U.S. could shift to containment strategy for North Korea
April 13th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

U.S. could shift to containment strategy for North Korea

By Elise Labott

After North Korea's failed satellite launch in defiance of the international community, U.S. officials and experts say the Obama administration could move away from a policy of engagement toward one of containment.

"I think there is going to be much less time for the DPRK issue in this town," a senior official said about the Obama administration's patience for the issue. "Maybe we say, 'we gave it a shot, and they made a decision that they have to live with.' What are we going to do? We can't keep trying to help them help themselves." Senior American officials said the Obama administration is trying to walk a middle ground in its response to the North Korean failed launch, on the one hand condemning North Korea for its actions, while on the other hand urging for Pyongyang to meet its international commitments.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken with the foreign ministers of China and South Korea and is expected to speak with the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers Friday. Administration officials said there would be a period of consultation with allies, but they would expect a hiatus in efforts to get North Korea back to the table for six-party talks anytime soon - particularly in an election season in which President Obama has been accused by Mitt Romney, his presumptive Republican challenger, of appeasing North Korea.

"Every time we try to take one tiny step forward with North Korea, they revert to their old behavior.  Nobody is particularly optimistic about engagement, and you can't ignore bad behavior.  The tea leaves are such that you wonder how much political capital you want to invest," a second senior U.S. official said.  "But it's something where we would always leave the door slightly open to see if there is ever anything to be done."

"We made a sincere effort, and the response is to completely dis us," another senior U.S. official said. "I just don't see how we can reach out.  This missile launch is a slap to the whole international diplomatic efforts."

In lieu of engaging North Korea, officials and experts said the U.S. could refocus on efforts to curb North Korea's weapons program, such as tightening existing sanctions against North Korea and intensifying measures to curb North Korean procurement of sensitive technology, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led effort to stem the illicit trafficking of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems. Close to 100 countries are members of the program.

The U.S. will push for tough condemnation of North Korea when the U.N. Security Council meets. Officials say the U.S. would like a resolution with consequences, but that will depend on what China is willing to go along with. Any action from the council probably will not be ready for several days, the officials said.

"We have to see what the traffic will bear," one senior U.S. official said about the possible text to emerge from the U.S.

Washington will also be pressuring China to lean on North Korea and persuade it not to undertake another missile test or a nuclear test and admit inspectors into the country.

"We have to see whether this prompts the Chinese to make a different choice," the official said.

The official said the U.S. has experienced "whiplash" with North Korea's about-face in testing the missile so quickly after the so-called Leap Day deal.  The food aid that North Korea was promised is "definitely off for now," the official said.

"We are not going forward with an agreement to provide them with assistance," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.  "It is impossible to see how we could move forward with the February agreement, given the action that they have taken."

"We can't think in binary terms," a different senior official said. "It isn't either or. North Korea has violated two Security Council resolutions, and we will go forward to impose the necessary consequences and move forward on the pressure track. But the U.S. hasn't flipped a switch and decided it's not going to push for North Korea to work with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) or adhere to its moratoriums on testing. They should do what they said they would do. It's up to Pyongyang now if they want to declare themselves off the hook for that, because we won't."

soundoff (136 Responses)
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  4. Alex Povolotski

    Containment strategy? It's already contained to the brink of extinction.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  5. Todd

    Fat pig! Imagine that, his people are starving, and he's overweight! Can't believe the injustice of North Korea. On what principals? He wants to put a weather satellite into space, meanwhile his country is starving itself! I can't believe the world allows this.

    April 15, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • F B M

      And I can't believe that people actually believe that we should continuously tell the rest of the world what to do and how to do it.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  6. NickD

    Put pressure on China. thats the only thing that has a chance to work with regards to North Korea.

    April 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  7. Shane

    They are a country full of millions of asians in poverty and a dictator flying a communist flag. I don't understand why the U.S, or South Korean, or even Chinese governments don't just kick their ass and assume control of the poor excuse for a country. There wouldn't be a problem of them having nukes if they just got rid of the waste of air Kim during the Korean war. None of this would be a problem if we had just turned the place in to a barren waste land.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:22 am | Reply
    • F B M

      Feel free to enlist and die for nothing.

      April 14, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • NickD

      Thats exactly what everyone said about sadam, and he didn't have China as an Ally sitting right next door. How did that work out?

