Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken up in a way contrary to his predecessors regarding our policy—our very attitude—toward northern Korea.
Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended[.]
That’s not just on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, though. Our various administrations have tried for 20 years, or more, the idea of talking, cajoling, bribing (to the tune of $1.35 billion in “aid”) northern Korea’s various Kim dictators. Baby Kim, in glad response, has only accelerated his drive for sticking nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles (he already has the warheads and the missiles).
Talking is nearly always a better first step than shooting, and we tried that. Now, though, it’s become time—it’s way past time—to do something else, to stop repeating Einsteinian insanity.
Among the somethings else is taking a harder line vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China.
Mr Tillerson noted that China has been punishing South Korea economically because Seoul is deploying America’s THAAD missile-defense system. “This is not the way for a regional power to help resolve what is a serious threat to everyone,” he said, referring to China. “We instead urge China to address the threat that makes THAAD necessary.”
(It’ll be interesting, too, to see the PRC’s reaction to being called a regional power rather than the global one to which the Warring State is aspiring.)
Other somethings else include increasing further the missile and other defense capabilities of the Republic of Korea, Japan, us, and other friendly and allied nations in the region or with interests in it and the relatively explicit possibility of military strikes ranging from shooting down northern Korean missile launches, whether test or otherwise, to striking northern Korea’s missile launch facilities, nuclear facilities, and long-range artillery facilities that might be used to try to retaliate against Seoul.
Other somethings else include more direct action against the PRC and its interests: barring PRC business enterprises that do business with or in northern Korea from the US financial system.