North Korea Tests Another Nuclear Bomb; Obama Presses for More Talks

This one equal in size to the ones used in Hiroshima by some estimates.

“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community,” Mr Obama said in a written statement.

So, what “action” will the President of the strongest nation in the world possibly be talking about? One only needs to look at what he said in 2006 during an interview with the late Tim Russert.

You know, what I would do is, at this point, given the provocation of the recent nuclear test, I think let’s try to get these sanctions to work. I think the administration—which had not done a very good job on the North Korea issue, partly because it had been bogged down in Iraq—right now is taking some of the right steps. Let’s reconvene the six-party talks. China and South Korea are central to those efforts. But I think that in time it would make sense for us to initiate some bilateral conversations on—in parallel with the six-party talks, partly because it would strengthen, I think, the commitment of China and South Korea to really put some pressure on North Korea.

So, in 2006, we talked and surely that should have worked, right? Obviously, it didn’t. Thankfully, in President Obama’s statement following the test he DID outline what those “actions” are that he says are warranted this time:

“We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.”

Good idea, let’s keep talking. If we’re lucky, two years from now the nuclear explosion won’t be on the heads of our South Korean troops or, God forbid, in our own country.

Unfortunately, our President doesn’t believe in attacking North Korea. Why? Well, again, here’s what he said during that 2006 interview.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you invade North Korea?

SEN. OBAMA: No, I don’t think that’s an option. They’ve got a million troops in uniform, very well trained.

By golly, our military could never defeat a million North Korean troops! Whatever will we do? Who’s afraid of the big, bad Kim Jong Il?

30 Comments on “North Korea Tests Another Nuclear Bomb; Obama Presses for More Talks

  1. The statements being made by military analyst and our commanders don’t bode well for the “bomb now” crowd.

    “I think it would be very difficult, challenging — I don’t think there is any question about it,” Amos said, adding that it would “emasculate all our strategic reserves.” For those who remember Gen. Macarthur’s brilliant gambit at Inchon (pictured), Amos delivered a truly worrying assessment that has since been echoed by the deputy commandant. The toll of the last seven years of combat has forced the service to sacrifice its traditionally vaunted capabilities in combined arms operations and large-scale amphibious operations to be the excellent counterinsurgency force it has become.

    “If there were to be a full-scale war, the casualties would be unimaginable,” said Chaibong Hahm, senior political scientist at the California-based RAND Corporation.

    “We don’t know where the existing nuclear weapons are,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

    Author Robert Kaplan wrote on The Atlantic magazine’s website that “anyone who talks breezily about ‘helping’ North Korea to collapse has simply not learned the lesson of Iraq: The only thing worse than a totalitarian state is no state at all.”

  2. kim jong il is reportedly gravely ill (no pun intended). I believe that little man will use a nuke on his way out. Action must be taken. What? I don’t know…possibly Team America…World Police

  3. I think Lil Kim did himself a dis-service by tearing up the treaty halting the Korean War.

  4. Again I continue to see everyone criticize this administration for not taking more forceful or lethal actions, but I’ve not yet seen a single person discuss a realistic solution in that regard….

  5. The bluster coming out of NK this morning shows a complete disdain for the Obama administration. Kim Jong Il thumbing his nose at Obama doesnt exactly bode well for the “we need to talk” crowd.

  6. Iraq and NK car similar in one respect. They as well as many other despotic regimes (I’m talking Iraq, pre-2003) don’t have leaders in a vacuum. NK has a ruling class that supports lil Kim. Its these people that got him to back off his nuclear ambitions briefly while these people were cut off from foreign goods. Ahmadimajad had tapped into this class of people, largely while he was mayor of Tehran. This class of people will totally kick him to the curb if they don’t think he can deliver. Much of this depends on a relationship with the West.
    Same in Korea. Diplomatically plug into this class and cut him off and he will be done. Then park the USS Abraham Lincoln off his shore and tell him that any missle test will be considiered an act of aggresion on our ship and we will act appropriately.
    Food for thought.

  7. Cj, my comments weren’t specifically directed towards you, but rather a lot of your commenters who make it all seem so easy. Could force work, sure it could, but up until this point it didn’t seem like anyone was looking at the entire puzzle.

    Also, I don’t think North Korea should be compared to Iraq. The actions that worked with Iraq probably won’t directly translate with Korea. North Korea is a much stronger military force with powerful allies. Sure we have divisions stationed in S Korea, but there’s no doubt that we would need to send more troops down there if they did indeed launch a counter-attack. All of these years later N/S Korea is still a very volatile situation with or even without anyone bombing N Korea. The S Korean government did not recently request our troops to stay stationed there for the added company.

