President Obama’s North Korea Policy ‘Has Failed’

‘As The Kim Regime Builds Its Arsenal,’ ‘Renewed Concerns About The [Obama] Administration’s Policy Of ‘Strategic Patience’’

SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR BOB CORKER (R-TN): “This week the U.S. Senate will join the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation that sends a strong bipartisan message: North Korea is a serious threat to U.S. national security and our current approach is a failure... The Senate bill represents the best of our bipartisan foreign policy tradition and builds upon legislation passed in the House of Representatives to expand and tighten enforcement of sanctions for North Korea's destructive activities... Equally important is the message the U.S. Congress conveys to the international community by passing this bill: Support for the North Korean regime will have significant consequences.” (Sen. Corker, Op-ed, “Impose Sanctions On North Korea's Enablers,” CNN.com, 2/07/2016)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “We cannot stand by as the Kim regime builds its arsenal, intensifies its cyberespionage and tortures its own people. It is time to ratchet up the pressure. … This bill would require the president to impose sanctions on people who have contributed to North Korea’s nuclear program, enabled its human rights abuses, and engaged in money laundering, counterfeiting or drug trafficking that benefits the regime.” (Sen. Gardner, Op-ed, “Sanction North Korea’s Forgotten Maniac,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/01/2015)

WASHINGTON POST: “What is needed is a return to the only non-military strategy that brought results: sanctions that strike at the regime’s inner circle... Pending U.S. sanctions legislation, already passed by the House and scheduled for a Senate floor vote this week, would mandate these steps, while providing the administration with some flexibility. It should pass, and Mr. Obama should sign it.” (Editorial, “North Korea’s Rocket Launch Shows That Mr. Obama’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Has Failed,” The Washington Post, 2/08/2016)


‘President Obama’s Policy Since 2009, “Strategic Patience,” Has Failed’

“North Korea’s rocket launch shows that Mr. Obama’s ‘strategic patience’ has failed” (Editorial, “North Korea’s Rocket Launch Shows That Mr. Obama’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Has Failed,” The Washington Post, 2/08/2016)

“North Korea got less attention as Obama focused on Iran nuke deal” (“North Korea Got Less Attention As Obama Focused On Iran Nuke Deal,” The Washington Post, 1/06/2016)


North Korea’s Troubling Record

Continues Banned Missile And Nuclear Tests

“North Korea on Sunday defied international warnings and launched a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others call a cover for a banned test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.(“N. Korea Praises Launch, Others See As Covert Missile Test,” The Associated Press, 2/06/2016)

“North Korean rocket and nuclear tests are seen as crucial steps toward the North's ultimate goal of a nuclear armed long-range missile arsenal.  .. North Korea has spent decades trying to develop operational nuclear weapons.” (“N. Korea Praises Launch, Others See As Covert Missile Test,” The Associated Press, 2/06/2016)

“North Korea declared on Tuesday that it had detonated its first hydrogen bomb. The assertion, if true, would dramatically escalate the nuclear challenge from one of the world’s most isolated and dangerous states.” (“North Korea Says It Has Detonated Its First Hydrogen Bomb,” The New York Times, 1/05/2016)

Closed Plutonium Reactor Restarted

“North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium reactor that could start recovering spent fuel in weeks or months, the U.S. intelligence chief said Tuesday…” (“Intelligence Chief: North Korea Restarts Plutonium Reactor,” AP, 2/9/16)

  • “Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Pyongyang announced in 2013 its intention to refurbish and restart nuclear facilities, to include the uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon and its graphite-moderated plutonium production reactor, which was shut down in 2007. ‘We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor,’ Clapper said in an opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee. ‘We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months.’” (“Intelligence Chief: North Korea Restarts Plutonium Reactor,” AP, 2/9/16)

Suspected Of Serious And Damaging Cyberattacks

“South Korea said on Wednesday it suspected North Korea of attempting cyber attacks against targets in the South, following a nuclear test by the North this month that defied United Nations sanctions... South Korea and the United States blamed North Korea for a 2014 cyber attack on Sony Pictures that crippled its systems and led to the leaks of unreleased films and employee data... In 2013, cybersecurity researchers said they believed North Korea was behind a series of attacks against computers at South Korean banks and broadcasting companies.” (“S.Korea Says N.Korea May Have Attempted Cyber Attacks,” Reuters, 1/27/2016)

Continues To Seize Prisoners

“As tensions on the Korean peninsula continued to rise ... officials in Pyongyang gave CNN exclusive access to a man North Korea claims is a U.S. citizen arrested on espionage charges. Speaking to CNN's Will Ripley, the man identified himself as Kim Dong Chul, a naturalized American, who said he used to live in Fairfax, Virginia... If true, [he] would be the only U.S. citizen held prisoner in North Korea...” (“Exclusive: North Korea Reveals Alleged U.S. Prisoner To CNN In Pyongyang,” CNN, 1/11/2016)



Related Issues: North Korea, National Security