Archive

Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’
December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Foreign Policy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 15th, 2013 at 10:02 am
Podcast: North Korea Threats Draw Concern
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Bruce Herschensohn, author, foreign policy expert, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy senior fellow and a member of CFIF’s Board of Directors, discusses North Korea and the responses from the United States and China, the continued crisis in the Middle East and the legacy of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Listen to the interview here.

July 27th, 2012 at 1:15 pm
UN Gun Treaty Treats Dictatorships and Democracies Equally

Last week my column discussed the disastrous legal consequences likely to emerge from the ongoing negotiations to create the Arms Transfer Treaty at the United Nations.

Fox News reports that with the conference coming to a close, a draft text has been released that has everyone not working for a dictatorial regime hopping mad:

While critics say U.S. gun owners and interests would be left exposed by the draft, it has drawn criticism on other fronts. Activists on the political left say it is a gift to illicit gunrunners around the world, and the only group that seems to like it is the rogue states leading talks, say critics.

“The talks … are now being dominated by skeptical governments including Iran, Syria and Cuba, intent on having a weak treaty, or no treaty at all,” Control Arms, a global movement that says illicit gunrunning is fueling conflict, poverty and serious human rights violations worldwide, said in a statement. Other activists named North Korea, Egypt and Algeria as additional spoilers of the UN’s stated aims for the treaty: to keep conventional weapons out of the hands of rogue regimes, terrorists and criminals.

Heritage expert Ted Bromund says it’s no surprise why the draft text of the ATT treaty is benefiting bad actors while stymieing liberals’ good intentions:

Any conceivable ATT, simply because it is being negotiated through the U.N., will be based on recognizing that all members of the U.N. are equal and sovereign states and thus have equal rights. The inevitable result of this, in the context of the ATT, will be a treaty stating that Iran and Venezuela have the same rights to buy, sell, and transfer weapons as do the U.S. and Japan. The U.N. already contains far too many dictatorships; negotiating a treaty that enshrines their equality of status in the realm of arms transfers is inherently a bad and dangerous idea.

As I noted in my column, the push for the ATT at the UN arose because gun control groups could not get legislation they favored passed in the United States Congress.  But instead of getting the hint that the political marketplace was unreceptive to their ideas, gun controllers threw in their lot with a body that treats every government the same, even those willing to turn a gun control treaty into a mechanism that oppresses citizens at home and abroad.

It will be a form of perverse justice that when the ATT becomes an international law protecting Iran and Venezuela’s ability to kill their own people and arm other dictatorships like Syria that the constituency most responsible for enshrining those rights will be gun control groups.

May 4th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
This is What Tyranny Looks Like
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s demise, it may be all too easy to forget about the other poweful madmen who continue to be the authors of human suffering throughout the world. One prime example: the leaders of North Korea. Slate reports the disturbing news from the hermit kingdom:

How bad have things gotten in North Korea?

Well for starters, an estimated 200,000 people are currently imprisoned in a network of prison camps spread throughout the secretive nation, according to a new Amnesty International report released Tuesday.

Worse yet, the detainees are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are routinely tortured and subjected to other cruel treatments. The vast majority of detainees have also witnessed public executions while at the camp, according to Amnesty International.

Remember those facts the next time you see Jimmy Carter glad-handing in Pyongyang. The leaders he thinks are only a few sweet words away from moderation and sensibility have a population the size of Des Moines locked up at the behest of the dear leader.

January 14th, 2011 at 8:37 am
Podcast: Washington Examiner Correspondent Discusses U.S. Foreign Affairs and National Security
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Sara Carter, national security correspondent at The Washington Examiner, discusses WikiLeaks, North Korea and her time on the front-line in Afghanistan.

Listen to the interview here.

January 13th, 2011 at 7:41 pm
U.S., Japan Discuss Joint Missile Defense Development

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is finding a much more favorable response from Japan than China about how to get tougher with North Korea.  On the Tokyo leg of Gates’ weeklong Asian tour, the Pentagon chief “discussed the potential export to allies of missile defense capabilities both countries are developing,” according to reporting by Reuters.

CFIF recently profiled missile defense expert Brian Kennedy about the rationale for implementing a broad-based system of missile defense to deter not just a North Korean nuclear strike, but also one from China.  You can read the entire article here.

December 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 am
Video – North Korea: Right Back Where We STARTed From
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino explains why the Senate should reject ratification of the new START Treaty and how the president should focus instead on disarming dangerous rogue nations like North Korea.