    Yes, there’s not a whole lot America can do, sanction wise, to really hurt N Korea. However there’s a ton that China could do in posing sanctions strong enough to cripple that government or force them to change their ways. Which is why the Obama administration is seeking help from China as we speak. That’s the right way to go about this. Bottom line is we have time, its not needed for us to rush into combat without first exploring more appropriate means. As an individual the who cares what others think mentality works, but as a country that’s not going to fly. That only hurts us within the international community and whether people want to admit it or not we need their help and support just as much as they need ours.

    David, you’re completely right, but I also wonder what their response would be if we needed to request more money and they were no longer happy with us. Whatever the case we have enough enemies as is and its in our best interest to build/repair as many relationships as possible.

  8. If only it was actually that straight forward and simple. When we do that do you really think NK would not respond? As sec of def how would you ensure the President that NK would not invade South Korea after our attack and what would your plan be once that does happen, because you’re going to have a very hard time convincing anyone that such a response from NK wouldn’t end up being the case. So, how do you propose fighting in a large scale conflict on top of two other smaller conflicts with an Army that’s simply not built for that?

    Not to mention the political fallout that you would also have to answer to. How do you ease the Chinese after we bomb their ally? Remember we’re in-debt to the Chinese right now and are very reliant on them in order for us to recover from this economic downfall. Without their continued support our economy could very easily collapse.

    Those are just a few of the many factors that you have to keep in mind when you propose bombing North Korea. It’s simply not going to be that cut and dry.

    • Well there are holes in your logic. You assume we’d do this alone or at all. We don’t have to be the one that drops the physical bombs. What would NK do? Invade S. Korea? Well we have divisions there and the S. Koreans have an Army as well.

      We could also go the route we used in Iraq by establishing no-fly zones and bombing radar sites for years. It would obviously have to be UN mandated.

      As for the two-front war, our President could end that if he really wanted to, as he promised. Frankly, though, I don’t care about the political fallout. If someone is threatening me and I take care of the threat, I could care less what anyone thinks. I just saved myself and that is my primary concern.

      So, what do you suggest then? What is the “politically correct” thing to do in keeping the world safe from the rogue state of N. Korea? Should we send them “please stop building nuclear arms” cookies and goat cheese?

      I never said I have all the answers, but it’s obvious that talking has not worked so something else needs to be done. I don’t get paid to say what that something is. But, I do know that people like Kim Jong Il don’t understand diplomacy.

    • DJ,
      You make some interesing points, but I want to make one remark here. China, among other countries own US debt instruments (basically treasury notes). They can’t just call them in whenever they feel a displeasure with us. If they don’t buy our debt, many others will. It gives them no power whatsoever. In fact, it results with just the opposite effect. If the US goes down, they don’t get paid. They have a lot of vested interest in helping us.
      Don’t give China more power then they deserve.

  9. Again I continue to see everyone criticize this administration for not taking more forceful or lethal actions, but I’ve not yet seen a single person discuss a realistic solution in that regard….

    • DJ, bomb the reactors! There’s a solution for you. Now, I think this is where you disagree with me.

      • I understand your passion in your “bomb the reactors” response, but it would be very irresponsible for us to do. A lot of people would get killed and Lil Kim would rally the remainder to fight. The nuclear material would escape and cause a lot of head-colds to say the least.
        Sanctions worked for a while and they didn’t cost us a whole lot.
        The only military angle I can see is if they test fire another missle that violates Japan’s airspace.

  10. Holy crap. How many times is the US going to talk and talk and talk and talk with NO action?

    Is anyone besides me tired of the rehearsed Obama? Can the guy not use a teleprompter? When is he going to talk from his gut?

  11. NY David, what muscles? What would make them back down?? More UN resolutions?? We as a country can do what diplomatically?? Maybe send Hillary AND Pelosi over there and they can bitch at Kim Jong Il?? What diplomacy do you think will work?? I’m truly interested.

    We tried for years to have peace talks with the North Vietnamese. But I seem to recall that all that diplomacy was bogged down because they couldnt decide the shape of the table they were going to sit at and it took years to figure that one out. Lets hope our diplomatic skills have improved over the last 40 years.

  12. The problem, quite simply is that heavy-duty dimplomacy hasn’t been tried to any extent. Its not about being the biggest kid on the block or suffering your muscles. We have diplomatic muscles as well and this is a prime example of when they should be used.

  13. The UN must pass a resolution letting the N. Korea know that it absolutely and firmly condenms such actions, after all the N. Korean could use more toilet paper.

