Debate Club

Obama's 'Strategic Patience' on North Korea Has Failed

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There is something tragically familiar about watching history repeat itself in North Korea, where a brutal dictatorship has spent decades brutalizing its citizens, building a massive system of concentration camps, and increasingly, making war against its neighbors. North Korea's 2010 attacks killed 50 South Korean sailors and civilians. With its war rhetoric escalating, the days of dismissing North Korean threats are over.

President Obama's policy of "strategic patience" has mostly failed. While the president's belated enthusiasm for missile defense is welcome, North Korea is not a crisis we can address through conventional military deterrence or conventional diplomacy alone.

[See a collection of political cartoons on North Korea.]

In the case of North Korea, money truly is the root of all evil. While the people of North Korea continue to starve, Kim Jong Un squanders resources on weapons of mass destruction and luxury items for the elite.

But we have found effective, nonmilitary ways to pressure North Korea, such as the 2005 sanctions against the regime's finances that brought it to the brink of financial ruin. We should also be more vocal about Kim Jong Un's deplorable treatment of his own people, and give our strong support to the United Nations commission of inquiry that will soon look into crimes against humanity in North Korea. The administration has failed to give sufficient support to broadcasting to the people of North Korea, or to explore creative ways to provide them with a free flow of liberating information.

[See a collection of political cartoons on defense spending.]

We must be willing to apply tough financial sanctions that will deny Kim Jong Un the means to threaten us. In the longer term, the only way to achieve a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula will be to empower the people of North Korea to bring about real change.

Ed Royce

About Ed Royce Republican Representative from California

Tags
Royce, Ed
North Korea
South Korea
national security
nuclear weapons
Kim Jong Un
military
Obama, Barack

Other Arguments

#1
24 Pts
The Danger From North Korea Comes From Miscalculation

Yes – The Danger From North Korea Comes From Miscalculation

Philip Yun Executive Director of the Ploughshares Fund

#2
22 Pts
No, Kim Jong Un Is Not Crazy

Yes – No, Kim Jong Un Is Not Crazy

Robert A. Manning Senior Fellow of the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security at the Atlantic Council

#4
-6 Pts
The Only Way To Find Out North Korea's Intentions Is To Talk

No – The Only Way To Find Out North Korea's Intentions Is To Talk

Peter Hayes , Roger Cavazos Associate of the Nautilus Institute, Director of Nautilus Institute

#5
-8 Pts
North Korea's Threats Dwarf Its Capabilities

No – North Korea's Threats Dwarf Its Capabilities

Scott Snyder Senior Fellow for Korea Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

#6
-13 Pts
North Korea Is Someone Else's Problem

No – North Korea Is Someone Else's Problem

Doug Bandow Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute

#7
0 Pts
Take the North Korean Threat Seriously

Yes – Take the North Korean Threat Seriously

Bruce Klingner Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation

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