North Korea: Another Obama Failure Trump Must Deal With

north_korea_800.pngBarack Obama's foreign policy 'strategy' resulted in a string of epic failures that President Trump must now contend with.

Iran, Syria, Libya, Russia, Israel, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, North Korea, Ukraine...the Obama Foreign Policy legacy is in shambles.  

As Obama fades into obscurity, one-by-one President Trump is dealing with the historic collection of failures Obama left in his wake. Now, it's time for President Trump to take care of North Korea. 

Read what commenters across the country have to say about what's going on with North Korea... 

This comment was left by Johann at

It's a solid chance for China to show its new-found power to the whole world. The issue is that China stands to lose a buffer (not a proxy) against US military forces in South Korea.

China's over-arching goal in much of its diplomacy is escaping the American 'string of pearls' along the Chinese coast, and establishing control in its own backyard.

The fall of the North Korean regime would NOT aid this in any way - putting the Chinese in a more exposed position to American and South Korean forces in the North, while likely gaining few or no concessions in the South China Sea.

That is...unless a deal was made.

The real take-home here is that North Korea isn't a true threat to the United States. It's nuclear program is defensive and the ruling regime has no interest in leaving power - only in securing power against a potential US invasion.

North Korea is a threat to South Korea, obviously, but also to China in that North Korea's actions might spur the US and its allies to act in a way that counters China's ultimate goals/interests.

Kim watched the fall of dictators in Libya and Iraq along with the civil war in Syria and the fall of Afghanistan and took note. The USA attacks only if your nation is weak. The problem is that the USA can act (via revolution, propaganda, etc.) even once a nation has given up its nuclear ambitions. There are no guarantees here.

Other regimes like the Saudis and Pakistanis have survived because they're useful to the USA. North Korea is not useful to the USA. Kim is in a very difficult position. He is a liability for Beijing and nothing secures his power against US meddling in a post-nuclear North Korea.

Kim's likely best bet is to secure a deal with the USA to guarantee non-intervention, if he gives up weapons, and to threaten China with the humanitarian/refugee crisis the would face in the collapse of his regime.

In exchange for Chinese support of his regime's longevity and becoming useful to the USA in some way - he might hold onto power and de-fuse all of this. Of course, there is no way for North Korea to win this, from a PR perspective, but that has never really been a concern of Kim’s.
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This comment was left by Ledfether at

You know whats emotional? The global blackmail a nuclear armed Iran or North Korea could hold the world hostage with.

I've heard and read this argument, usually from leftists who for some reason can never imagine themselves in a nuclear aftermath where they are. The mindset is often, "Hey, the U.S., Russia, China, Israel and some European countries have nuclear weapons, why not Iran and North Korea?"

Totally missing the point that no new nukes is best for everyone. It makes no sense to work toward reduction in nuclear arsenals of stable nations, yet find it just fine that rogue insane nations have them.

The U.S. "hothead military" as you call it, could take out North Korea's military infrastructure and even kill the insane child running the country -- and cause no appreciable long term damage to the nation's around it.

The war games have been run and there is an answer to the conventional weapons in North Korea as well.

Could there be casualties in South Korea or China from conventional weapons launched by North Korea...sure, but nothing like the carnage and ecological disaster of the wacko detonating a nuclear warhead.

I don't care if South Korea and China don't seem to mind a madman with nukes next door, but that madman has repeatedly threatened the U.S. with nukes. Usually, a madman's words should be taken seriously...just like the chants of "death to America" in Iran...they really mean it.

If they don't, they should shut up and stop pretending...there's an old adage..."never pull and point a gun at anything or anyone you don't intend to shoot, because it can get you killed".

This applies to threatening someone with might get YOU killed instead.
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This comment was left by Eric Mathiasen at

I would hardly call the US response "hot-headed," as it has spent decades attempting to forge diplomatic solutions, despite repeated threats by North Korea to launch a first-strike nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland.

The U.S. is only considering military action now because it fears North Korea is very close to being able to do what it has threatened for years.

North Korea isn't threatening nuclear action against China, so China can afford to be more patient. China also is acting more patient because the status quo is in their favor - they don't want to have to deal with millions of refugees that would follow the collapse of North Korea.

They don't want a unified, democratic, U.S.-allied Korea as a neighbor. But they are not at all happy that the Kim dynasty is not cooperating with China because of how it endangers the status quo, by provoking the U.S.

