing a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), instead of simply using occasional tests to extract aid concessions from the international community. That the North’s rocket scientists apparently determined the causes of the April test’s failure and corrected those flaws should tell us that they are not to be underestimated.
    Shooting the missile down would have undermined what is perhaps the regime’s greatest myth — that it is powerful and feared abroad. Now, that myth has been reinforced. Intercepting the rocket in flight might also have sown dissension within the ruling clique, as military and party leaders could not have helped but notice that the United States had never taken such bold action when Kim Jong-il was alive. But in sticking to the old script, Washington passed up an opportunity to destabilize the regime, a necessity if America’s ultimate goal is to reunify the Korean Peninsula under Seoul’s democratic leadership.
    Intercepting the missile would have also denied North Korea an opportunity to advance its missile technology or, as it turned out, to learn that its missile technology actually works. And again, the United States missed an opportunity to put a stop to North Korean long-range missile tests for good.
    Would shooting down the missile have been provocative? Sure. But no more so than North Korea’s decision to launch. Indeed, it would have been the only proportional response.
    If we have learned anything from North Korea, it’s that sometimes it pays to be provocative. Unfortunately, that’s not President Obama’s style. The United States failed to take advantage of an opportunity to disengage from the usual kabuki dance and change the game in its favor in Northeast Asia. This is a decision the president should come to regret. The world is now a more dangerous place than it was just 24 hours ago.
    Michael Mazza is a research fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
     
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  3. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    Obama represents the worst of American leadership skills. He won due to the colour of his skin. What else can you expect from a man who has no concrete achievements in one US presidential term?
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    There can be no sanctions nothing that can stop any nation from doing what it wants. NoKo like Pak will eat grass but will develop WMDs. Add to that their always threatening postures make them difficult to handle. And when you have a world power like China back them, then obviously no amount of sanctions is going to stop them. It didnt stop Pak. it will not stop NoKo and it will not stop Iran as well.

    Sanctions regime has never worked. May be a war to overthrow the regimes there is the only way you can stop but it could turn out to be a temporary one till the next mad man steps in.
     
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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama also failed in Iran which will also probably soon be nuclear.
     
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    US presidents prior to Obama have believed we can contain North Korea by giving them grain and hoping they will stop arming with nukes and missiles.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Chinese influence is too strong in North Korea to change North Korea's
    hardline stance. If North Korea came out of it's isolation China would lose
    it's only strategic advantage with it's neighbors.
     
  8. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Complete wrong as usual. China has little influence on North Korea.
    Nobody wants a nuclar armed NK, China least of them.

    If China wants to arm NK with nukes, they will have their nukes long ago.,

    And I can only laugh at the part about how NK coming out of isolation will make it more difficult for China.

    China is the country who promoted the economic zones in the first place.

    A NK with better economy will less the burden on China. 100 billions wasted on NK in the last 30 years.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    North Korea is a lackeye of China's they depend on China for their existence many
    Chinese members have repeatedly expressed this over the years you are the first
    to say they are not.
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US Raises Questions About China's Military Aid to North Korea --NTDTV.org


    US Raises Questions About China's Military Aid to North Korea


    At a hearing today, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta raised concerns that China is giving military aid to North Korea. The statement was prompted by a truck that was seen in North Korea's military parade surrounding the birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. The truck was carrying what looked like a long-range missile, and was a similar in design to those made in China.
    The truck's design was noticed by military experts in the US—and it's called into question whether China is providing weapons to North Korea.
     
  11. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    In fact, US asks China to control NK when things get too out of line.
     
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  12. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    Yes. But none of them allowed North Korea to provoke the world community to the extent it has. I am a bit curious, does the CIA have no operation there?
     
  13. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Last Wiki info is from 1996.

    CIA activities in North Korea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And then there is this. :-(

    North Korea is a tough target for U.S. intelligence agencies - Los Angeles Times

     
  14. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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  15. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    It is completely pointless to obsess over this dystopic hell hole. There's is no way to have an adult relationship with a country run by a fat boy king with a mickey mouse fetish who couldn't tell his ass from the hole in the wall. The fact of the matter is that there's nothing anyone can do to change the behavior of regimes that are willing to sacrifice the entire populace of their nation. F**k eating grass, the Korean politburo could care less if their people starved to death en masse or resorted to cannibalism in order to build nuclear weapons. From what I understand North Korea is literally stuck in a time warp from the 50s and it's leadership to this day maintains a total hold over its people by using the imminent threat propaganda. All this nonsense of building nuclear weapons and testing missiles is nothing more than a way to perpetuate that threat. If the rest of the civilized world enforced a trade embargo with North Korea and then just left the to their own devices the regime is going to have to come up with something else to justify their tyranny over the people. With technology increasingly making global communication easy and affordable we're probably better off exposing the North Korean people to the outside world instead of attempting to take on the impossible task of convincing its bizarre leadership to become normal.

    American foreign policy needs to be reoriented toward pursuing economic relationships with countries that actually want to make something of themselves and stop obsessing over dysfunctional countries that are more likely to blow themselves up than anyone else. North Korea is China's problem
     
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  16. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  17. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    And we summarily found this to be a pointless endeavor because the North Korean establishment could care less if their people had to eat their own $h!t. For all we know Kim Jon Il probably took all that grain and put it in a giant swimming pool so that Kim Jong un could attempt to live out his fantasy of being a mouse burrowing through a large pile of grain.
     
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