      April 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
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    April 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  9. Old Woody

    Something I heard on a TV news channel earlier today, and which I totally agree with.
    When President Harry Truman threatened N Korea with nukes, N. Korea agreed to a truce. This did not end the "Korean War” It only placed it on "Pause" Only one thing has been on N Korea's mind since signing, get their our own nukes and delivery system....THEN they can take the south back as the “Glorious Leader” intended. This “failure“ may have been just a test of the first stage. The other stages have already flown. The rest of the world would view this as a setback resulting in having the world powers relax. Once N Korea develops a fleet of medium and long range nukes and a delivery system, South Korea is no more. North Korea is akin to any strong cult. They will not fail to try fulfilling Glorious Leader #1’s dreams. One Korea.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  10. Neil

    Maybe in the spirit of the start treaty signed with Russia, we could reduce our stockpile of nuclear arms by turning north Korea into a smoldering hole in the ground. Two birds with one stone I say.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Margie

      Gosh Neal Are you a christian? I bet you are pro-life too? leveling North Korea is certainley what Jesus would do.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  11. vince

    North Korea is china's problem - whatever we do China can undo. And they are the largest trading partner. china needs to make a decision - either they play in teh world economy with the US and leave Iran and North Korea behind, or they try to play a double game and we move our business elsewhere. China needs us more than we need China

    April 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  12. Tomike

    Jack is a moron!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  13. TOMG

    WHAT THE HIGHER VALUE OF THE HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE , BOTH ARE ATEABLE AND DRINKABLE THAT WHAT WE ALL HUMAN WASTE SHIIT AND HUMAN URINE THINK , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • Larry J.

      I think TOMG might be Kim Jong Un.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • Aldrian

        For your files: flotsam is what fltaos around after the shipwreck, jetsam is what they jettisoned before they hit the reef. Hard to differentiate in practice, since the difference is one of intent.Like so many differences.

        September 13, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • gdaym8

      OK, what church do you go to. Because that DOESN'T sound like a real prayer to me.........AMEN.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      huh?

      April 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • pipeguy

      He needs to put that to music or something In its present form it just doesn't work for me

      April 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  14. TOMG

    HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE ARE THE GREATEST STINKY AND SMELL IN THIS HELL AND HEAVENLY PLACES EARTH , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • gdaym8

      Can I get you some meds for that?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • jason

      what the heck is that supposed to mean?

      April 14, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
  15. Larry J.

    Doesn't look like Kim Jong Un is underfed! Does it!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  16. TOMG

    ALL HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE ARE THE KARMA FROM THE PASS LIFE TO THIS PRESENT LIFE THAN TO THE FUTURE LIFE , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  17. TOMG

    THIS ERA WORLD ARE FULL OF HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE THAT TRANSFORMATION INTO REAL HELL ERA THAT ARE FULL OF HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • ironsides

      Wow dude you need to get that checked.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • gdaym8

      OK, you're North Korean, aren't you? Because that just sounded TOTALLY insane.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  18. TOMG

    KARMA ARE REAL AND KARMA IS REAL TO ALL THIS DOG HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE WORLD , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  19. ptsdLOADING

    All nations must work together harmoniously to get our civilization to the next level. Any other direction = DESTRUCTION!!!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  20. ptsdLOADING

    All nations should work together harmoniously to get our civilization to the next level. Any other direction = destruction!

    April 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  21. TOMG

    HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE ARE THE KARMA OF HELL WAY OF THINKING AND THE HELL WAY OF ACTION INORDER TO CREATING MORE HUMAN WASTE SHIT AND HUMAN URINE , AMEN

    April 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  22. Ronald Hall

    China is the problem. We need to disassociate with them until they quit playing both sides. If we stop buying their goods, their currency will devalue and make them easy to pay off.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • illwill

      Ronnie you've got it. If we can stop buying the goods that they produce it will be easier to pay them off. They are buying up our islands south of us and are now looking toward Cuba. Sooner or later they are going to turn the tables on the world, leading into war with them having all of our resources and possibly our allies.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  23. HughMungus

    Obama, Apologist In Chief, should be apologizing to North Korhea for their failed launch attempt. He'll have more flexibility to be more apologetic AFTER the election.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  24. ironsides

    We are probably better off setting up tons on mitary equipment and missile sites – go back to the GBM 109 Tomahawk ground mobile launched missile systems. And put a ton of them there. We already have them in our arsenal. Make them go broke trying to keep up, china will get worried and then do something about the NK little boys.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  25. madan Bhandari

    what i see, Obama is failed i vote for him last time but he is week person, we will see N koria will do something else to scared S koria and Japan and Obama will watch, so Iran Have clear idea what to do next how to play with Amerian, they are carage to build there neku, still Obama will wait, everybody know wat is not good but someone threat your family and friend you have to ipunish bad people. god bless America, just wait for god not Obama,

    April 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • ironsides

      Really? Well your wrong in what you say. Its a whole lot more complicated than what the arm chair quarterbacks here can tell you. Or what you yourself has concluded. There are probably 20 layers of politics involved with as many different countries that it concerns. Barking off simple answers might seem brave but the reality is a lot deeper an would be the same for any president unless they are Jethro with the 6th grade education, like our last so called leader who spent 6 trillion plus interest of our nation treasure because somebody threw a gernade and missed at his old man.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  26. F. Daniel Gray

    I don't recall anytime since 1953 (that's over 50 years) when the US policy was anything but containment. It hasn't worked. All we have gotten from our "leaders" is a highly speculative prediction of "imminent collapse." If the DPRK wished to show us anything, it's that they are not bought off easily.I don't know if they are starving or not. The US certainly doesn't. Adequate nutrition could be a problem. It is in most of the Third World nations. The difference here, unlike Haiti, where even pure water is unavailable, the people are educated and self disciplined. I have yet to see a citizen who is poorly dressed and desperate. Why would they care if we knew. They don't care about what we think about them. And "our way or the highway," does not register. I suggest we begin approaching them in a manner becoming a sovereign nation. They haven't had a problem with stalemate for over 50 years.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • B

      They should be able to self sustain then. Disregard them and place a nuclear deterrent in the south and bring are troops home. If they cross the DMZ engage them with a ICBM...Problem solved...Next!

