Keeping America Safe / National Security / Politics

North Korea Taunts Weak Biden

AMAC Exclusive – By Simon Maas


Last week, North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles near its capital, Pyongyang, in the country’s fourth missile test in less than two weeks — the most launches the North has ever conducted this early in the year. With each passing day, the regime grows closer to successfully fitting nuclear warheads onto intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. But in the wake of numerous high-profile foreign policy defeats and domestic crises, the Biden administration appears ill-equipped to meet the challenge.

According to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), last week’s launch was aimed at “making a selective examination of the tactical guided missiles which are being produced and equipped and verifying the accuracy of the weapon system.” In other words, it was part of the development of new weapons systems, the range and accuracy of which are steadily improving. Each test, whether successful or not, gives the North Koreans more knowledge to advance their nuclear, ballistic missile, and other weapons programs.

Three days before this most recent weapons launch, North Korea test-fired two other short-range ballistic missiles from a train. Before that, the North conducted flight tests of what it called hypersonic missiles on two separate occasions this month.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un oversaw the more recent of the hypersonic launches last Tuesday, making his first reported appearance at a weapons test in almost two years. He said the missile would “help bolster the war deterrent of the country.”

The next day, the Biden administration announced that it was imposing sanctions on eight people and entities for their work in developing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile-related programs for Pyongyang. The administration also criticized the recent launches as violations of United Nations resolutions. Unsurprisingly, North Korea was undeterred by what amounted to little more than a rhetorical slap on the wrist.

In response, KCNA claimed that the U.S. had “viciously slurred” North Korea and “committed the foolish act” of imposing sanctions, adding that North Korean officials gave instructions “to promptly examine the issue of restarting all temporarily-suspended activities” — an apparent threat to resume testing of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles.

In 2018, Kim suspended North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests while engaging in diplomacy with the U.S. under then-President Donald Trump.

In total, the recent acts of aggression by North Korea seem to be in anticipation of a year of provocations and brinkmanship with the U.S. But President Biden isn’t doing enough to make a difference, perhaps preoccupied with his own sinking poll numbers and a burgeoning crisis in Ukraine. His lack of action appears to be emboldening Kim, who will no doubt use his aggression and military advancements to try to gain leverage in future negotiations with the U.S.

Part of the problem is that, contrary to President Trump’s policy, the Biden administration’s approach toward North Korea remains unclear and largely undefined to the public and the world.

The administration conducted a review of North Korea policy last year, but the results of that review were not made public, forcing observers to rely on vague public statements to decipher Washington’s intentions.

Last year, for example, President Biden described his North Korea policy as a combination of “diplomacy, as well as stern deterrence.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was a “calibrated, practical approach” lying between President Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” and President Trump’s desired “grand bargain” with Kim. What, exactly, that means in practical terms remains unclear.

The State Department also recently reaffirmed that its goal is “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” adding that the U.S. “harbors no hostile intent” toward North Korea. The Biden administration is “prepared to meet with the DPRK [North Korea] without preconditions,” a State Department spokesperson said last week. “We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach.” Just what the goals of such a meeting are again remain unclear.

Perhaps this desire to engage North Korea is why Biden and his team have only sanctioned a handful of entities for violating U.N. resolutions, despite vowing to maintain or increase pressure on Pyongyang. But the administration hasn’t even fully enforced U.S. laws against North Korean and Chinese entities violating them, experts say.

It’s also worth noting that, while Trump pursued diplomacy with Kim, he also threatened to “totally destroy” and unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself or its allies. Meanwhile, the Trump administration imposed the toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea while deploying a missile-defense system to South Korea.

Trump even canceled a summit with the North Koreans less than three weeks before the planned date because of what he called Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility.” (The gambit worked: North Korea immediately came groveling back to the Trump administration, expressing its “willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format.”)

Simply put, Trump engaged North Korea while maintaining an aggressive posture, while Biden is currently just engaging North Korea without imposing any pressure. And thus far, North Korea has rebuffed the Biden administration’s diplomatic outreach. So, what happens next?

