President Trump won’t back off, stays forceful against North Korea

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Give me a strong president any day, and let the weak weenie wannabes go blat their niceties on something else. When President Trump colorfully pointed out to North Korea’s tinhorn Head Despot that his threats are intolerable, the usual spineless diplomats and American lawmakers expressed fearful alarm.

Oh, the horror!

What really happened is that Trump’s comments marked the abrupt end of a 25-year stretch of ineffectual negotiations with NK, starting with Bill Clinton, which have gotten America nowhere. “Look at Clinton,” Trump said. “He folded. He was weak and ineffective.” The president also said “Obama didn’t even want to talk about it.” And Trump is right—on both counts.

Twenty-three years ago, when then-President Clinton threatened military action against North Korea if it did not abandon its nuclear plans, the Korean regime laughed because they knew Clinton was a weasel, afraid to take international chances. When Clinton sent former President Jimmy Carter as a diplomat to negotiate a deal, Carter manipulated Clinton into accepting a bad deal which allowed NK to proceed with its nuclear program without adequate U.S. inspections.

Later, Barack Obama also failed to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Even Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has called Obama’s NK actions, and the actions of predecessor administrations, “a failure.”

Pointing out to the narcissistic, young dictator of NK that the U.S. has strong military options is entirely appropriate, even if the message is delivered in stern language by the president. It’s fair game and good strategy for the president to fire warning shots to tyrannical autocrats that stupid actions on their part could make their regime go up in smoke.  Despots, being despots, will push and push to get what they want, including murderous behavior, and they only understand strength when they face real counter-actions. The diplomatic dangling of carrots to a totalitarian tyrant must be accompanied by a credible Big Stick, or the tyrant will simply eat the carrots and demand more.


On one level, the verbal brawl between the president and various weak-kneed, clueless Americans is a hoot, and keeps a grin on my face, even when the debate stakes are high. But this president has three goals in the NK crisis, according to Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman. The first is to “prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons,” a strategic imperative. Equally important is the balance of power in Asia, which includes curbing China’s power on the Korean Peninsula, a matter of power politics. This is important because the U.S. needs to continue to dominate the oceans of the world to keep our maritime power intact as a defensive capability. Oceans provide insulation for America from Asia and Europe. The third imperative is to be sure America honors its commitments to its Asian allies. One reason the U.S. fought wars in Vietnam and Korea was to prove to its allies that our security guarantee had teeth, was worth something. In East Asia, the result has been an “economically vibrant and politically stable environment…that has furthered U.S. interests.” Part of this commitment is to be sure that American ally South Korea is not destroyed, especially when the U.S. allowed North Korea to have a nuclear weapon.

Donald Trump is on the right track in dealing with North Korea. The easily frightened mainstream media should not be unduly concerned if the president’s words lack diplomatic politeness. Such politeness is lost on the Pyongyang regime. The U.S. is entitled to defend our homeland, protect our territories and allies, and North Korea should be told in forceful language what will happen to them if they push us too far. As they say, when you mess with the bull you get the horns.


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John R. Smith


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