      April 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • RememberRangoon

      What do yo mean containment hasn't worked? A phony religion-based regime (the worship of Kim Il-Sungism) sends commandos to attack the South Korean presidential offices, blows up an airliner, blows up a couple dozen South Korean diplomats in Burma, commits various atrocities along the DMZ – what degree of mayhem do you think they might have achieved had there been no effort to contain? Not starving? Google the accounts of refugees who have escaped the North.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  27. Bobby

    Yes Barry the olive branch policy you put forth DID NOT WORK. Now it's time to get serious and "Oh yea one more thing – NO FOOD AID" 😉

    April 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • ironsides

      Who's Barry? You may have the wrong article.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  28. cja

    Look this photo and all other photos of the new 20 something year old "Dear Leader". When you are standing in front of a few people who are all facing the camera you are NOT leading. Yes it appears that way but in fact you have your back to the others. A real leader talks with and exchanges idea and maybe gives orders. You can't do any of that with your back to the group. Look at all pictures if western leaders, or chinese and russians, most of those pictures show the leader in the center of the group or maybe walking side by side with others. But NEVER. OK there are some cases like when speaking from a podium but those are formal events. I'm talking about casual photo ops - people who are truly important are surrounded by others while this young "Leader" has all the others where he can not see or talk to them. Very odd. I think it says that no one really cars about this guy, He seems to have been "pushed" to the front.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  29. Unethical Nations

    The Koreans need to rise up and unite your country for the future of your children.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • cja

      They can't. Every person is watched. There are checkpoints on every road and you need a permit to travel more than a short distance from home and the permit is checked at every checkpoint. They don't have phones r Internet. This is how Southern plantation owners prevented wide spread slave revolts. The slaves were never allowed to talk to others or travel. The revolt could never spread off one plantation. This is how it is in NK.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  30. b0bc4t

    Clinton's surplus, even he admitted, was a budget surplus, which fell short. No actual relief there. Clinton's successful economy was due to the dot com bubble, which burst as he was leaving office. The race for housing, with Freddie and Fannie trying to gain as many mortgages as they could write, and causing houses to be priced at whatever a mortgage broker could write on toilet paper, regardless of ability to pay, was a government ponzi scheme between banks and borrowers with everyone rolling over mortgages before the interest only bubble came due. When the music stopped, no one could pay the band and we fell like our shoes got tied together. And as far as Obama getting bin Laden and getting us out of Iraq, that was a matter of Bush's groundwork being carried out in Abbottland, and in Iraq, Obama only got out of there because we would be brought to trial or beheaded without having protection from Iraqi lawsuits over our Armed Forces actions there. No immunity left us there more naked than the Abu Graid prisoners on leashes.

    Rewriting history to suit democratic headlines has always been the forte of the Great Community Organizer in Chief.
    My life has not improved under the fine tutelage of President Obama, and many friends of mine are MUCH worse off, with no relief in sight. We can't spend like drunken sailors without saying NO when the bank has no cash left. We need Congress to work together, so we can crawl out of the hole that is our economy. Too many trying to save cushy jobs, while not seeing the cliff we are speeding towards in terms of prices for EVERYTHING, medicine, food, and oil, etc.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • tom

      Ok so when the economy is good when Republicans are in power, its due (according to you) to their great policies. But when it happens during a Democratic administration, its just chance.

      What a hypocrite you are.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • b0bc4t

        I did not take any credit for the Republican successes, not that there were any.... just saying to all those "Cinton left the house full of gold and Bush left it bankrupt" Democrats, these are fairy tales. Those who would want to spout the "Obama is not to blame" stories want to rewrite history and tout his success against all odds. It is not hypocritical to put some perspective on things when you hear the same old baggage being dragged out until we remember it YOUR way, instead of in context with the events of the time.
        Equity loans bought many home theater systems and cell phone upgrades. Cash for Clunkers bought new cars whether the old ones were broken down or not. How many toys do we need, before we realize we will die of our own avarice before we will agree to make a change? When will we decide to keep the change in our pockets, rather than offer it up to Wall Street, the insurance and oil companies, or hand it out to those who scam our entitlement programs?

        April 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • john john

        Tom he was actually stating facts not the blurr you currently call obama. By the way, what happened with transparency?

        April 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • cyg

        falling way short on your facts there Reds, try again – HARDER.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • FactChecker

        @bobt4c - The worst economy that you can possibly blame on Clinton (even if you blame him for the low two years after Bush took office) is still a LOT BETTER than the economy that Bush left.

