Kim Calls the Shots
Donald G. Gross
is North Korea dictating U.S. security policy in Northeast Asia? As Pyongyang ratchets up tensions in the region on a near-daily basis, now preparing for a rocket launch, it is a fair question. The Obama administration appears to be merely reacting, allowing events to move from bad to worse. The offensive plays all seem to be coming from North Korea’s side as the failed state misguidedly uses its brinkmanship tactics to gain international attention and maximize its negotiating leverage.
Don’t get me wrong. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was pitch-perfect in his comments last Sunday on the possibility of a North Korean satellite launch. He said the United States would only try to shoot down the North Korean rocket if it threatened the United States. He recognized that the launch is best seen as a cover for Pyongyang’s test of a long-range Taepo dong missile that could theoretically hit Alaska or Hawaii.
Excerpt reproduced with permission from Foreign Policy, www.foreignpolicy.com. Copyright 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive LLC. Read the full article at [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4791]