In practice, Biden’s approach increasingly appears to be a revival of Obama’s strategic patience, a sophisticated-sounding term for doing nothing and maintaining the status quo — a status quo that allows North Korea’s leadership and weapons programs to thrive as the North Korean people starve.

If history is any guide, it won’t work. For decades, the U.S. has offered every carrot possible to induce North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Food, fuel, money, even light water nuclear reactors — none worked. Threats and pressure, such as sanctions, haven’t fully worked either. Biden’s policy, as it currently stands, will likely do nothing to deter Kim, who has no incentive to engage Biden or to stop his weapons advancements.

Today, North Korea has about 30-60 nuclear weapons, according to various estimates. That number will only grow. Add increasingly advanced missiles to the mix, and the North will eventually be able to destroy U.S. cities — with a ruthless tyrant being the one with his finger on the nuclear button.

Biden either doesn’t think the threat is that grave, believes the threat will somehow go away on its own, or doesn’t have any better ideas and is too afraid to take political and diplomatic risks. Regardless, the American people need to be aware of this dereliction of duty and recognize a severe threat to their country’s national security that, so far, the current administration has shown no interest in addressing.

Simon Maas is the pen name of a writer living in Virginia.

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1 year ago

He and his puppeteers have boxed themselves into a corner and they do not know how to get out. Losers. The price one pays for appeasement. Peace through strength. If one does not learn from history then one is doomed to repeat it> Speak softly and carry a BIG stick? Biden is working with a feather duster!

1 year ago

Kim Jong Un recognizes a limp leader when he sees one. Biden is not only no threat, he is laughable on the world stage.

1 year ago

WE are already full aware of how dangerous this impostor is to our country!! BIDEN IS NOT CAPABLE OF TYING HIS OWN SHOES, LET ALONE RUNNING THE COUNTRY!! I used to think, and still do in fact, that Obama is the Antichrist!! But that’s just what I think.

1 year ago
Reply to  Judy

Agreed! I think the same as you.

1 year ago

The second this idiot was officially declared the “winner” of the 2020 election the aforementioned countries started making their plans for what they are doing right now.

anna hubert
1 year ago

they are ruthless and will respect a man not a mouse

1 year ago

how can anything taunt a person who has no compassion or common sense. just look at the illegals coming here is biden concerned about drugs and traficking of our young kids, NO he just worries about getting votes from unlawful ways. does biden have common sense about how to lead this country NO, just look at the gun violence, looting, robberies rapes.

1 year ago

Some folks by their deeds and words make themselves tauntable. Not saying it is right or wrong, just stating a fact of human behavior.

1 year ago

The example of neville chamberlain is often brought up. While he was totally wrong in his assessment of hitler, he was honestly wrong and there is little doubt that as a patriot he wanted what was best for the UK. You cant say the same for the motley collection of globalist sell outs that today make up the left and the dem party. They fancy themselves above nationalism and love of country. Clearly many of them believe that diminishing their own country is the right thing to do and thats what scares me.

1 year ago
Reply to  Morbious

I firmly believe that the only way many of the totally psychotic Leftists made it into government office was through appointments by demented party members and by cheating. We have a few lame sheep who have fallen in line with this ilk, but a true majority of them don’t even bother to vote. Too ignorant and uneducated as well as lazy to bother with it.

1 year ago

Weakness and gross incompetence invite provocative action from America’s enemies and the Biden administration is very weak and incompetent indeed. North Korea, nothing more than a glorified proxy for China, is going to take advantage of the situation the same way China, Russia and Iran currently are seeing what they can get away with.

We have at least 3 more long years of this to endure, since the American people have largely chosen to allow the fraudulent election of 2020 to stand and it is now far too late to do anything about that. So all I can say is everyone better get used to the escalating threats against this country coming from multiple fronts, because our enemies are neither stupid nor cowards. They see an opportunity and they will all likely try to take full advantage of the situation. They all understand only one thing that would make them back down and that is the credible threat of force. Since the Biden administration is populated by weak incompetents who only believe in appeasement at all costs, none of our enemies see any reason not to pursue their current course.

1 year ago
Reply to  PaulE

Just more of the same rhetoric coming from this ineptitude administration. Haven’t a clue what to do until the handlers tell them. Your comment is on target as usual.

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