‘Patience’ with North Korea is akin to doing nothing
May 10, 2014
By Lt. General Robert Gard & Claudia Cheffs
South Korea and U.S. intelligence sources believe that North Korea is on the brink of another nuclear test. What is Washington doing to stop it? Very little. Washington hasn’t even picked up the phone to call Pyongyang.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has responded by sending two destroyers to Japan and urging Chinese leaders to restrain North Korea. Relying on China may appear sensible, but it’s ineffective. As North Korea’s ally and the second-biggest U.S. trade partner, China is caught in the middle.
In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama advocated sustained, direct and aggressive diplomacy with North Korea. Yet his administration has been pursuing a policy of “strategic patience,” the equivalent of doing nothing.
U.S. citizens should worry about this abdication of responsibility. A North Korean nuclear catastrophe could result in radiation spreading across the Pacific with levels worse than Chernobyl.
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