It's simply impossible to know if all of the recent provocations by North Korea are merely saber rattling and attention gatherers or something more sinister. I suspect that even Kim Jong Il himself is not so sure what he is trying to accomplish. Here is something we can't get away from. In four months of the Obama presidency, North Korea has engaged in more acts of defiance and provocation than in eight years of the Bush presidency.
So, whatever the reason, Kim Jong Il feels a lot more freedom and power to provoke the rest of the world so far under President Obama than he ever did under President Bush. Supporters can dismiss this as nonsense, coincidence, or some sort of corollary anecdotal evidence that ultimately amounts to nothing in particular. Maybe, in fact, it does. I don't believe so. I believe that Il sees weakness and this has given him a renewed sense of power.
Just in the last week alone, he has had three missile tests and this morning he has proclaimed an end to the armistice that ended the Korean War fifty plus years ago.
Often, when some geopolitical event like this happens, we, conservatives, remind the political world that Joe Biden warned that President Obama would be tested. He warned that his mettle would be tested. We can view this as exactly that sort of a test.
So far, the Obama strategy has been to essentially ignore North Korea. They issue a stern statement of condemnation. Someone in the State Department concludes that the latest provocation is more evidence that North Korea is isolated and then they go to the UN Security Council for some sort of formal condemnation.
Since last night's newest missile test and this morning's announcement that the armistice is over, that's exactly the M.O. from the White House. It appears they would like to test that theory about defining insanity. The North Koreans have shown time and again that they don't care about condemnation, isolation, or any other strongly worded statement of condemnation.
Charles Krauthammer suggests arming Japan with nuclear weapons.
Others suggest restarting the regional missile shield. Still others suggest sending a plethora of Naval ships into the waters that surround North Korea as a show of force and a message that the bellicose language and actions stop now. What I do know is that what has been done isn't working and it's time for a new strategy.
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