Trump’s Tough On North Korea Approach Is Working

- March 6, 2018


President Obama’s Weak Foreign Policy Allowed North Korea To Accelerate Its Nuclear Missile Program

President Obama Followed The Diplomatic Route With North Korea To “No Avail.” “Finally, Barack Obama stuck with the diplomatic route, first employing a conciliatory approach and later implementing sanctions, but similarly to no avail.” (Natasha Turak, “North Korea’s Nuclear Development Can’t Be Blamed On Trump, Says Former Clinton Advisor,” CNBC , 03/06/18)

By The Time President Obama Left Office, Pyongyang Had Overseen Four Underground Nuclear Tests. “Pyongyang would oversee four underground nuclear tests by the time Obama left office.” (Natasha Turak, “North Korea’s Nuclear Development Can’t Be Blamed On Trump, Says Former Clinton Advisor,” CNBC , 03/06/18)

In May 2009, North Korea Announced It Had “Successfully Conducted” A Second Nuclear Test, “Defying International Warnings.” “North Korea announced on Monday that it had successfully conducted its second nuclear test, defying international warnings and dramatically raising the stakes in a global effort to get the recalcitrant Communist state to give up its nuclear weapons program.” (Choe Sang-Hun, “North Korea Claims To Conduct Second Nuclear Test,” The New York Times , 5/24/09)

In December 2010, The Obama Administration “Concluded That North Korea’s New Plant To Enrich Nuclear Fuel Uses Technology That Is ‘Significantly More Advanced’” Than Iran’s Program. “The Obama administration has concluded that North Korea’s new plant to enrich nuclear fuel uses technology that is ‘significantly more advanced’ than what Iran has struggled over two decades to assemble, according to senior administration and intelligence officials.” (David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, “U.S. Concludes N. Korea Has More Nuclear Sites,” The New York Times , 12/14/10)

In April 2012, North Korea Had A Failed Rocket Launch Attempt, Which Marked “The End Of The Obama Administration’s Year-Long Effort” To Engage The Rogue State. “North Korea’s apparently unsuccessful launch of an Unha-3 rocket with a ‘satellite’ attached marks not only the 100th birthday of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, but also the end of the Obama administration’s year-long effort to open up a new path for negotiations with the Hermit Kingdom. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned earlier Thursday that the promised launch by North Korea would scuttle the deal the Obama administration negotiated with Pyongyang and announced on Leap Day Feb. 29, which would have provided North Korea with 240,000 tons of U.S. food assistance over the next year. She lamented that the North Koreans had thrown away the progress made.” (Josh Rogin, “North Korean Missile Launch Torpedoes Obama’s Engagement Strategy,” Foreign Policy , 4/12/12)

In May 2012, North Korea “Resumed Construction Of A Nuclear Reactor Used To Expand The Country’s Nuclear Weapons Program.” “North Korea has resumed construction of a nuclear reactor that can be used to expand the country’s nuclear weapons program, an American-based institute said Thursday, citing the latest satellite imagery of the building site. In November, North Korea reported brisk progress in the building of a small light water reactor in its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, its capital. If completed and operational, the plant would give North Korea a new source of spent nuclear fuel from which plutonium, a fuel for nuclear weapons, can be extracted.” (Choe Sang-Hun, “North Korea Said To Resume Work On Nuclear Reactor,” The New York Times , 5/17/12)

In December 2012, North Korea “Surprised And Angered The International Community…By Launching A Long-Range Rocket.” “North Korea surprised and angered the international community Wednesday by launching a long-range rocket that may have put an object in orbit. The secretive North Korean regime said the rocket had successfully blasted off from a space center on its west coast and claimed the satellite it was carrying had entered its intended orbit. The launch followed a botched attempt in April and came just days after Pyongyang suggested it could be delayed.” (Jethro Mullen and Paul Armstrong, “North Korea Carries Out Controversial Rocket Launch,” CNN , 12/12/12)

In January 2016, North Korea “Successfully Carried Out A Hydrogen Bomb Test.” “North Korea says it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which if confirmed, will be a first for the reclusive regime and a significant advancement for its military ambitions. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than plutonium weapons, which is what North Korea used in its three previous underground nuclear tests.” (Euan McKirdy, “North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test,” CNN , 1/6/16)

Under The Trump Administration, The United States Introduced Rigorous Sanctions Aimed At Forcing The North Korean Regime To End Their Nuclear Program

In His First Year In Office, President Trump Stated That The U.S. Was “Ready To Confront North Korea .” PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: “The U.S. is ready to confront North Korea. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” (President Donald Trump, Remarks At The United Nations , New York, NY, 09/19/17)

In June, The Trump Administration Announced Increased Sanctions Against Chinese Entities Accused Of Aiding North Korea’s Nuclear And Missile Programs. “The Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions against Chinese entities accused of aiding North Korea’s illicit nuclear and missile programs. The action is a sharp turn in President Trump’s approach to China and the beginning of a new and unpredictable effort to use sticks instead of carrots with Chinese President Xi Jinping.” (Josh Rogin, “The Trump Administration Calls China’s Bluff On North Korea,” The Washington Post , 06/29/17)