I hope it doesn't come to military action, however I also see no reason to trust North Korea to not use nuclear weapons. As much as the U.S. disliked the Soviet Union, at the highest levels it was mostly believed that MAD would win the day - which it did and continues to do.

But with the unstable behavior of the Kim dynasty there is no such belief about North Korea. North Korea has reason to fear the U.S. but they need to recognize the reality of the U.S. being orders of magnitude more capable militarily and behave accordingly.

Accepting U.S. terms would win North Korea the support of the world, continuing to poke the U.S. in the eye will not.
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This comment was left by Mike at

The US has been patient for over 20 years while each negotiated settlement has only further enabled, not to mention emboldened, North Korea to pursue and acquire nuclear weapons in direct violation of said agreements.

They have clearly viewed passivity on the part of the US (and their supposed ally China) as weakness, and not for the good faith that is was. Sec. Tillerson is right... after two decades, the time for negotiation is over.

The ball is in NK's court to either remove their reckless leader or the US will likely take out the command and control apparatus with an assortment of assets (not limited to conventional warfare)... possibly aided by China.

China does not want to see a nuclear armed Japan or South Korea, any more than they want a North Korea with ICBM delivery capabilities.

No one wants a military escalation involving strategic weapons, however, the last two decades of fruitless diplomacy has brought the region to this point. Not unlike the build up of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

The window of opportunity to act is quickly closing. The time to act is now. Sadly, any further delay will only lead to broader escalation on an inter-continental scale.
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This comment was left by WorriedWorldCitizen at

You don't understand. From the American point of view we see Kim as unstable and crazy. Taking advantage of his own people and killing for little to no reason. He is like a spoiled child that thinks he can do whatever he wants with no consequence.

Why wouldn't he think that? He has lived a spoiled life where if a person doesn't please him he can execute them. In our minds once given nuclear power he will not be rational like China and the US with this great horrible power which we wish didn't exist.

He will launch a missile in a fit of rage and millions will die anyway. Then the world will blame the US for doing nothing.

How could we not think this? Every few months N Korea threatens to launch a nuclear missile. No one else in the world even thinks about doing such a horrible thing anymore. Civilized countries like China and the US know the consequences of such an action. Kim thinks he is immune.

I hate how the US gets pulled into this sort of thing. I wish China would stop North Korea. I wish Russia would stop Syria. I wish all the world powers could work together side by side to solve these kinds of issues. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to happen.

I don't always agree with China's style of government but I support China in the fact they seem rational and want peace and what's best for its people. North Korea's government, on the other hand, wants what's best for Kim -- and that's it.

He needs to be removed before he hurts not just South Korea or Japan but China as well. If sanctions don't work soon, I would support military action. By the US or China. If China stepped up and took care of it, instead of the US, my respect for them would increase dramatically.
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This comment was left by MaskOfZero at

What I do not understand is this assumption by China that a nuclear armed North Korea will not launch missiles against Beijing, or Shanghai, or Hong Kong or other parts of China?

Are you really so certain that this madman Kim will not attack China? And why are you so certain?

You will notice that the US and the world are most distressed by people who have nuclear weapons, yet are unstable psychologically--like NK or Iran.

The US has another option -- arm South Korea and Japan with their own nuclear weapons. China would not like that, but there is little it could do, except start WW III, which would not be in anyone's interest.

What if Viet Nam and the Philippines had nuclear weapons? Why shouldn't they? China would not be so inconsiderate toward its neighbors then, would it?

Preventing nuclear proliferation is in China's self-interest. China, with the Soviet Union created the modern state of North Korea -- and after North Korea sneak-attacked the South -- and the US and UN fought back and defeated North Korea -- China stepped in to defend this aggressive state.

There are two major obstacles to peace with China: North Korea, and China's illegal claims to the entire South China sea.

Protectionist forces are now in motion, and it is not unthinkable that China's trade with the West will be greatly reduced, or even stopped completely, if there are political conflicts which cannot be resolved.

China would survive such a loss of trade, but it would not be nearly as prosperous. China needs to evaluate what is in its best interest.
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This comment was left by Cornelius Prescott at

Trump knows he can be voted out of office in 3.5 years and that the next administration, whether Republican or Democrat, is not likely to be willing to risk confrontation in a matter that is threatening the safety of millions of Americans and growing fast.

The generals Trump has put into his top leadership positions are the U.S.'s best, toughest, and smartest. These are the same generals Obama removed from power because they challenged his weak action. Kim Jong Un will not be allowed to survive through the next U.S. election.