November 29th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
TODAY’S LINEUP: CFIF’s Renee Giachino Hosts “Your Turn” on WEBY Radio 1330 AM
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CST to 6:00 p.m. CST (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her show “Your Turn.”  Today’s star guest lineup includes:

4:00 p.m. CST/5:00 p.m. EST:    Bruce Herschensohn, Foreign Policy Expert  -  North Korea

4:30 p.m. CST/5:30 p.m. EST:    Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers’ Union (NTU)  -  Bush Tax Cuts, Obama’s Federal Salary Freeze

5:00 p.m. CST/6:00 p.m. EST:    Ashton Ellis, CFIF  -  Wikileaks, Janet Naplitano/Eric Holder/Charles Schumer

5:30 p.m. CST/6:30 p.m. EST:    Steve Milloy, Junkscience.com  -  U.N. Global Warming Conference

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions at (850) 623-1330, or listen via the Internet by clicking here.  You won’t want to miss it today!

November 29th, 2010 at 11:31 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama Administration Gets Tough With North Korea
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

July 12th, 2010 at 10:27 am
Imagine Israel, Not North Korea, Sank a Ship and Killed 46
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

The United Nations, that vast reservoir of righteousness and international justice, has once again defined absurdity downward.

In March, North Korea sank the South Korean Navy ship Cheonan, killing 46 in a bald and remorseless act of international aggression.  The U.N.’s reaction?  On Friday, the Security Council expressed “deep concern” without even bothering to name the attacking party, and urged “appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible.”  North Korea naturally and rightfully labeled that U.N. evasion “our great diplomatic victory.”  In other words, the U.N. lamented the murder without daring to name the murderer.  In contrast, Israel was labeled “murderous” and “guilty” by U.N. officials earlier this year, and remains the most condemned target of the U.N. collection of dictators and kleptocrats.  Israel’s transgression?  Commandos firing in self-defense when attacked by knives, steel pipes and even guns taken by the mob from the commandos themselves.

The Obama Administration and liberals continue to dismiss the U.N.’s malfeasance as harmless, but the fact is that it isolates Israel, emboldens murderous dictators and only encourages similar future behavior.  Sadly, the U.N. continues to more closely resemble its failed predecessor, the League of Nations.

June 28th, 2010 at 7:49 pm
State Department Minces Words

Before leaving office, then President George W. Bush allowed his State Department to take North Korea off the department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terror.”  Earlier this year, an international panel concluded that North Korea was responsible for firing on and sinking a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors.  Today, President Barack Obama’s State Department said this:

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said during a regular news conference that the sinking was the act of one state’s military against another’s and not an act of terrorism. Thus, it is not ground to put North Korea back on the U.S. terror blacklist.

“It is our judgment that the sinking of the Cheonan is not an act of international terrorism and by itself would not trigger placing North Korea on the U.S. state (sponsors) of terrorism list,” he said.

But Crowley assured head-scratching journalists that if North Korea complies better with “sponsoring” terrorism, the regime will be rewarded.

“We will not hesitate to take action if we have information that North Korea has repeatedly provided support for acts of terrorism,” Crowley added.

So, it sounds like there are two reasons for no relisting North Korea on the “Sponsors of Terror” list.  Both require quibbling with definitions.  First, when a sovereign nation’s military kills members of another sovereign nation’s military, it is not an act of terrorism.  Okay, but it is most certainly an act of war.  Is the Obama State Department implying that North Korea engaged in an act of war?  If so, it seems like there should be consequences for such an act above and beyond concluding that it doesn’t meet an overly technical definition of terrorism.  (Anyone think the South Korean sailors weren’t terrorized as they died?)

The second reason is that “sponsoring” terrorism apparently requires a sovereign nation to have “repeatedly provided support” for acts of terrorism.  But when did sponsoring something require “repeated” support?  Is the local car dealership not a sponsor of a Little League team unless it “repeatedly” sponsors them?  At this point, does “repeated” mean twice, or more than twice?  And is North Korea staying off the list because they did an act directly instead of just “sponsoring” it?  Just tell the North Korean government what it has to do to get back on that list, Mr. Crowley!

People are dying to know.

May 22nd, 2010 at 11:46 pm
Is Kim Jong-Il the World’s Most Powerful Man?

Not only is North Korea responsible for the unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship, the American intelligence community concludes that the government’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-Il ordered the attack.  It’s difficult to fathom any government other than North Korea’s being able to kill 46 members of another country’s military personnel by executive fiat, and be threatened with – at most – a United Nations sanction.

Since North Korea’s “Dear Leader” has it in his power to kill other people’s sailors at whim and expect almost no response, maybe he is the powerful man in the world.  If not, wait ‘til he gets a nuclear bomb.

May 20th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
If Gangsters Get the Death Penalty for Drive-By Shootings, Why Can’t Rogue Governments Who Target Warships?