In August, The Trump Administration Unveiled Additional Sanctions On Ten Chinese And Russian Companies Suspected Of Trading Resources With North Korea. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the announcement. Ten Chinese and Russian companies as well as six individuals were named, some of whom are trading coal, oil and mineral resources with North Korea. The Treasury Department says North Korea generates about a billion dollars a year from coal exports and singled out three Chinese companies, which it says imported almost half a billion dollars in North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016.” (Jackie Northam, “Trump Administration Unveils Sanctions To Curb North Korea’s Weapons Program,” NPR , 8/22/17)

In September, The President Unveiled Sanctions Targeting Banks And Other Companies Doing Business With North Korea. “President Trump ordered new economic sanctions Thursday against any bank or other company doing business with North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's renegade nuclear program. The move is designed to tighten the economic screws on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in hopes of halting his development of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them.” (Scott Horsley, “Trump Administration Orders New Sanctions On North Korea,” NPR , 09/21/17)

Under President Trump, The United States Has Pushed Through Two Unanimous Security Council Resolutions Imposing “Ever More Draconian” Economic Sanctions On North Korea. “The first concerns the Trump administration’s escalating pressure campaign against North Korea. On Tillerson’s watch, of course, the United States has pushed through two unanimous U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing ever more draconian economic sanctions on Pyongyang.” (John Hannah, “Two Cheers For Rex,” Foreign Policy , 11/29/17)

“[Secretary Of State] Tillerson And The State Department Have Been Methodically Getting Countries Across The World To Tighten The Diplomatic And Economic Noose On Pyongyang.” “ At Trump’s direction, Tillerson and the State Department have been methodically getting countries across the world to tighten the diplomatic and economic noose on Pyongyang.” (John Hannah, “Two Cheers For Rex,” Foreign Policy , 11/29/2017)

Ranking Member Of The Foreign Affairs Committee Ben Cardin (D-MD) Called President Trump’s North Korea Resolution At The United Nations A “Major Accomplishment” And Praised The President’s Policy. SENATOR BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “That was a good move. That was a major accomplishment and I give our team a lot of credit for getting that done. There are pretty strong additional sanctions to be imposed against North Korea because of their continued testing of ballistic missiles. So that was absolutely a strong move forward and it was great to see China and Russia join us in that.” (Fox News’, “ Fox News Sunday,” 12/24/17)

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Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer Has Said President Trump Should Get “Credit” For North/South Korea Breakthroughs. CNN’s ALISYN CAMEROTA: “The idea that North Korea and South Korea are talking is huge, yes?” EURASIA GROUP PRESIDENT IAN BREMMER: “Yes, it’s a breakthrough. No Question. Another breakthrough. Big sanctions supported by everyone including the Chinese.” CAMEROTA: “They’ve worked?” BREMMER: “They’ve had some impact in my view absolutely and give Trump credit for some of that stuff.” (CNN’s “ New Day,” 01/03/18)

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After A Year Of Sanctions, In Early March, North Korea Told South Korea It Was Willing To Begin Negotiations Concerning Abandoning Its Nuclear Weapons Program

On March 6, 2017, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Told South Korean Envoys He Was Willing To Begin Negotiations On Abandoning His Nuclear Weapons Program And Would Suspend All Nuclear And Missile Tests While Engaged In Talks. “North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that he is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said on Tuesday.” (Choe Sang Hun and Mark Landler, “North Korea Is Willing To Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says,” The New York Times , 03/06/18)

The March Breakthrough Has Been Called Potentially Historic And One Commentator Said President Trump Deserved “Enormous Credit” For The Thawing In Relations

The New York Times National Security Reporter David Sanger Stated That President Trump Deserved “Enormous Credit” For “Ratcheting Up The Pressure” And Noted “There Is No Reason The Obama Administration Couldn’t Have Done That And They Didn’t.” THE NEW YORK TIMES’ DAVID SANGER: “The imposition of truly deep sanctions that the U.S. has stepped out to enforce, I think probably gave an additional motivation to Kim Jong Un that he had to get into talks that would relieve that pressure. I think President Trump deserves enormous credit for ratcheting up that pressure and making sure the sanctions were real. There is no reason the Obama administration couldn’t have done that and they didn’t.” (CNN’s “ New Day ,” 03/06/18)

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The Los Angeles Times Called News Of The Talks A Potentially “Historic Breakthrough.” “In a potential historic breakthrough, North Korea has offered to freeze its illicit nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs to engage in talks with the United States, South Korean officials said Tuesday. The surprise announcement came after South Korea's spy chief and its top national security official returned Tuesday night to Seoul from a meeting in Pyongyang with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.” (Matt Stiles, “North Korea Offers To Begin Talks With U.S. To Denuclearize, South Korea Says,” Los Angeles Times , 03/06/18)

The Washington Post Reported That The Thaw Could Pave The Way For Talks And Bring About A “Reprieve In The Months Of Acute Tensions On The Korean Peninsula.” “There is plenty of cause for skepticism. North Korea has previously said it will give up its nuclear weapons only if the United States withdraws its military from South Korea, and North Korea has previously reneged on every deal it has ever signed. But the sudden thaw could also pave the way for talks between Kim’s regime and the Trump administration and bring about a reprieve in the months of acute tensions on the Korean Peninsula.” (Anna Fifield, “North Korea Says It Will Halt Nuclear And Missile Tests While Talking With U.S., Seoul Says,” The Washington Post ¸ 03/06/18)

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