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  • Morning Bell: North Korea's New Game

    U.S. intelligence agencies are still collecting data from an array of high-tech equipment, but analysts have little doubt that North Korea did detonate a nuclear device yesterday. The Pyongyang regime also test-fired two missiles today despite a U.N. Security Council condemnation of their nuclear test. These actions come just five days after Iran tested a two-stage ballistic missile and just six weeks after North Korea fired their own ballistic missile, the Taepo-Dong-2, which landed 2,390 miles from the launch site.

    Since President Barack Obama was sworn in, North Korea has refused to meet with the new administration, rejected six party talks about its nuclear program, kicked U.N. nuclear inspectors out of the country, and restarted a plutonium factory. This rapid pace of provocation shows that Pyongyang is playing a new game. Heritage fellow Bruce Klingner explains:

    Previous North Korean tactics were to engage in a slow buildup prior to an escalatory act in order to allow the US and its allies sufficient time to offer new diplomatic or economic inducements to buy Pyongyang back from the brink. On those occasions when North Korea carried out the act, it followed with several months of calm to allow all countries to become accustomed to the new elevated status quo prior to initiating the next lengthy provocation process.

    Since the beginning of 2009, however, North Korea has engaged in a series of provocations against the US, South Korea, and Japan without allowing any time for diplomatic outreach. It is evident that Pyongyang is now intent on achieving strategic technological achievements rather than gaining tactical negotiating leverage. As such, North Korea is likely to continue additional missile and nuclear activity during 2009 impervious to naive initiatives such as offering a senior-level presidential envoy for bilateral discussion.

    It is becoming clear that North Korea’s true goal is achieving formal recognition as a nuclear weapons state. The United States should:

    1. Continue to develop and deploy a missile defense system to protect the United States and our allies. President Obama slashed missile defense funding by 16%. Congress should restore the $1.4 billion in missile defense funding cut from the budget and state explicitly that it is doing so because defeating missile attacks on the U.S. and its allies is essential now and for the near term.
    2. Demand China and Russia agree to stronger punitive measures in the UN Security Council. Along with South Korea and Japan, the U.S. should cease the charade of praising Beijing’s behavior in the Six Party Talks and instead criticize its obstructionism to carrying out the will of the international community as expressed in two UN resolutions.
    3. Press for additional North Korean as well as foreign companies and government agencies to be added to the UN sanctions list and insist on active enforcement.

    This will not be North Korea’s last advancement towards nuclear weapons and their deployment. The need for missile defense is now more apparent than ever.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    28 Responses to Morning Bell: North Korea's New Game

    1. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I know where I can go to acquire a nuke. While I'm there I can take advantage of the added value package and pick up the appropriate missle.

      Is Washington's main character going to allow this regime to provide the bomb that strikes the USA or an allie? Until the manufacturing and assembly sites are eliminated in North Korea the threat to our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness are in danger of being attacked.

      Will one nuclear explosive device in any mid or major city in the US be necessary before we act?

      Some things should not have to be explained to the President of the United States.

      "Always Vigilante."

    2. Nelia, Fountain Hill says:

      Obviously, Obama's actions and attitude embolden our antagonists. The leaders of Iran and North Korea comprehend only strength and threat of retaliation. How long will it take our leader to comprehend and respond to their mindset?

    3. Gene, Colorado says:

      Why in God's name are we, the United States, relying on an impotent organization to handle North Korea? And why do we have a president that is so enamored with this same impotent orginazation, after all of the failed resolutions and excercises of the past 20 years? Are there that few of us who can see?

    4. Teresa Rice says:

      Obama needs to gain a backbone in order to demand that other nations along with the U.S. will employ strategies to force N.Korea to dismantle all nukes and if Kim Jong IL does not there must be serious or grave consequences. Please, Obama singing Kum Bay Yay and hoping peace is going to follow is simply not going to cut it.

    5. Phil Davis, Florida says:

      Sonia Sotomayor's own words" The bench makes policy". The continuation of the erosion of our most precious and well thought out documents: The U.S. Constitution and The Bill of Rights. One more nail in the coffin of Justice is about to be brought up for confirmation (Sonia Sotomayor). These paths that liberal leftist(Socialists)continue to take can only lead to severe polarization of the country and can only lead to a disastrous outcome. When will this senseless, mindless path to destruction come to an end?

