North Korea is a foreign policy headache for Barack Obama that will only grow worse with time. Reportedly, North Korea is now reprocessing its nuclear fuel rods. North Korea’s Foreign Ministry stated that it is doing so to build new nuclear weapons so that it can “bolster its nuclear deterrence for self-defence,” according to the AP.
North Korea has been brazenly challenging Barack Obama since his election. As we reported here, North Korea launched a ballistic missile in defiance of the international community earlier this month. The United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the April 9th launch.
Now, the North Korean state media is reporting that the country’s scientists have been reprocessing nuclear fuel rods since April 14. Reprocessing nuclear fuel rods is a necessary step in building radioactive material used in nuclear weapons. The United Nations and the United States have stated in the past that the continuation of a nuclear weapons program by North Korea would lead to economic sanctions. North Korea responded, as reported here, that sanctions by any country would be a declaration of war.
All of this occurred as North Korea is holding two American citizens for “hostile acts” against North Korea. As we reported here, American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are being detained by North Korea and will stand trial after being arrested while filming a documentary near the North Korea-China border.
The message to Barack Obama is pretty clear. North Korea can fire a long-range missile that can hit any American ally in the region, and possibly parts of the United States. North Korea is now trying to modernize its nuclear weapons capabilities by reprocessing more fuel rods. North Korea is holding two Americans in jail, possibly for years. Essentially, North Korea is now spitting in Barack Obama’s face and daring him to do something about it.
Each brazen act seems to be an attempt to test our new administration, to see whether the United States has the strength/resolve to act against its sworn enemy
Obama cannot try to create a new, more open relationship with North Korea as he is with Iran, as we reported here. North Korea, which blames the United States for every major problem on earth, would likely laugh at such an overture. The only thing North Korea understands is force and the threat of harm.
Is Obama willing to take a stand?