Remember when Joe Biden said this during the campaign?
“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
And tested he is. North Korea set off an underground nuclear bomb:
President Barack Obama said on Monday that nuclear and missile tests conducted by North Korea were a “grave concern to all nations” and a legal violation that warranted action by the international community.
“North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security,” Obama said in a statement after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test and reportedly fired a short-range missile.
The nuclear test was a major diplomatic challenge to Obama at a time when he is facing a global economic crisis and working to curb Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, which the West fears is aimed at producing nuclear arms but Tehran says is for energy.
Obama vowed when he took office to extend a hand to troublesome countries “willing to unclench your fist” but so far he has had little success with North Korea or Iran, which have continued to advance their nuclear programs and showed little interest in renewed dialogue.
Wow, what a shock. NoKo and Iran treat Obama like an annoying fly buzzing around their heads. He buzzes about dialog and unclenching their fists while they just swish him away and go about their business.
Update: Michael has a good post directly on top of this one, so be sure to head up there and leave a comment as well.
It seems Mr. John Bolton, a man who knows of what he speaks, predicted NoKo’s nuclear test days ago. In his Wall Street Journal piece Ambassador Bolton wrote that a new nuke test is coming and when it does, Obama had better drop the six party talks as a result or, like an insolent child who runs roughshod over a meek parent who refuses to follow through on threats of discipline, North Korea will see the talks are a sham and not only will Kim Jong-Il continue with is plans but so will Iran.
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.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently rejected “linkage” in Russia policy as “old thinking.” Disagreement in one area, she argued, shouldn’t prevent working on “something else that is of overwhelming importance.” Whatever the merits of linkage vis-à-vis Russia, de-linking a second North Korean nuclear test from the six-party talks simply hands Pyongyang permission to proceed.
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.