    6. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      In the end, the United States is responsible for its own security. This crucial duty rests with the Commander-in-Chief. He is charged with doing all in his power to increase America's defenses by whatever means possible. Failure to do so is a blatant violation of his oath to the office of president. When it comes to dialogue, I suggest Obama watch Tombstone. Legend this movie may be, Kurt Russell's character offers sound advice on how to handle talk.

    7. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      N. Korea's actions clearly show that the US under Obama and his apologizing diplomacy is a toothless tiger. Your advice to pressure China more is useless since the Chinese hold close to $1T of our debt. When are we going to face the reality that the US is broke and is just about in the same place as the Soviet Union was before its collapse. In my judgment, these developments are not going to end well for US and her citizens.

      We have to start by accepting the fact that regimes and their intentions can be inimical to the US without needing any excuse. Apologizing looks stupid and weak to them. We have to get rid of all the socialists in Congress and restore the Founding principles.

    8. David Estrovitz, St. says:

      The Morning Bell article"North Korea's New Game", seems to imply that we have no Missile Defense System at all. I believe our Anti-Missile and First Strike Capability has been in existence since the start of the Cold War. Perhaps a detailed description of the Budget Cuts is in order before spreading the Fear Factor.

    9. Russ in Cleveland TN says:

      There are so many critical issues of which the Obama administration are on the wrong side that it would make a long check list. The Problem is that as swiftly as they can they are undermining American values of Freedom and Justice. Watch their spokespeople cry out for control of the financial sectors, or education or personal freedom of speech,(Fairness Doctrine against talk radio as an example, another being Hate Crime Laws, gun control, our children being brought under UN Human rights control,no Christian prayers with Jesus name but Allah can be used anywhere, anytime.). Now the president has shown his true radical thoughts as he appoints the new supreme justice. Consider the insanity of the budget based entirely on debt, a recovery bill based entirely upon debt, any other nation wanting money such as the Hamas Palestians, we just hand millions over and issue more debt for the taxpayers to pay. Our country is in the hands of bleeding heart liberals who will not defend America's borders from the glut of illegal aliens that daily invade from Mexico, Central America and China.

      It will be a miracle if this country survives this goverment determined efforts to change every sensible law and replace them with their ill-advised and untested "do-good" ideas.

      We all need to pray for this President to stay in good health and no misfortune ever befall him. The reason is that the next two people in line, Mr. Vice-President Biden and House Speaker Pelozi would create far more disasters than they could ever handle and America would pay the ultimate price.

      God bless us all, including our President which so many voted into office. This many will live to regret very seriously.

    10. Tom K., from Communi says:

      To all of you posting here, whom may have put 'His Impotence' in office, thanks for nothing!!!!! We got what you deserved!!!

      To all of the rest of us here, it ends when we end it, when we quit complaining, and get off our opinions and do something about it. There'll be a price to pay, you can count on it. But there always is when you ignore the rats until they've taken over your habitat.

      Everyone is focused on the fast pace of agression coming from 'without'. Don't let that blindside you to the 'right hook' that the aggressors from 'within' are throwing at the patriotic citizens of this great country.

      Sure Iran and North Korea are a very real and present danger. But what about the very real and all too emminent danger imposed by the present collection of clowns who are hi-jacking our freedoms and democracy??

      Someone once said they could spot the devil a mile away. My response was that his problem was that he couldn't recognize him when he was in his face!!

      People keep referring to Obama as the 'Commander-in-Chief', and that's assuming he's commanding, and others are following.

      But I say that his title should be 'Usurper-in-General', as he is leading an elite band of destructors in the ruination of our mighty Constitution and it's accompanying Bill-of-Rights.

      So when does the majority finally make the minority conform to what's right? Just look at China, and Russia, for example.

      How did and does so few make the many conform to such an unacceptable regemine as communism, for instance? The fear factor is the greatest deterrent to resistance. When everyone is afraid they might be the one to 'give all', then the battles already won.

      Tieneman Square came to an end when one battalion tank commander squared off with his peer, an demanded that he rethink his position as to whom he served in that situation. When asked what the official title of the Chinese Army was, the aggressor had to admit that it was 'The People's Army', to which the defender replied, then do your duty to the people, and not the the regime in Beijing.

      So even our soldiers and sailors know what's right, and do not blindly follow. But if we are not more vigilant and insistant on accountability from the knuckleheads in power, we'll be dancing to their tune forevermore.

      Sorry for the spelling, but I'm more concerned about those who focus on content, not mis-spelled words.

      One Still Patriotic

    11. Patty, Kingsville, M says:

      Obama's weakness and inadequacy is mirrored for the world to see. Therefore, everyone who dislikes the US, now sees us weak and vulnerable – thanks for our commander-in-chief. I fear that it's only going to get worse. Obama is not qualified for the position that he holds.

    12. Andrew McCreight, Te says:

      I do not understand why the Republican Leaders allow Obama to work both sides of the patriotic fence.

      On one hand he says the "change that we can believe in" is what matters and then when an issue that requires values and mors of the old society are needed he jumps back on the other side of the fence.

      Take for instance GITMO, Obama loudly proclaims that the past morals and values of our Constitution cannot allow War Criminals to be held in prison indefinitely.

      Then he does a 180 when it comes to the Redistribution of America's Wealth. He adamantly proclaims that the old way of doing things in this country are wrong and that the government must step in to fix it.

      What happened to the smaller government and lower taxes that the founders of this country lost lives to defend.

      Do these values matter to Obama and the Socialist Democratic Party?

      What gives Mr. President?

    13. TOM COAL VALLEY says:

      Maybe Barack and his merry band of constitutional and bill of right theives will get tired of being challeged and do a drive by missle shooting at them like Clinton did when he was the phony and chief.Talk will not solve the problems these folks represent we need to negotiate from a position of strength. Didn't Jimmy Carter try that after he decimated our military with cut after cut and made us the laughing stock of the world. We couldn't even rescue our embassy personnel in Iran when he was in office. It took Ronald Regan getting elected and rebuilding the military back to respectability and he didn't do it by apologizing to every two bit dictator in the world begging them to be our friends. They will not be our friends no matter what we do and the lefties are in lala land to think so. Let me be clear vote these idiots out in 2010 for the sake of our country.

    14. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      I was in college during the Cuban Missle Crisis – Obama wasn't around. I see this as another Missle Crisis with the stakes much higher. Ask the retired military about this event – we were inches away with a war with Russia. The U. S. naval officer in charge of the interception of the Russian ships continued to ask Kennedy "should I engage?" It was really scary. The implications of N. Korea are equally scary – and this is the real world, not a Hollywood movie.

    15. Bob R Geologist, Tuc says:

      If anyone has any remaining doubts about the direction Obama is headed they are just not paying attention. Democracy depends on an intelligent electorate. The younger crowd of voters thought they were voting for a rock star and that is just what they got. Have we any doubts now about the dificiencies of our educational system?

    16. Bob Martin says:

      We're screwed! So many changes….so little time before the end of the U.S. as we know it!(Let alone the world!)

    17. David Sayers, NC says:

      Obama is weak and the UN is a joke. Since we are in debt to China and North Korea and China are buddies,we,The United States have no leverage at all. The moronic politicians in DC have seen to that. We are fast becoming a second rate power.

      So what to do? First clean house in DC,then lets elect represenatives who care more for the country than themselves. And on Obamas pick for the Supreme Court, just another kommie.

    18. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      In the article "North Korea's New Game", "should" is being forced to bear an uncanny resemblance to a 3-part "wish list" for both the willfully ignorant and the hopelessly naive who, through their ignorance and naiveté, are thus also willfully determined to "forget history", or are naively willing to cooperate in doing so, and thus force history to repeat itself, as in "Those who forget (or don't know, or ignore) history are destined (or doomed) to repeat it".

