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North Korea has learned from the Qaddafi regime the importance of maintaining its nukes.

North Korea Has Nuclear Weapons So It Won’t End Up Like Libya, The National Interest, Edward Chang, 6 Apr 17   As many experts have predicted, North Korea is trending to become the Trump administration’s first major foreign-policy crisis. The latest developments continue to reinforce that trend.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Donald Trump threatened to take unilateral action to stop the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear program unless China stepped in to address the issue. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, echoed that stance not long after Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis indicated that he views the DPRK as the gravest threat to America. The week prior to that, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that the Obama-era strategy of “strategic patience” was over and warned that military action was an option if North Korea did not unilaterally disarm.

While the early post-war time period occasionally involved troubling acts of violence that resulted in the deaths of Americans, the United States and North Korea have since avoided such encounters (the same cannot be said for South Korea). And while no American president ever dismissed force as an option, Trump is unique in the blunt and direct manner he has used to challenge the reclusive regime. Which begs the question—has a clash between the United States and North Korea become inevitable?………

Like U.S.-North Korea relations, U.S.-Libyan relations were fraught with tension from the beginning, following the 1969 coup that brought Qaddafi to power. Like North Korea, Libya earned the reputation of “rogue state,” defying international norms and engaging in destabilizing behavior in the region……..

Reagan’s undeclared war” against Libya hints at one possible future in Trump-era relations with North Korea. Both presidents have assumed unambiguously confrontational postures, employing rhetoric that previous presidents have attempted to avoid. Much like Reagan singled-out Qaddafi after focusing elsewhere during the election, Trump has now focused most of his attention on Kim Jong-un, after initially emphasizing threats like ISIL as the more pressing issue………

Conventional wisdom holds that Trump will behave in a manner consistent with his predecessors for one simple reason—the stakes are too high………

Perhaps the most useful lesson to learn from Reagan’s war with Qaddafi is that it was ultimately inconclusive. The Libyan problem spanned the entirety of Reagan’s two terms; by the administration’s end, Qaddafi was still in power. Nearly a full decade of sanctions and overwhelming force notwithstanding, the U.S.-Libya saga demonstrated decisive actions do not necessarily lead to decisive results……..

As his national security staff completes its North Korea review, it is hoped that “the Donald” will learn the hard line leads to uncharted territory. More importantly, the forty-fifth president would do well to accept there are no obvious solutions to this crisis; using force does not always lead to the desired outcome. Regardless of which path he takes, Trump may very well be dealing with Kim through the totality of his presidency. ……



April 8, 2017 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war

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