07 April 2009

Big Trouble in little Korea

North Korea launched a missile over the weekend with the ability to strike long-range targets. During his time as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and since leaving that post, John Bolton has been a steadfast proponent of taking a tough line with North Korea.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal he lays blame (rightfully) at the feet of the Bush administration, but puts the responsibility for future action firmly on President Obama's shoulders. This is appropriate, and one of Bolton's observations is particularly important:

Once the missile shot was complete, the administration's answer was hand-wringing, more rhetoric and, oh yes, the obligatory trip to the U.N. Security Council so that it could scold the defiant DPRK. Beyond whatever happens in the Security Council, Mr. Obama seems to have no plan whatever.
Obama may indeed have a plan, but so far he has failed to impress on foreign policy matters. His failed attempts to get help from Russia on Iran, and Iran's own rejection of his attempts at dialogue have seemed amateurish and naive.


A.J. said...

Not that I am disagreeing with you on the fact we need a strong stance on the subject... but perhaps Obama is wisely using time to think this thing through and not knee-jerk react?

Jlowryjr said...

Maybe he'll pull something out of his hat. Maybe waiting is part of the strategy.

I think it would have been better to have a more decisive strategy ready, be it diplomatic or whatever, beyond the obligatory trip to the UN.

I think China has to be the main player here, but they just don't seem interested in throwing their weight around. Maybe that's because they can't really be threatened by North Korea's limited capacity given the geographical proximity of their own military. If North Korea were to threaten them they could overwhelm them pretty handily, even given N. Korea's large military.

Back to the issue at hand, to act quickly is not necessarily knee-jerk.