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Obama's Laid Back "What Me Worry?" Diplomacy on North Korea | Main | Army Studying "Quasi-Conventional" War
April 06, 2009

Sending all the Wrong Signals

John Bolton's mustache gives the administration's response a major thumbs-down.

Prior to North Korea's launch yesterday of a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, President Barack Obama declared that such an action would be "provocative." This public statement was an attempt to reinforce the administration's private efforts to urge the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) not to fire the missile.

That effort failed, as have countless other attempts to deal softly with Pyongyang. Incredibly, U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth revealed -- just a few days before the launch -- that he was ready to visit Pyongyang and resume the six-party talks once the "dust from the missiles settles." It is no wonder the North fired away.

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.

Bolton fairly notes the Bush administration is partially to blame for re-legitimizing North Korea, but he's concerned that Obama's response will make Iran, China and Russia very happy.


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posted by Slublog at 12:01 PM

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