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Friday, March 17, 2017

Restoring Options in Korea

Secretary of State Tillerson said yesterday that all options (including military force) are on the table in dealing with North Korea.  He went on to say that the strategy of "strategic patience" in dealing with the NKs had failed.  In other word, Tillerson said that the USA would no longer smile and look the other way while the NKs continue their nuclear and missile buildup.  Much of the left-wing media has gone crazy about this statement.  They say it's warmongering by the Trump administration.

Now let's translate this into English.  For the last 20 years, North Korea has made a series of deals with the USA about its nuclear program.  The original deal was with Bill Clinton; it called for the north to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for substantial aid.  The NKs took the aid and continued with their nuclear program in secret.  George Bush tried something similar which also failed.  Then president Obama went further and used the same strategy of rewarding the NKs; it failed miserably.  President Trump is just telling the NKs that those days are over.  The USA will no longer reward bad behavior; indeed, we will not tolerate it.  The mention of military options is not a statement of imminent war; it is a warning to the NKs that they can no longer assume that a military response from the USA is impossible.  What is happening is a change in the negotiating posture of the USA.  The NKs now have to operate in a world where their bad actions could result in some strong measures against their country.  It puts the vast American military superiority back into the equation.  It's a very smart move.

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