By Barbara Slavin While the Trump administration has focused on perceived threats from Muslim and Latin American immigrants, a more serious challenge for United States policymakers is North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear programs. On February 12, the North Koreans fired what experts said was an intermediate-range ballistic missile known as the Musudan. It flew […]
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Top Clinton foreign policy advisers have been open about their intention to apply to North Korea a version of the playbook the Obama administration used with Iran….drastically increase sanctions on Pyongyang…considering secondary sanctions on foreign firms…punishing Chinese companies keeping Kim’s nuclear and missile industries afloat.
Crimes against humanity generally cost a regime its legitimacy, if not its sovereignty. And yet most national security professionals would regard the collapse of the North Korean slave state as a calamity. The reason for this is simple: all the nuclear weapons and material.
Absent a major intervention, it is only a matter of time before North Korea increases its nuclear arsenal (now estimated at 8-12 devices) and figures out how to miniaturize its weapons for delivery by missiles of increasing range and accuracy.
North Korea’s test of a nuclear bomb last week is again testing the resolve of the United States and the rest of the world.
Despite economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations (approved by China and Russia) in for its nuclear test in January, North Korea has doubled down since then, conducting 20 missile tests and last week’s nuclear test. And it says it now has the capability to mount a nuclear bomb on one of those missiles.
President Barack Obama condemned North Korea’s action and dispatched U.S. bombers to fly over South Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone as a show of force. But White House statements military maneuvers and calls for China to exercise its influence on Pyongyang have been tried before, to no avail.
What more can Obama — and his successor — do to stop what so far has been unstoppable?
[F]rom all indications, the Kim regime tested at this time because it realized China would not impose costs for the detonation….At the moment, Beijing is far more upset with Seoul than Pyongyang….With Beijing upset at Seoul, the North Koreans evidently think they can do what they want.
It makes no sense to force the American people to defend the South Korean people if the latter aren’t willing to defend themselves. Washington should not treat security guarantees as international welfare.
[N]o one should ever doubt America’s resolve to continue to strengthen the rules-based-order and architecture of the Asia-Pacific region, or our deep and abiding commitment to our alliance…Any political rhetoric to the contrary…should be taken with than a grain of salt on both sides of the Pacific.
Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test, in January, trade over the China-North Korea border dropped dramatically, according to newly released satellite imagery. The revelation has led experts to conclude that Beijing has been quietly punishing Kim by cutting off the flow of funds to his regime.
by Barbara Slavin At a dinner this Memorial Day weekend, guests reflected on the moments when Americans had been most united. For the older folks, the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the unifying trauma. Everyone remembered where he or she was when Kennedy was shot as he rode in an open convertible […]
Everything they have done to date has been designed to demonstrate that they might shortly develop a deliverable nuclear weapon, but that they have not yet done so….This means that they are aware of the line and are extremely controlled in not crossing it.
No matter how tough on paper, the sanctions will be effective only if they are enforced. There are good reasons to doubt that every country will follow through. The burden falls heavily on China, the North’s chief ally in providing food, fuel and political cover.
On the one hand, the about-face would likely further weaken US credibility on non-proliferation as it was prepared to overlook North Korea’s secret and illegal nuclear program, essentially recognize it as a nuclear state…reward it with peace talks. On the other hand, the White House’s diplomacy hints of brilliance….President Obama called Kim Jong Un’s bluff
Some North Korea watchers assert that Beijing doesn’t have the leverage that many U.S. officials contend it has over Pyongyang’s behavior. But that’s simply not true….What is true, however, is that at present China lacks the political will to stand with the international community against North Korea’s dangerous, destabilizing activities.
It is unclear how long President Xi Jinping of China will tolerate what some analysts here are calling the humiliation of his country at the hands of a capricious Mr. Kim. But there are no immediate signs that Beijing will radically change course and turn away from its traditional ally.