        April 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • cja

      The real answer os that a president does not control the economy. He can't take credit and should not get much blame. The central bank (Fed Chairman) has more power over the economy that does any president. What we have now is nothing more than a housing bubble that crashed. People were borrowing money off their homes to buy big screen TVs and cars. Then that stopped. You can't blame that on either president. That said, I'm sure on 5 or 8 years we will clime out of this and who ever is n office will take credit.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Mahmoud

        Men no meI think Enn is right, but for the wrong reasons. Korea has ieednd exhausted how small it can make things and is now working on winning over the opposite end of the spectrum: Big.Mp3 players, for sure. Or one of those lights for your keychain.

        June 28, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • dt

      How exactly does any of this absolutely wrong propaganda have anything to do with North Korea?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Your comment does make a couple of things abundantly clear... 1. No matter how long Republicans are in office conservatives will never hold them accountable for their deeds and man-up to their mistakes. Bush started two and mismanaged both horribly. He had no exit strategy and allowed defense contractors (like Haliburton) to rape the American taxpayer. He had no clue how to use our intelligence capabilities and until President Obama took the helm. Those efforts were directed mostly toward "proving" what Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted – like the false WMDs. President Obama has been the terrorist's worst nightmare and your analysis is purely delusional. 2. The Republican base is indeed shifting toward a population of undereducated zeolots easily influenced by Fox News and away from well informed voters capable of making decisions based on actual facts. That cynical but pragmatic approach makes sense when the top 1% of the income brackets needs to influence some large population with emotional sound bites of socially-conservative issues rather than logic. Find somebody motivated by bigotry and unable to recognize the "swift boat" lies...

      April 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • dt

      To read and research the truth search for US job creation by president and party. What you will find is the truth – republicans in power always preside over a trend of contraction and job losses, and democrats in power always preside over a trend in growth and job gains. It has been fact since the great depression. The rest is propaganda.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • Nagy

      BuffoonY'know I thought pet tlerpoeters (keep one at the Vet's for instance and simply send your cat/rat through the other one)Obviously they don't do one for dogs they make ovens for those

      June 28, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  31. Otis

    Unless Obama is willing to tighten screws with sanctions on China for transfer of technology and sophisticated computers much of it stolen from USA via industrial espionage of goods manufactured in China, the only sanctions left are to stop food shipments.... but then more Koreans will starve while the leadership and military get fat on whatever food is available.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • tom

      I think you are confused...it was north korea who launched the rocket, not china. Why do you want sanctions on china?

      April 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Re:tom

        What he's saying is that there is no way NK could develop this technology on its own, and it most certainly came from China. China engages in espionage against the U.S. (as we do to them, to Russia, etc etc), and it is more likely than not that parts of this missile technology DID come from the United States.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  32. Kenny

    "We made a sincere effort, and the response is to completely dis us"

    Dis us? Is this how our top "Government officials" talk now days? Like ghetto trash?

    April 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • DHarkins

      I completely agree. I had to double take when I read that. A senior government official using the word 'dis' is a dis to all Americans. Next, one of the Jersey Shore characters will be the Press Secretary

      April 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      So, your primary concern is his choice of words, and you're deluded enough to think your uninteresting opinions on such a trivial matter are worth sharing?

      Did you get his meaning? So, he effectively communicated then?

      You would do well to remember that nobody has much use for ignorant, prissy dinosaurs.

      By the way Mensa, at what point is it that language stopped evolving?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
      • Rob

        My bad, you must be language-creationists.

        (If my use of the phrase, "my bad" upsets you fellas, just let me know so I can re-word it in a manner that doesn't cause you discomfort.)

        April 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  33. PburgSteve

    That's right... if sanctions don't work, lets try more sanctions!!!

    April 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • tom

      tell us your solution genius.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  34. john john

    ALL I have to ask is during bush / bushes presidency how many special force lives were lost? Dems? I can think of a movie made about bill. Then the mention of some other ops that went bad. Neck with obama lost whole square of seals. Not acceptable. Those guys and gals are trained very well.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • tom

      what is your point? That soldiers die when Democrats are in power but not when a Republican is?

      Can you write a coherent paragraph?

      April 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • JayBee

      seriously, a movie about bill? what are you talking about. I have never heard anyone compare presidencies based on the number of SF casualties. you have no clue what your talking about. furthermore i cant even tell which side your supporting. I guess you mean that Bush and Obama differ in their helicopter maintnence capabilities. if i knew that was a requirement for effectively leading a country i wouldve voted independent simply for their wonderful helicopter maintnence training program that all their candidates must first go through.

      p.s. i once saw a movie about jim, cool huh?

