Obama Chills While North Korea Prepares For Another Nuclear Test

John Bolton lets loose in an opinion article over at the Wall Street Journal: Get Ready for Another North Korean Nuke Test

The curtain is about to rise again on the long-running nuclear tragicomedy, “North Korea Outwits the United States.” Despite Kim Jong Il’s explicit threats of another nuclear test, U.S. Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth said last week that the Obama administration is “relatively relaxed” and that “there is not a sense of crisis.” They’re certainly smiling in Pyongyang.

Now, just substitute “Bush” for “Obama,” and consider how much the mainstream media and the Netroots would be going ballistic, instead of mostly ignoring this situation.

In October 2006, North Korea witnessed the incredible diplomatic success it could reap from belligerence. Its first nuclear test brought resumption of the six-party talks, which gave Kim Jong Il cover to further advance his nuclear program.

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Now, Kim is poised to succeed again by following precisely the same script. In April, Pyongyang launched a Taepodong-2 missile, and National Security Council official Gary Samore recently confirmed that a second nuclear test is likely on the way. The North is set to try two U.S. reporters for “hostile acts.” The state-controlled newspaper calls America “a rogue and a gangster.” Kim recently expelled international monitors from the Yongbyon nuclear complex. And Pyongyang threatens to “start” enriching uranium — a capacity it procured long ago.

Quite often, when Kim pulls something, he wants something. Material goods, aid, maybe free access to the Playboy Channel (for those who do not know, he is a big p0rn purveyour.) But, he also likes to sell their technology to other nations. And perhaps terrorist groups.

So far, the North faces no such threat from the Obama administration. Despite Pyongyang’s aggression, Mr. Bosworth has reiterated that the U.S. is “committed to dialogue” and is “obviously interested in returning to a negotiating table as soon as we can.” This is precisely what the North wants: America in a conciliatory mode, eager to bargain, just as Mr. Bush was after the 2006 test.

Notice that Mr. Bolton takes President Bush to task on the substance, just as he is taking Obama to task. And, he is right to do so. Bush made the same mistake that Clinton, Bush 41, and even Reagan made, and that Obama is now making: playing Pyongyang’s game.

If the next nuclear explosion doesn’t derail the six-party talks, Kim will rightly conclude that he faces no real danger of ever having to dismantle his weapons program. North Korea is a mysterious place, but there is no mystery about its foreign-policy tactics: They work. The real mystery is why our administrations — Republican and Democratic — haven’t learned that their quasi-religious faith in the six-party talks is misplaced.

Time for a change.

Even worse, Iran and other aspiring nuclear proliferators will draw precisely the same conclusion: Negotiations like the six-party talks are a charade and reflect a continuing collapse of American resolve. U.S. acquiescence in a second North Korean nuclear test will likely mean that Tehran will adopt Pyongyang’s successful strategy.

It’s time for the Obama administration to finally put down Kim Jong Il’s script. If not, we better get ready for Iran — and others — to go nuclear.

But, will Obama have the fortitude to throw the script away? After talking against, then continuing so many of Bush’s policies, can he find a different way?

Meanwhile, Iran says it just photoshopped another missile launch launched another missile.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove

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