Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

On North Korea, Kerry Muddles the Message ^ | April 22, 2013 | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 04/22/2013 5:37:45 AM PDT by Kaslin

IF KIM JONG UN thinks he can shake down Washington by threatening nuclear apocalypse, President Obama says, the belligerent North Korean dictator has another think coming.

"Since I came into office, the one thing I was clear about was: We're not going to reward this provocative behavior," Obama told NBC's Savannah Guthrie in an interview last week. "You don't get to bang your spoon on the table and somehow you get your way."

No rewards for Pyongyang's criminal regime or its bloody-minded young tyrant. Everyone clear on that?

Well, maybe not everyone.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo the day before the president's TV appearance, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that the US government would in fact be amenable to rewarding Kim, who has proclaimed a "state of war" with South Korea, vowed to rain missiles on US military bases, and announced that the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon would be restarted. If Pyongyang tones down its missile-rattling and makes "some kind of good faith" commitment to dismantling its nukes, said Kerry, "we're prepared to reach out" with concessions – including a renewal of diplomatic negotiations.

"I'm not going to be so stuck in the mud that an opportunity to actually get something done is flagrantly wasted because of a kind of predetermined stubbornness," Kerry intoned. "You have to keep your mind open."

An open mind can be a fine and enlightened thing. "But privileging one's open-mindedness over bitter experience is an exercise in wishful thinking," observes Michael Auslin, an Asia scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former professor of history at Yale. For decades, North Korea's dictators have used threats to blackmail their way into negotiations, which invariably end with a one-sided bargain: North Korea walks off with valuable benefits in exchange for empty promises to halt its provocations.

Kerry's faith in the efficacy of engaging the world's most barbaric rulers is an old story. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was "very, very encouraged" that his diplomatic overtures to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad would culminate in reform and warmer US-Syrian ties. And he had little patience for those who warned that returning to the negotiating table with North Korea would only stimulate further brinksmanship. The "best option" was to "launch bilateral talks with North Korea," Kerry argued at a Senate hearing in 2011. "We must get beyond the political talking point that engaging North Korea is somehow 'rewarding bad behavior.' It is not." (The insistent italics are in Kerry's text.)

That hearing came not long after Pyongyang had torpedoed a South Korean patrol boat and shelled a South Korean island – unprovoked assaults that left 50 people dead. Kim Jong Il, the father of the present dictator, never paid a serious penalty for those deadly crimes. His son has drawn the logical conclusion.

In fairness, Obama has been more resolute in dealing with North Korea than his two predecessors ever were. In response to Kim Jong Un's latest series of grisly threats and nuclear bombast, the president at first made a point of dispatching B-2 bombers and F-22 stealth fighters to South Korea.He also moved a Navy missile-defense ship closer to the region.

Yet with Kerry's trip to Asia, the administration's firmness began to melt.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: johnkerry; kimjongun; northkorea; nuclearweapons
The rest of the article is in the link
1 posted on 04/22/2013 5:37:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
"On North Korea, Kerry Muddles the Message"

Commenting on headline only: Gee, who woulda seen that coming?

2 posted on 04/22/2013 5:42:51 AM PDT by DJ Frisat ((optional, printed after my name on post))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Yet with Kerry’s trip to Asia, the administration’s firmness began to melt...................................... I guess the next step is to send in the big gun of diplomacy, Hanoi Jane?

3 posted on 04/22/2013 5:43:21 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (Remember Ty Woods, Glenn Doherty and Sean Smith? Forgot already?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DJ Frisat

None of the liberals, err I mean “Progressives”

4 posted on 04/22/2013 5:55:15 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
"You don't get to bang your spoon on the table and somehow you get your way."

If the Republicans were smart, they would turn these words around on Oblahblah when it comes to gun control, immigration, etc.

But, they are not smart and lack the spine to do so.

5 posted on 04/22/2013 5:57:08 AM PDT by capydick (''Life's's even tougher if you're stupid.'')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
On North Korea, Kerry Muddles the Message

Muddled "thinking" (or at least what passes for "thinking" for leftards), results in muddled messages.

6 posted on 04/22/2013 5:57:47 AM PDT by Common Sense 101 (Hey libs... If your theories fly in the face of reality, it's not reality that's wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: capydick

Comment of the day. IMHO

7 posted on 04/22/2013 6:04:02 AM PDT by Straight8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

The only to deal with North Korea is to ignore them. That is do nothing but maintain readiness.

In response to questions say little or nothing. Be prepared. Say little

8 posted on 04/22/2013 6:16:28 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....History is a process, not an event)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin; All

Make you think asbout all those shlups that gave him a pass when he was going through the confirmation process...

He is such a fabulous diplomat though!!! /sar...Oh fuhgetaboutit...

9 posted on 04/22/2013 6:20:13 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends's how thin it is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bert

Absolutely. Keep a close watch on them, but don’t respond to any of the new boy’s threats. If they should actually attack S Korea, send in the troops. If they should use a nuke anywhere, then turn N. Korea into a glass-covered radioactive wasteland, but don’t play into Kim’s games.

10 posted on 04/22/2013 6:20:54 AM PDT by stremba
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

“MAD TV” did a great John Kerry.

11 posted on 04/22/2013 7:05:07 AM PDT by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Impy

kerry and “firmness” should not be in the same sentence. Ask his wife.

12 posted on 04/22/2013 7:56:39 AM PDT by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: stevie_d_64

Only 3 Republicans didn’t vote for him.

13 posted on 04/22/2013 8:23:08 AM PDT by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Venturer


14 posted on 04/22/2013 12:40:05 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends's how thin it is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson