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  • US Should Show Strength, Not Weakness in Korean Military Exercises

    This week, the U.S. and South Korea have initiated extensive joint military exercises and senior-level security meetings to project an image of strong solidarity, resolve, and deterrence to North Korea. Under normal circumstances, these actions would have accomplished their purpose.

    Although the robust naval exercises display formidable military capabilities, they are overshadowed by the perception, if not the reality, that the U.S. postponed and then altered its military plans in deference to Chinese objections. Coupled with the impotent U.N. response to North Korea’s attack on the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, the result is not a show of strength by the U.S. and South Korea, but rather an appearance of weakness.

    After media reports that Washington had acquiesced to Chinese pressure to move a U.S. carrier battle group’s scheduled deployment further from Chinese waters, the U.S. should have pointedly declared that it would send the USS George Washington into the West Sea and would conduct extensive anti-submarine exercises near the location of the Cheonan attack. Doing so would have been an irrefutable signal to both North Korea and China that the U.S. would resolutely take all necessary steps to defend its critical ally South Korea.

    After it became apparent that the U.N. Security Council would not condemn North Korea’s heinous attack on the Cheonan, the Obama Administration should have immediately announced a new U.S. initiative to impose additional punitive economic measures against Pyongyang. Washington should publicly identify and target North Korean and other foreign agencies, banks, and businesses violating U.N. Resolution 1874. To date, the U.N. has been reticent to vigorously implement measures against North Korea’s WMD and missile programs, largely due to Chinese obstructionism.

    Washington should not only take action against an expanded list of North Korean violators, but also the suppliers and recipients of illicit North Korean military goods, such as Burma, Syria, and Iran. Washington should then call on other responsible nations to match the U.S. effort.

    Washington should insist that all nations fully implement U.N. sanctions in order to prevent North Korean procurement and export of missile-and WMD-related components and freeze the financial assets of any complicit North Korean or foreign person, company, bank, or government. The sanctions should be maintained until Pyongyang abandons the behavior that triggered the punitive actions.

    Washington should also lead a global effort to enforce international law against North Korean illegal activities, including counterfeiting of currency and pharmaceuticals, illegal production and distribution of narcotics, and money laundering. The U.S. should identify and target North Korean government agencies such as Office 39, a special department that collects funds for Kim Jong Il’s personal use. Law enforcement, implementing U.N. resolutions, and combating proliferation should not be negotiable, nor politicized, for the sake of what may appear to be progress in the Six Party Talks.

    Economic sanctions can be an effective tool by providing consequences for a country defying international agreements. If laws and U.N. resolutions are not enforced and defended, they cease to have value. There must be a heavy penalty for provocative actions that transgress the law.

    As President Barack Obama commented last year, “Sanctions are a critical part of our leverage to pressure North Korea to act. If the North Koreans do not meet their obligations, we should move quickly to re-impose sanctions that have been waived and consider new restrictions going forward.” It is now time for the Obama Administration to initiate a more comprehensive program than the limited measures implemented last year.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to US Should Show Strength, Not Weakness in Korean Military Exercises

    1. Billie says:

      Because of U S chief in command, we're not allowed to show strength, it might hurt someone's feelings…

    2. Ross writes from Flo says:

      Since LBJ, I get an uneasy feeling when we have a Democrat President . Think about it; Jimmy Carter(he discimated the military-I was there!), Bill Clinton(he gave the Chicon the technology for ICBM's), now Obama(his actions speak louder than words), all of them weak on national securiy. Now with this President who has, what seems to a reasonable man, a hatred for this country that would in earlier times be considered acts of treason or in the last fifty years, be considered incompentance or neglect of sworn duties and commissions.

      So why would a reasonable man think the Obama regime would stand-up to foreign powers, after all he bowed to the Chicon Premier.

      I pray that the sleeping giant is finally awaking to this assault on our very being as a nation.

    3. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      The United States of America made a Promise, a Vow, an Oath, a Treaty, which stated that if South Korea was attacked by North Korea, we would aid in retaliation, swiftly and effectively.

      Having cowards as President and Congress, we have lived up to none of these, which dis-honors us all.

      Our Agent, the Federal Government, made that Treaty, which is within their duties as outlined in our Constitution. to not honor this, is to place our entire Nation at risk in every endevorwith the rest of the World, be it Business, Humanities, or War.

    4. Drew Page, IL says:

      There once was a man named Barack, who set up a doomsday clock.

      With Iran he crumpled. With North Korea he fumbled.

      Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

    5. Pingback: North Korean Threats Show Need for Robust Defenses | Hawaii Reporter

    6. Pingback: North Korean Threats Show Need for Robust Defenses | NKNews.org - North Korea News & Information Resource

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