      April 25, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  35. Carlos

    I'm an American and, by any means I would defend China or North Korea against our country interests but, if I was allowed to play Devil's Advocate for 5 minutes I would state this:

    If I was China, I wouldn't want to democratize North Korea nor encourage any union between NK and South Korea because, as soon as that happens, the U.S.A. is going to deploy military bases, missiles, troops, nuclear weapons near China border at Yalu river. And, because a future conflagration between China and the U.S. is looming in the horizon [perhaps within 15-20 years from now] China is taking the necessary steps to keep the Korean peninsula divided and keep using NK fro its proxy war against the West.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Wes

      China enjoys North Korea being a Buffer State between it and democratic South Korea. Oddly enough, the US Strategic policy basically accepts North Korea being a Buffer State. Our only Stategy is to encourage North Korea, with carrots and sticks, to not be such IDIOTs (see comments below). It is in China's best interest for North Korea to not be IDIOTs, but the North Korea's can't help wanting to be a little crazy to get attention, the spoiled little brat method of international diplomacy.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Dennnn

      Why are you an American? You should definitely move a country that defends your ideology and beliefs....Carlos, I'm assuming you are hispanic, most of central and south america are quite pro chinese/communism. Why not go and fight the US tyranny with your comrads in arms instead of wasting your life here? Start a trend! BE ONE WITH YOUR PEOPLE!

      April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  36. RememberRangoon

    Tell the Chinese they have 6 months to sort out North Korea, otherwise we'll move our nukes back into South Korea and this time give the South Koreans operational control.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • tom

      so your going to dictate to the chinese when they have nukes, the largest army in the world and on top of that, we are playing in their backyard? what a fool you are.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
      • Ajooj majoj

        A very feeble comment.
        "china has the largest Army"
        With US conventional technology , china's army can be knocked out with precision, and most importantly, no American boots.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
      • cyg

        dreams running wild if you think you can take on China and win with no boots on the ground – must be for GOP.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • RememberRangoon

        Ouch! Sounds like there was some Central Kingdomer playing around in your woodpile. Ask them nicely, then, and when they sit on their thumbs or shrug off their impotence, assist the South Koreans in leveling the playing field.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  37. jojothemonkey

    Before everyone laughed in the photo above little ill said, " Today we show world how smart we and our scientists are and they will cower at our supreme intellect in building our super rocket with the rice they provided on the last deal, those Americans are fools." then the evil laughter began

    April 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  38. bj

    so many worthless comments

    April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Then why do you read them

      April 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  39. Lawsquire

    Not that I'm a huge Bush fan, but Clinton left Bush with a housing bubble ready to burst, entered into NAFTA & GATT (the negative effects of which were not felt until later), not to mention that the planning for 9/11 began during the Clinton Presidency. immediately after 9/11 very few people seriously questioned the wisdom of routing the Taliban, and it was generally agreed that Gore would have done the same.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      Lawsquire – are you kidding me? President Clinton left with the housing bubble ready to burst? If that's true then why did the economic collapse happen at the END of Bush's presidency? He had nearly 2 full terms to deal with the issue if it was so blatantly set up by the former administration then he could have reacted to it... you're kidding yourself, Clinton left Bush with a Massive Economy, Low unemployment and NO WARS... And going after Al Quaeda has never been a question, of course we should have gone after them, but that doesn't mean you stick around and rebuild their nation, Nation building is better left to Civilians, not Soldiers.... Believe me, i was in Iraq in 2003-2004... It was the Iraq war that many don't feel was necessary, because there wasn't a real valid threat there... that's just not forward thinking to put your nation at war without considering the consequences.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • Lawsquire

        Kidding myself? hardly. Who urged on the policies of freddie and Fannie? Your reply seems that you implicitly agree that one of the wars was justified. I think that only history tell if iraq was justified. many of the folks that opposed the Iraq war supported our intervention in Bosnia. And again I'm no Bush apologist. I could have done without his tax cut or Iraq. But the overly-simplified analysis of saying Clinton=GOOD, Bush= BAD, Obama=GOOD is simply not true.

        April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • christine

        Clinton ok, Bush bad, Obama worse.

        April 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • Ryan

        It was Clinton who left Bush with the housing bubble. That's a fact and Clinton even admits that the repeal of G-S Act was a mistake that he did in 1999.

        April 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • Pudendal Cleft

        The 'Christines' of the world who belive that Obama is worse than Bush should not be allowed to breed.

        April 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • tom

      "Clinton left Bush with a housing bubble ready to burst,"

      What makes you think Washington had ANY control over that? You understand NOTHING! It was the market and ordinary people chasing profit. Get real.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
      • lawsquire

        TOM -if fannieand Freddy were completely privately owned and we didn't have Barney frank and his congressional committee etc etc you might have a point. But the reality is that the housing bubble was not just the work of greedy profiteers. They had the endorsement of washington

        April 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  40. JPT_in_Austin

    "The food aid that North Korea was promised is 'definitely off for now,' the official said."

    -The 'for now' seems to be a huge indicator that this cycle of "help N. Korea until they mess up, rinse, repeat" will be continuing until the country implodes from lack of resources, namely food and energy, or they decide to overcompensate for their 3rd failed rocket launch by testing their nuclear capabilities or initiating a show of force against S. Korea.