  14. That’s not the way I look at it. The strongest kid on the block doesn’t always have to flex his muscles. You earn your respect through communication while at the same time leaving everyone aware that if they did take the wrong step then there would certainly be hell to pay.

    Which essentially is irrelevant anyway since war is a different ball game. So,do this for me then, propose a realistic military objective and how we could accomplish that objective while still maintaining a presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan…

    Do we simply bomb their facilities? If so do you really feel that the engagement would end there? It doesn’t seem like you guys are keeping things within the context of reality. Now if we were not already involved in two wars then my stance on this subject would probably be a lot different.

    • I wish that Obama would take a page from history and learn from it. The date was 23 Jan 1981. 52 Americans were kept hostage in Iran for almost 1 1/2 years. The President at the time was Carter. During the entire crisis, Carter tried talks with the Iranian leaders. Where did this get us? 52 hostages held for almost 1 1/2 years.
      A new President came along who stated throughout his campaign that if any country were to try us, they had better be willing to go all the way and back up their threats. This President was not going to take any crap. He was inaugarated 20 Jan 1981 and on 22 Jan 1981, the hostages were freed.
      Sure talk all you want, but a leader must first go into those “talks” and make it absolutely clear that there will be dire consequences to that nation if they do not cease.
      btw, that President was a guy named Ronald Reagan. Anyone ever heard of him?

  15. How complimentary some commenters are … when CJ agrees their opinions. CJ doesn’t control the internet. Maybe those dissatisfied with the moderation should go elsewhere.

    Compare this website to the style of one of this administration’s press conferences. The press was not even allowed to view a basketball game but had to accept whatever was reported from the W.H.

  16. You’re an idiot and suffering from extreme BDS. And frankly, I tire of your comments. Have you nothing constructive to add EVER?CJ

    • Well, then, censor me. That way you can claim to follow the rulers of such places as Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

      Why is it, btw, that the truth hurts you so much?

      • CF, is CJ right on this one … do you have any constructive suggestions here?

  17. Diplomacy is without a doubt the best option in this situation. It’s not a matter of our ability to defeat N Korea, but rather our responsibility to be sensible and not resort immediatly to violence. Also keep in mind that we’re already fighting on two fronts, so at this point in time a war with N Korea would not even be a realistic possibility as we simply do not have the numbers needed to sustain such action. Not only that we should all be well aware that a war with N Korea would also very likely involve Russia and China as well. Whatever the case its time we use our brain power as oppose to drawing arms, that’s the easy way out and will only lead to more difficult times. Anyone can solve issues by resorting to barbaric means, as Americans we have to be above that and only use that as a final resort.

    Finally to act out in such a way would almost imply some sort of fear towards N Korea and we should not fear them.

    • DJ, you remind me of the little boy in school that would get beat up all the time by the bigger kids. You kept begging them to stop but they never did. Finally, you found some thing that worked. You offer to do their math homework for them if they leave you alone. But if you ever stop doing the HW the beatings would resume, i.e. you became a slave.

      The problem with the diplomacy of the US and the other countries is this they never back up what they threaten. Think of a kid again. If you threaten something you have to be willing to follow through. And when you do follow through the punishment must be something that will have an effect on them in order to encourage growth. What the US and other countries have demonstrated time and time again is that if we make a threat we will not back it up. We just say, please don’t do that again, we did not like it. So, when do you stop diplomacy? When is it the right time to resort to the barbaric methods? Is war barbaric or is talking in the face of a lunatic while he builds nukes, negligent genocide? Not every one can resort to war and win against a country as dug in as NK. There are few that have the weapons needed to prevent the death of wave after wave of soldiers. So, when NK sells the rocket tech to a fundamental Muslim country, or when they decide to use it them selves, is that the right time to stop talking?

      “Finally to act out in such a way would almost imply some sort of fear towards N Korea and we should not fear them.” Really so to come to the table day after day and year after year with them does not imply fear. When would you rather strike and send our troops into NK before or after they have a nuke? The funny the about fighting a Communist country is if they see you advancing into their country they would not hesitate to use a nuke on there own soil and on there own people. It just means fewer mouths to feed. A price they would pay to halt the advancing Americans. Very few things have changed the shape of our world outside of violence.

  18. President Obama needs to be impeached, He is a threat to our country with his policies and his agenda. He is the weakest president we have had in our nations history!

    • Clayton, I wouldn’t go that far just yet. He’s only been able to screw stuff up for four months. As long as there is a Jimmy Carter, Obama has a LOT to live up to. He hasn’t done anything impeachable yet and probably won’t. Bad decisions aren’t impeachable offenses.

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