Responding to North Korea

In this photo taken Sunday, April 15, 2012, North Korean soldiers take part in a mass military parade in Kim Il Sung Square to celebrate 100 years since the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea promised Monday, April 23, 2012 to reduce South Korea's conservative government "to ashes" in less than four minutes, in an unusually specific escalation of recent threats aimed at its southern rival. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

In an op-ed in the Washington Post Mike Mullen and Sam Nunn have proposed a multi-point plan for responding to the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea capable of striking the United States. Among the points in their plan are:

  • Make addressing of the “North Korean threat” a high priority.
  • Offer incentives to North Korea to participate in talks.
  • Increase sanctions.
  • Increase cooperation among the U. S., South Korea, and Japan.

Read more here…


  1. Isn’t this the same old nonsense we’ve been trying since Bill Clinton first lied to us and told us he’d ‘solved’ North Korea? Just another one of Mr. Bill’s ‘gifts’ to America.

    Bribing North Korea doesn’t work, agreements don’t work, sanctions won’t work.

    That’s because China, historically very protective of its ‘near abroad’ (and with good reason) is propping up the Kims as a secure border guardian and as a convenient pit bull to unleash periodically whenever they need to shake things up.

    Want to really end the Nork threat? Make clear to China that while we don’t mind them having a regime in power to guard their border, continuing to prop up the Kims and their nuclear arsenal is going to be a lot more costly to them financially than it’s worth.

  2. The issue of making things clear to China has been discussed at some length over at my place. I think that things are already as clear to China as they’ll ever be.

    We’re not going to impose trade sanctions on China and we won’t do anything militarily against them. We’re reluctant to mobilize their fearful neighbors against them. The Chinese have made it quite clear that they will do what they please and can’t be forced to do so by our displeasure.

  3. The reason China acts this way is our dysfunctional president. While foreign countries pay lip service to protocol, NONE OF THEM respect him. He’s weak, untrustworthy, arrogant and any commitments he makes are worthless.If you look at the reception he got this last time he was in China compared to Putin, the Chinese aren’t even bothering with protocol anymore. And protocol counts for a great deal with the Chinese.

    With a strong president, someone they respect, things would be different. Trade sanctions or mobilizing our allies in the region militarily would be unnecessary per se. China’s economy is heavily dependent on export, particularly to the U.S. Merely mentioning, almost offhandedly the danger to peaceful relations and how profit and exports to America might be adversely affected by the Kim’s nuclear threat, and our acceptance of a China-friendly regime on the border in North Korea provided the nuclear threat was eliminated as well as just a subtle hinting that we might have to reluctantly take care of the matter ourselves if nothing was done would be enough for the Chinese to act.

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