    "In lieu of engaging North Korea, officials and experts said the U.S. could refocus on efforts to curb North Korea's weapons program, such as tightening existing sanctions against North Korea and intensifying measures to curb North Korean procurement of sensitive technology, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led effort to stem the illicit trafficking of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems. Close to 100 countries are members of the program."

    -While the PSI seems like a staunch deterrent for countries such as N. Korea obtaining sensitive technology, there are still nations who are highly opposed to the initiative. Among the countries opposed: China, India, Iran... The nuclear capabilities of these entities drastically outshine those of N. Korea. If one or more of these countries decide that N. Korea has the right to defend itself with nuclear arms just like the U.S., Russia, etc. do, N. Korea could find it's nuclear program becoming far more refined in a short period of time.

    I don't have a solution to propose, it's not my place. However, I do believe that a different approach to the constant waffling of N. Korea in terms of international commitments is in order. Tightening sanctions and temporarily withdrawing aid will only go so far. I believe that's been proven several times since 1995.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      I hate to say it but this is one situation that i don't ever see getting better, the people of North Korea will have to decide that enough is enough and revolt before any meaningful change will happen. They are forced to nearly worship their leaders here, only thing i think that might eventually happen to free this people is if a succession of leaders occurs and someone dies quickly after it happens, they will need some kind of power vacuum or power struggle to ignite a revolution... The people of this country have suffered more than any in recent history... If only they knew they could stand together and be free.... but it's a different culture and a different world in North Korea. Obedience and Violence against dissidence is all they know... Hopefully someday they will be able to overcome.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • tom

      "I don't have a solution to propose, it's not my place."

      It is your place if you are a citizen of this country. Too many people up here on this board criticize but have no solution to offer. If you have one, let's hear it.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • JPT_in_Austin

        Well, if it were up to me, I would just cut all ties to North Korea and let them fend for themselves. We're catering to them based on this paranoia that they are an imminent threat to our well-being and so we try to basically buy their compliance. The United States has given them aid(food & energy) in exchange for being more open about the goings-on in their country and they comply just long enough to get what they want and then they withdraw even further. It's the exact same situation as the parent with a spoiled child. The child does what he wants and gets what he wants because the parent wants the child to accept him and love him. If the parent refuses, the child does something the parent doesn't like in order to goad the parent into acquiessing, usually at the expense of the parent's wallet and/or sanity. The solution is to let the child have his temper tantrum and make empty threats, because until the child is ready to take care of himself, he needs the parent. Once the child sees that his bad behavior isn't getting the results that he wants, he'll adjust his behavior.

        So there, that's my "solution". Disclaimer: I'm not a political wiz or a child psychologist, just someone who is tired of our country making foolish decisions. And you're right, I should be more proactive about it. Everyone concerned should.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  41. Bob

    You hate to say it but this is one regime you wouldn't mind nuking!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • Boes73

      Agree but it would end up killing so many innocent people that deserve a much better fate.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • tom

      The problem with that...and with any military solution....is the CHINESE! They backed the north in the Korean war and if we do something militarily, they will probably do it again. And they are A LOT stronger than in the 1950's with hundreds of nukes on missiles that can reach the U.S. Not to mention that 90% of our stuff comes from there. A war with china would take us where we don't want to go. Could we win? Yes, if one thinks a nuclear war is "winnable".

      April 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  42. John

    Let us not be fooled. China plays good cop to their puppet DPRK's bad. China finds it useful to have the DPRK keep the West on edge.
    Is this EVIL? No. It is how the game is played out. But it can get to foolish. Only when China sees the antics of their FU'd child dangerous to them will they reign it in. But China, how close are you willing to go to what is dangerous to you? There is a point of no return out there, for every season. Heads up.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • tom

      The situation with China is COMPLICATED, I have read about it. There are a variety of reasons why Chiina takes the position it does with North Korea ... I think they have as much trouble influencing them as we do.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  43. Wes

    This is not a change in Strategy, but rather a change in Tactics. In both cases the US Strategy is to change the N. Korea leaderships behavior(s). One Tactic is carrots, "We'll give you food if you guys aren't such idiots". The other Tactic is the stick, "We're going to isolate you even more becasue you're being an idiot". Same Strategy, different Tactics.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Wes

      Our entire US Defense budget is based on fighting the North Korean and Iranian IDIOTs at the same time. IF the Iranians and North Koreans WERE NOT IDIOTs for say 4-5 years the entire rational for our US Defense Military Idustrial Complex would go away. If the North Korean and Iranians WERE NOT IDIOTs after so many years our defense complex would get bored and find another set of boogey men to justify our budget. The Iranians and North Koreans keep on being IDIOTd in thier own words to continue to be releavant on the world stage, to satisfy thier EGOs. If they choose to not satisfy thier EGOs and Strategically chose not to be IDIOTs they might have a chance in this world of expanding thier economies and satisfying the needs of thier people.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  44. hEY

    trying to use computer in Starbucks,
    It's so noise here, I have to put on my noise cancelling headphone. Calls keep coming in through so I have to change back to my regular cell phone headphone. Meanwhile I switch back, Pandora stops so I have to restart the play button. Then Power is going down and I look for outlet and only one is available so I have to use power adapter with three holes for both my cell phone and laptop. In order not to use the public WIFI, I switch to MIFI and connect my laptop to MIFI. Finally I'm reading news through CNN then this most frustrating, stupid drama from most ridiculous country in the world and history comes up. Why can't we all ignore what ever the hell they are doing? They can't do jack sh*t anyways. Oh Sh*t, now I got to bathroom and take long sh*t; packing everything back again in my bag.....X^(