If a carload of Crip gang members shot up a Los Angeles Police Department bus killing 46 officers, every gang member involved would be convicted of murder and given the death penalty.  They wouldn’t be fined and given a stern warning.

So, why can’t that law enforcement approach be applied to rogue governments like North Korea who was identified as sinking a South Korean warship, an act that killed 46 South Korean sailors?  After all, “cop killers” are singled out for particularly harsh penalties precisely because they target the guardians of law, order, peace, and safety.  How can the mass murder of 46 military personnel aboard a sovereign nation’s vessel be any less of an attack on a nation’s security?

Sadly, that isn’t the tenor coming from South Korean officials and their allies.  They sound like they’re more interested in meaningless United Nations resolutions and economic sanctions.

The South’s president is vowing to “take strong resolute countermeasures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoing through strong international cooperation.”  Such cooperation includes calling the North’s attack “inexcusable” (Japan) and an “act of aggression” (USA), which are only slightly bolder than China’s declaration that the event is “unfortunate.”

The truly unfortunate reality is that we live in a world where terrorist groups and governments slaughter innocents under the guise of fictitious provocations, while so-called civilized societies let those who volunteer to defend their safety suffer the consequences of enlightened restraint.

May 12th, 2010 at 5:46 pm
World Cup Gives Insight into a Closed Society

For the first time in 44 years, Communist North Korea has qualified for the World Cup finals, joining 31 other teams in South Africa this summer for the biggest spectacle in sport. Entering the tournament ranked 106th in the world, the lowest of any team competing, the team is not expected to finish with any points, particularly since it has been drawn in a group with the best in the world, Brazil, and the immensely talented Portugal and Ivory Coast.

Then again, very little is known about the team sent by Kim Jong Il.  The Wall Street Journal has dubbed it The International Team of Mystery.  The last time the North Koreans competed in the Cup, equally underestimated, they managed to force a draw with Chile, then stunned perennial powerhouse Italy, winning 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals.  For this tournament, they had to navigate a qualifying season of 16 games, which included past Cup finalists, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

But as the WSJ explores, the most interesting thing about this team is the insight we can gain about the most closed culture on the planet.  Only a handful of its players have ever played professionally outside of North Korea, and those that have play in neighboring Russia and Japan.  They provide the only glimpse we have of these athletes’ lives.  One such player, Choe Myong Ho, told Russian media about his training ethic amid reports he did not own a TV or refrigerator:

“What is a refrigerator for? It allows you to get cold drinks in the summer… And if you do that, you could catch a cold and not be able to train.”

Really?  Is that what Glorious Leader told you?  According to the players, Kim Jong Il personally monitors the team’s progress and development.  This includes sending an agent to monitor Hong Young Jo for six months as he joined the professional Russian side FC Rostov.  Mr. Hong leads a quiet life in an apartment next to the stadium.  He has no car.  The joke in town is that he has no idea what his salary is because it all goes to Pyongyang.  The local paper has quoted him saying, “All my thoughts are on football and the party.”

Hopefully, for the sake of competition the North Koreans are able to come out and put on a good show and not be the doormat that everyone expects.  But more importantly, as the team steps into a rare spotlight, hopefully the world is reminded of the oppression of communism.

January 6th, 2010 at 5:44 pm
North Korea Provides Another Cautionary Tale to the Naive
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In 1994, North Korea placated the Clinton Administration by agreeing to discontinue its nuclear program.

Jimmy Carter trumpeted this supposed achievement of peaceful negotiation.  Bill Clinton sang its praises.

Since that date, of course, we have endured the “Groundhog Day” style cycle of North Korean troublemaking, hollow admonitions from the “community of nations,” more “peaceful negotiations,” and ultimately successful North Korean nuclear blasts.

In other words, as conservatives and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton have often pointed out to an unwelcoming mainstream media, the popular process of toothless negotiations with incorrigible rogues was again proven pointless.

But chilling news from the Korean peninsula suggests that it was even more dangerously naive than we realized.  According to South Korea’s foreign minister, North Korea resumed its nuclear program almost as soon as it agreed to the 1994 accord.  In other words, Kim Jong Il never intended to respect his obligations, and made dupes out of Carter, Clinton and liberal non-confrontationalists.  Instead, it was all merely another maneuver in his endless game of squeezing largess out of all-too-willing negotiators, a process that continues today with both North Korea and Iran.

It all puts Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize in a different light, doesn’t it?