He has proven himself to be too crazy and dangerous and his nuclear campaign is destabilizing the world. U.S. hawks, and even former head of the CIA - Woolsey, has been advocating his forceful removal of power for years.

This is an existential threat to the U.S. There is zero chance Trump will let it continue.

He is sincere in hoping he can work out a solution with the Chinese and turn this crisis into a way to forge a bond and strengthen our relationship. He is also not fearful of taking action alone and is not a patient man or politician.

Kim's nuclear program is going to forcefully ELIMINATED in the next 36 months. Knowing Trump, likely sooner than later.

Trump and Xi are likely discussing a way to do this together, so the Chinese have the security they want, and the U.S. gets the results they need. Both leaders are smart and realize Kim Jong Un's time is over. Neither leader is a bluffer.

My guess is Trump takes action before our mid term elections while he is strongest. Bye, Kim. Watch The Apprentice. Trump doesn't mess around.
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This comment was left by Miguel526 at

Everyone forgets that in hindsight Bill Clinton's rather glib US Administration "accidentally" helped the North Korean dictatorship sub-textually achieve it's goal of getting nuclear weapons in the first place!

Contemporaneous photographs of old Madeline Albright show her drinking and dancing with the North Korean dictator, as they 'celebrated' signing their treaty with the Clinton Administration wherein North Korea promised NOT to pursue nuclear weapons, in exchange for aid.

Even as Bill Clinton released immense amounts of US military research, (including much nuclear information). Bill Clinton somehow imagined that North Korea's dictator would simply keep his word, without being monitored, even as the world was becoming incrementally more aware of North Korea's monstrous slave labor camps. Into which so many North Korean people were being thrown.

A Polish government minister who survived in his job after the fall of the Iron Curtain, upon his return to North Korea revealed his horror after being allowed to see NK's horrific Death Camps, which he described as worse than Hitler's, this is in a long New Yorker article. . .

An article which The New Yorker would not publish these days, as The New Yorker would cover for it's rapacious hero, Bill Clinton, in his sloppy handiwork which helped lead the world to this unstable situation..
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This comment was left by Dom Sanderson at

So your plan is to keep the status quo. Ya sticking ones head in he sand has worked well since Clinton said the following.

It's time to end the threat in North Korea, then in Iran. Reagan had to use the military to clean up the mess from the weak Carter administration, Bush had to clean up the mess from the weak Clinton administration, and now Trump has to clean up the mess from the worst president...obumma.

After you read the following, read obumma's Iran nuclear deal speech - exactly the same as Clintons.

"Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea's nuclear program. This agreement will help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.

This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. It reduces the danger of the threat of nuclear spreading in the region. It's a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.

I want to begin by thanking Secretary Christopher and our chief negotiator, Ambassador at Large Bob Gallucci, for seeing these negotiations through. I asked Bob if he'd had any sleep, since he's going to answer all your technical questions about this agreement, and he said that he had had some sleep. So be somewhat gentle with him. After meeting with my chief national security advisers, and at their unanimous recommendation, I am instructing Ambassador Gallucci to return to Geneva on Friday for the purpose of signing an agreement.

The United States has been concerned about the possibility that North Korea was developing nuclear weapons since the 1980's. Three administrations have tried to bring this nuclear program under international control. There is nothing more important to our security and to the world's stability than preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. And the United States has an unshakeable commitment to protect our ally and our fellow democracy South Korea. Thirty-eight thousand American troops stationed on the Peninsula are the guarantors of that commitment.

Today, after 16 months of intense and difficult negotiations with North Korea, we have completed an agreement that will make the United States, the Korean Peninsula, and the world safer. Under the agreement, North Korea has agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and to accept international inspection of all existing facilities.

This agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It does not rely on trust. Compliance will be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The United States and North Korea have also agreed to ease trade restrictions and to move toward establishing liaison offices in each other's capitals. These offices will ease North Korea's isolation.

From the start of the negotiations, we have consulted closely with South Korea, with Japan, and with other interested parties. We will continue to work closely with our allies and with the Congress as our relationship with North Korea develops.

Throughout this administration, the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons has been among our most important international priorities, and we've made great progress toward removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and from Belarus. Nuclear weapons in Russia are no longer targeted on our citizens.

Today all Americans should know that as a result of this achievement on Korea, our Nation will be safer and the future of our people more secure." -- Bill Clinton
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