    April 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  45. mrhapiguy

    I am very glad that I am not a North Korean rocket scientist today.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  46. Clinton

    Here is my thoughts... President Clinton was in office for 8 years... in that time he balanced the budget and presided over the largest growth in our economy's history... he handed over a country with a budget surplus, no wars, and an economy firing on all cylinders to President Bush... in 8 years in office Bush put us in 2 decade long wars, expanded the federal government by creating the Department of Homeland security, ran the economy off a cliff to the point we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month and handed Obama a broken economy, two wars without end, and a world pissed at us.... In 3 years Obama's administration has led us out of Iraq, stabalized the economy to where we're at least adding jobs again.. Stock Market is back... Bin Laden is dead and many of his top lieutenants.. and we have regained SOME respect around the world... Now ....... PLEASE... Tell me why i would want to put another Republican in the White House? Tell me why i would want to re-install Republican Economics? seriously... I can't believe people are even considering voting for another Republican president.... Return to the responsible party you once were Republican's and maybe we'll give you another chance... right now... NO WAY!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • mrhapiguy

      Agreed. They are a caricature of their former selves.

      I always thought I was independent minded. In the past, I evaluated each individual candidate and voted for the best person, regardless of party. My views have not changed, but I have not been able to vote for a Republican since before Bush. Who are these people?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      Oh and before i take all the criticism for being a Democrat or something, i'm not i'm an independent i disagree with a ton of Democrat policies, like Gun control, abortion etc. i just think their economic policies stink and feel like that party panders way too much to their extreme right... it's been sickening to watch this party get highjacked by the tea party and i honestly can't wait for some order to be restored in a party that used to not be half bad.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Miko

      Clinton enjoyed the bounty planted during Reagan/Bush. Bin Laden's group brought down the economy with the World Trade Center and the world shook that is could happen to the US. The Iraq was unnecessary but Afghanistan was needed. Don't get me wrong Obama has had it very tough..very tough..and he has done well in spite of a lot of nay sayers. I

      April 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • Clinton

        Miko – you're kidding yourself guy, Everybody knows that economic policies take a while to work and so i agree that some success is due to President Clinton's Predecessors, but he was in office for 8 fricken years guy... By the end of his Presidency the Economy was humming along and that was due to HIS policies. The Bush Presidency also lasted 8 years, the Twin towers DID NOT throw the economy into a tailspin it didn't take 7 years for the events of 9/11 to effect the economy dude, you're not making a strong argument there... The economy was pushed off the cliff by the Bush administration... it happened in the last year of his presidency when HIS policies were in effect.

        April 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • rooster 3

      HEAR HEAR !!! Once upon a time we all experienced......what most would call !!!!! our first being sold experiene !!!
      Any one who is anyone will tel you that this is TRUTH !!!!!....so it all sounds fine and dandy when you say it , but as the old saying goes -PROOFS IN THE PUDDING !!!! And what we as AMERICANS have been shown is that with an educated and yet decisive shot caller in office AND MAKING ...FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE AMERICAN CITIZENS TYPE DECISIONS !!!OTHER THAN the rich feed the poor mentality,,,,we are without a shadow of a doubt gaining ground back....IN EVERY WAY !!!! I am in no way saying that any one Man or woman has the happy ending ANSWER!!!!

      BUT !!! Given the facts ...considering the hand of cards that were delt ....prior to 2008....I have to say that America is on the road to RECOVERY..... and that is with a LEADER IN OFFICE THAT HAS SHOWN PROOFS I HISS PUDDING ....
      NOT TALK AND HYPE.....as we all experienced once or twice in our lives of being SOLD OUT !!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  47. Jason

    "We made a sincere effort, and the response is to completely dis us," another senior U.S. official said.

    Yo, how could they do that – gnomesayin'?

    April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Justin

      I can't believe I had to read through so many comments before the quote of the day, uttered by a Eubonics University grad, masquerading as a State Department official was blasted.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  48. Jefffbo

    If we leave them alone, they'll probably blow themselves up.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      You need to learn to leave the world alone.No one wants you as a policeman outside your country.In fact many don't want you as a policeman within your country

      April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  49. JonPeter

    If you want to reunite Korea stop all aid to the north. While that would cause some suffering, it would be far less than propping up a failed regime and enslaving far more people in the future.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • rooster 3

      LIKE

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  50. rooster 3

    I Believe that our President is taking the correct approach on this matter ...and really !!!!...do any of us so called SPECTATORS ...know what is actually gong on ???? other than our MEDIA KNOWLEDGE ?!?!