      Indeed elitist tyrants, such as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Bin Laden, Ahmadinijad, Kim Jung Il, and other elitist and statist power and money-grabbers (which includes Leftists), always have and always do demonstrate, as both a matter of their elitist agenda and their practice of it, their determination to seize power and influence through any and all means possible; that includes their "fifth column" efforts to divide and conquer us from within, and their use of force in any or all its' forms, including through their use of armed force such as military and/or, for example, Islamic extremist fascist terrorist force, and the efforts of their "fifth column" accomplices in academia, the media, and elsewhere.

      So also it is such power and money-grabbing elitists and their accomplices who force history to this day to repeatedly show and prove that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, that "The tree of liberty must sometimes be watered by the blood of patriots and tyrants" as Thomas Jefferson said, and altogether that "Those who forget (or don't know, or ignore) history are destined (or doomed) to repeat it".

      In other words: As history repeatedly shows and proves to this day, if we follow and rely on such a 3-part "wish list" as that in the article "North Korea's New Game", without reinforcing it, and more, through our assuring that we will not exclude our so-called "military option" to swiftly and surely end the threat presented by such tyrants as Ahmadinijad and Kim Jung Il, (much the same as an appeasing “peace at any cost”, piece of paper-waving "Peace in our time" declaring Neville Chamberlain faced with a Hitler who signed agreements, violated them, and started World War II), then it will cost more loss, including loss of peace, which will again show and prove how "Those who forget (or don't know, or ignore) history are destined (or doomed) to repeat it".

    19. Jan from Utah, says:

      We have three branches of government. They all have sworn that they would protect and defend the USA and the Consitution. Our military has also sworn to do the same. Some how they must do so.

    20. michael hutchings says:

      A missile defence yes.

      Plans for an immediate response to nuclear attack,yes.

      Clusters of low yield atomic weapons on specific areas should take down any nation that uses them first and hopefully this wont happen.

      we must survive and electing weak and constantly appolagetic(sic) leaders who see their own nation as evil is no way to security.

      please lay off the guilt over nagasaki and hiroshima and dont let it affect response preparations or the development of tactics and new arms.

      Is it past time for us to grow up and leave the old days in our wake when we were a functioning superpower and open our selves to the present decline.

      The decision apparently has come down that we no longer need aspire to first tier power status as we dismantle the vitals of our nation to please the faceless and AGGRIEVED VICTIMS OF THE PROSPERITY WE MADE COMMON ACROSS THE WORLD.

      If some other nation or group of them can take over and do what we no longer will as we continue our self administered and misguided to the point of crimanality; retreat,well let them and wake us when its over.

    21. ella quinn kinston n says:

      I am in fear for our great country america. How can we have such a dumb president and democratic vice president and speaker of the house nancy p.Even if they donot care about us they should want to save theirselves from destruction of north korea, and iran.We are in great danger. We are not safe with them in the white house.The ones who voted for him are crazy are not very bright.If you care about america change your vote in 2010.Look at what obama is doing to our great country.Open your eyes, ears and heart and vote them out.Please listen and heed to this plea, help get our country back.We americans need to pray and stick together and vote them out of the white house.

    22. Judith of The Late, says:

      Mr. Estrovitz of Utah:

      The "Cold War" started about 1945. The Natl Missile Defense Act was enacted in 1999. The current multi-pronged program is operational only with a limited capability.

      Much work and research needs to be done before we can claim the US has a missile defense system capable of protecting our entire country.

      Mr. O wants to cut defense spending by approx. 16%. In light of the latest news of 1/2 hour ago, N.Korea launched yet another missile, bringing to 6 the number launched in past 2 days plus it's nuclear test a few days ago. Just doesn't seem like a wise thing to do now, cutting defense spending, does it?

      N. Korea knows our weaknesses now, and will exploit them to the max. Iran is watching very closely, too.

      Spread "The Fear Factor"? You betch'a!! It's called Survival Factor.

    23. Howard Rampy says:

      What we are seeing is the unbuilding of America by one who is not capable of leading anything but a bunch of folks in Chicago who do not know the difference.

      And, this is "your leader"…. Largest question is, who is REALLY pulling Obama's string?? Who does he really answer to..?? He is an illegitimate office holder who may need to be impeached, but he has a stacked congress on his side….. What to do, what to do??

