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.
But, fear not. Lessons were learned from the weak Obama response. They were not exactly lesson that are in America’s best interests.
Iran has carefully scrutinized the Obama administration’s every action, and Tehran’s only conclusion can be: It is past time to torque up the pressure on this new crowd in Washington. Not only is Iran’s back now covered by its friends Russia, China and others on the U.N. Security Council, but it sees an American president so ready to bend his knee for public favor in Europe that the mullahs’ wish list for U.S. concessions will grow by the minute.
So, North Korea is now emboldened even more. So are Iran, Russia and China. The UN will dither away any meaningful sanctions, Obama will negotiate with thugs and the world will be an even less stable place.
Great. Just great.