    I whole heartedly feel that whatever direction that the Obama administration feels is in accordance with the blatent disregard of U.N treaties that have taken place will be the absolute correct one .

    Opinion and free speech are a given in the U.S.A always have been and always will be!!! but take into consideration that the weight of the better world is on the shoulders of so few and that our better interests as AMERICAN CITIZENS is in the hands of ....what I....and many people consider to be a Great Leader of people.

    When you wake up tomorrow and get in your car to go to work.....school....take your kids to school...or just for a for a drive !!!! that the very air we breathe has ben founded and given on the same principles and better made decisions that great leaders of the times have made .....just as they are now by Mr.Obama and all presidents before him .

    April 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Ever considered just minding your own business??? You have nuclear weapons, and used them.What gives you the right to dictate what other countries can do??

      April 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  51. patrick

    great comment! wish more people had intelligent thought.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  52. Hitman

    Obama is mia!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  53. Jack Be Humble

    I don't believe containment works. After all, Pakistan's "Father of the Bomb" was able to give secrets to North Korea with impunity.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  54. shut_up

    didnt prez bozo go to korea last month and spent $20,000,000 on the vacation and offer them food? how did that work for you oblozo? romney 2012 and i dont even like him,,

    April 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      shut_up – that's a pretty ignorant comment, As i recall the last President we had, Bush, inhereted the strongest Economy in history, a budget surplus, no wars, and somehow managed to get us into 2 decade long wars, destroyed the economy, and found a way to piss off just about every country in the world except the UK. .... I'm sorry but considering the Economy is adding jobs again finally, the Stock Market has rebounded, the war in Iraq has ended and we haven't gotten into any new wars since Obama took office a little over 3 years ago, yeh there's no way in He!! i am going to vote for another yahoo that thinks Republican Economics works... Romney hasn't even taken office yet and he's pissed off the Russians the Chinese and stated he would use military force in Iran and possibly Syria.... Seriously? Are you too dumb to remember what we were left with after Bush? Get a clue dude.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • allenwoll

        Radical, extremist "Conservatives" are more of a threat to Conservatives than Liberals - for they give Conservatism an UN-deserved bad smell ! ! !

        April 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • Military person

        You forgot that he inherited a growing AQ that had already blew up several US embassies, one WTC bombing and numerous attempts at terroism. Clinton also defunded the military and CIA's HUMINT capabilities. So yes, bush did inherit the fruits of clinton....history tells the rest.

        April 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • allenwoll

      Shut Up !

      April 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Actually Libya was illegal. Plus, there are still contractors in Iraq that are taxpayer funded. Plus, the plan to withdraw from Iraq was negotiated under Bush. I'm no fan of Bush but those are the facts.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Jack Be Humble

        Libya did not count as a war, according to the definition laid out by COngress. President Obama notified them just in time, that event cost us ZERO american lives, and did wonders to show the world that the US could assist other nations without being an invader. Do you want to get into the legalities of the Bush administration's passing off bad intelligence to get us into Iraq? Or of violating our freedoms right after 9/11? Or of taking the US to the brand spanking new level of torturing prisoners to get intelligence?

        April 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • Clinton

        Jack – Actually no it was not. besides the fact that it was a NATO action, It was not illegal to intervene when other country's leaders were committing mass atrocities like in Bosnia etc. and this is not illegal either, you obviously don't really know what you're talking about. Also there's Contractors in Many parts of the world, rebuilding nations is a CIVILIAN JOB not a Military one, and yes Bush put a timeline in place but left it open ended to continue the operations if the parties agreed... Obama signed the orders to get us out of there. so again, credit where it's due kid.

        April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • Jack

        Like I said, I'm no fan of Bush. Plus, Obama signed NDAA. Plus, that Libya war cost us 40 million dollars. Sorry you can't just invade countries willie nillie.

        April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • Jkhur

        The Libyan War was illegal. The President violated the War Powrs Act. He put the incredibly strained definition on it of "Well if they can't shoot back it's not a war, therefore it's ok for me to bomb them as much as I want", not Congress. Whether it was authorized under the UN (disputed) or by NATO, neither gives the President the right to ignore American law to enter into combat operations without Congressional approval after the 90 day (60 plus 30 with the extension) timeframe of the War Powers act expired. The illegal acts of one president can not be excused by the illegal acts of other presidents.

        April 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • cyg

        If Rebuilding is a Civilian Job – why are former military the contractors who are hired – not with private Civilian Dollars – but with Government Tax Dollars? That is a military action that has been privatized. You have successfull swallowed your red kool-aid. There is a job waiting for you there...go!

        April 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • joe

      Recess is over now. Wipe the drool of your chin and go back to your remedial studies. Maybe they'll eventually work for you.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      When you are done sucking snot, your mommy wants you to take out the trash.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • tom

      what a nice troll comment.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply

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