December 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am
Negotiating to Lose on Climate Change

One of the fundamental rules of negotiating is being able and willing to walk away without a deal. Apparently, during the make-or-break round of the Copenhagen climate conference only China remembered the rule. Of course, the “deal” it secured with Western countries was far less than Obama, Brown, Merkel, etc. wanted – but that was the point.

To be sure, Western leaders desperately wanted a deal, and kept larding on concessions. Take out previously agreed to emissions targets? Okay. Remove specific reduction deadlines? Fine. How about eliminating independent verification of compliance? Yes. Like a “moderate” Democratic Senator holding out for the sweetest deal possible, China played the world for stooges, and won.

China not only didn’t need a deal – it didn’t want one. But if the “international community” was going to insist on “something” to show for the two-week confab, China was happy to give next to nothing and make it look like the West failed to be serious. For eco-philes the dismal end to “Hopenhagen” shouldn’t be that surprising considering China’s position, though for some it is:

Why did China, in the words of a UK-based analyst who also spent hours in heads of state meetings, “not only reject targets for itself, but also refuse to allow any other country to take on binding targets?” The analyst, who has attended climate conferences for more than 15 years, concludes that China wants to weaken the climate regulation regime now “in order to avoid the risk that it might be called on to be more ambitious in a few years’ time”.

When considered in the context of China’s overall approach to foreign policy, the country’s obstructionism is not novel. Whether it’s protecting Iran from sanctions, propping up North Korea, or bankrolling Sudan, China is not a nation promising the kind of multi-lateral hope and change global government types are waiting for. For America haters everywhere, China’s rise to power does not portend a kinder, gentler world.

November 4th, 2009 at 4:43 pm
North Korea Flips Obama the Bird, Again
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

So one year after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, where do we stand on his promise to pacify the world after eight years of alleged Bush mismanagement?

Well, North Korea just flipped him the bird, providing one resounding answer to that question.  Yesterday, Pyongyang announced that it has disregarded disarmament promises that it made in 2007 and 2008 by processing enough nuclear fuel to produce additional atomic bombs.  By continuing this “one step forward, two steps back” routine, North Korea appears ready to demand even more concessions and dollars from the Obama Administration.  Apparently, Pyongyang resumed nuclear processing in April of this year, after the United Nations Security Council scolded it for testing new long-range missiles.

So there you have it.  The only thing that Obama has offered in terms of defending America’s security interests was a wagging finger and warnings of “stop, or I’ll issue more warnings.”  Now, even that is apparently unacceptable to Kim Jong Il.  Some “Hope and Change.”

October 28th, 2009 at 12:02 am
Groundhog’s Day for Foreign Affairs “News”

True, February is still a few months away. When it comes to reporting the “news” in foreign affairs, however, there are some stories that just won’t go away.  Joshua Keating over at Foreign Policy has compiled a darkly humorous compilation of the stories that never seem to get old. (Or, at least never get a new angle.) Here are some of the headlines (see if you can pick the year): “North Korea to return to negotiating table”; “Pakistan finally getting tough with the Taliban”; “Israel preparing military strike against Iran”; “Dollar to be replaced as global reserve currency”; “Fidel Castro is dying”; and of course, “Israel and Palestinians reach peace deal.”

September 18th, 2009 at 12:46 am
Obama’s Foreign Policy Meltdown
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Today’s revelation that the Obama Administration is pulling missile defense out of Poland and the Czech Republic reflects a complete ignorance of (or apathy towards) the point that I made in yesterday’s post — that the Western commitment to collective security in Eastern Europe has made the continent (and the world) a safer and freer place.

It also reflects a total strategic miscalculation. The oldest con in international diplomacy is to get an adversary to give up something tangible today for an abstract promise tomorrow (see “Land for Peace”). The notion that Russia will be of more assistance in sanctioning the Iranians (and the broader idea that sanctions will have any serious effect) ignores a question that the self-proclaimed realists in the Obama Administration have somehow overlooked. Why is it in Russia’s interest to play ball when they’re currently getting major concessions from the U.S. at no cost?

Though it’s been overshadowed by the healthcare debate, the last month or so of the Obama Administration has been its absolute worst for foreign policy. We’ve agreed to one-on-one talks with North Korea (with the laughable goal of getting back to the six party talks — you know, the ones we had before we agreed to one-on-one talks?), decided to pursue prosecutions of CIA interrogators, announced that Iran likely already has the ability to build nuclear weapons, seen the White House put political pressure on General McChrystal to keep from requesting more troops in Afghanistan, and imposed a foolish tire tariff that’s threatening a trade war with China.

The President can get away with Jimmy Carteresque policies for a lot longer than Jimmy Carter ever could because Obama has considerably more political gifts. But in the end, politics (particularly the presidency) is always about performance. This will not end well for Obama or the country.