'Strategic Patience': Failed US North Korea policy

By Fan Jishe
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 15, 2016
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Republican presidential campaign frontrunner Donald Trump made hilarious and ridiculous remarks immediately after North Korea's fourth nuclear test.

Republican presidential campaign frontrunner Donald Trump made hilarious and ridiculous remarks immediately after North Korea's fourth nuclear test. President Obama may not publicly echo Mr. Trump's view, but he may have applauded Mr. Trump's argument privately. So here comes the next question: How will President Obama respond to the fourth test?

Most likely, President Obama's follow-up moves will be developed in the next couple of days. He or his team will talk and/or meet with counterparts in South Korea and Japan to convey the message of assurance, to reaffirm the American security commitment. Possibly, some cooperative and coordinated political and economic moves against North Korea will be taken. Discussion of missile-defense deployment in Northeast Asia will come back to the table again. The routine joint military exercises with allies will be conducted next month or the month after next. The basic message is: Don't worry, be happy, I am still here protecting you guys.

The United States will urge the United Nation Security Council to issue a statement to express grave concerns, to condemn North Korea's provocative moves, and to urge North Korea to exercise restraint, etc. This mission has been accomplished now//before??//. Countries concerned will be asked to implement the past sanction resolutions strictly. Finally, the United States will try to cook a United Nation Security Council sanction resolution to punish North Korea economically and financially.

The United States will become pushy and demanding once again. American diplomatic envoys will flock to Beijing, urging China to do more. They expect China to do anything possible to punish North Korea harshly, and to bring North Korea down to its knees.

What else President Obama can do? Nothing meaningful is likely. It is just a routine job for him, and that pattern has been there for the past seven years. President Obama called his policy toward North Korea "Strategic Patience". He might be patient enough, but patience is not North Korea's game.

"Strategic Patience" has turned out to be a great failure. Among the four nuclear tests done by North Korea, three were done in President Obama's two terms. In 2010, two major regional security crises erupted, which almost brought the Peninsula to the brink of another war. North Korea launched several satellites, which might boost North Korea's ballistic missile technology research and development. North Korea also disclosed its fairly well-advanced uranium enrichment program in 2010. North Korea's 5MW reactor resumed operation, and a light-water reactor is in construction. Meanwhile, the uranium enrichment plant is expanding. North Korea keeps moving forward, while the Obama administration keeps waiting and watching with "strategic patience".

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