    24. John Ring, Illinois says:

      Maybe we can schedule a contract with Isreal to deliver some surgical strikes since the President in the White House is weak on security.

    25. Thor H. Asgardson says:

      North Korea’s game is that of the fictional mobster character “Nicky Santoro,” insofar as Pyongyang is telling the world: “Don’t make me be a bad guy…”

      North Korea believes it has the head of the world body politic in a vice, and that all it has to do is declare an end to the armistice, by detonating a powerful nuclear blast and testing nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.

      These provocative gestures are designed to squeeze the West into submission, until our collective eyeballs figuratively pop out of our national head.

      The North Koreans expect the pay off to be that the United States will go running to the United Nations for more useless sanctions against the Stalinist regime, until it decides to reward North Korea with food and energy for their bad behavior, and to avoid a nasty confrontation we can ill afford.

      Given the mutual cooperation among America’s enemies–Iran and North Korea– in defiance of the world community, it would seem prudent for the United States at this juncture, to abandon approval-seeking and Robert’s Rules of Order from the United Nations, to follow the Bush paradigm of a unilateral decision, in the face of a formal declaration of war by North Korea.

      This means that it will be in the strategic interest of the United States to preempt any threat of a nuclear attack, by initiating a bold naval blockade of North Korea, designed to literally starve the North Koreans into submission, thereby giving them the impetus to initiate regime change all on their own.

      This less costly gesture of war, will be the ideal game plan for forcing North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Il, to save the country from vaporization by the United States of America.

      “Dear Leader” will then find himself at the receiving end of karmic retribution from his own people.

      The United States must send a very strong message to the world community that the time for talk is over.

      “Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.”
      Frederick the Great

      All U.S. troops and citizens must be withdrawn from the Korean peninsula, as they are sitting ducks for any tactical nuclear weapons to be delivered by the North. Since we are in a state of formally declared war on North Korea’s part, it is incumbent on our degenerate Congress to finally make a formal declaration of war in the national interest.

      “There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”
      George Washington, Annual Message, December 1793

    26. Dean Anthony De Carl says:

      Kim Jong Il has ever been an underhandedly volatile and unstable element, so much like a venomous (yet cowardly) snake poking it's head out of it's burrow in the far east. This is not news to any of us that consider ourselves staunch conservatives. Why our great nation, the last genuine super power on earth continues to allow the weak and chicken-hearted remainder of the planet (U.N., N.A.T.O., etc…)to influence our own national securities, to brazenly impose the socialist dictatorial will of a shadowy figure whom has no business as our Commander-In-Chief is beyond me and mine completely. Only one possible solution enters my furious mind, and it took place in this country in the year 1775.

    27. Miriam Diaz - NY says:

      Our country is in a sad state of affairs, in every aspect. During the elections so many republicans angry at Bush, felt that they would teach our republican leaders a lesson and vote democrat. Well, now we can see the results of such bad decisions made by so many conversatives. Obama during his campaign spoke clearly about his beliefs and values. However, so many millions of Americans wanted "change." and so they voted on that one single word. They never stopped to think past that one word, and now we have the problems that we're facing. Where do we go from here? Our only hope is to rise up and let our voices be heard. We must defend the constitution of this great land, if not, by the end of Obama's term, we'll have become a European nation, AND no longer will we be considered a super power. I'm sure our founding father's are rolling over in their graves right about now!

    28. JAO, CA says:

      China has serviced the needs of NK to a fault. Now it is time to quit useing their food,oil and electrical power to help NK.

      North Korea has black mailed the USA and others to feed not their people but their army.

      Stiff sanctions, coupled with puting this mafia state back on the Terrorists list and cut off their ties to banking facilities.

      Air defense should be fully funded not reduced !

      We would have the money if the president did not waste money in volumes. He avoided the laws of the country.

      GM should have went directly into bankruptcy ,no loans. Chrysler and AIG are also errors in how to handle companies that are broke.

      One must be careful what we ask for as in " CHANGE ".

      Paying for votes in this manner will cause pain for decades to come.

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