Why Does the U.S. Take a Tougher Stance Against Iran Than North Korea?
What Should President Obama Have Said in His State of the Union Address?
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on the evening of February 12th. He laid out his initiatives, which included a call to raise the minimum wage, another attempt to fight global warming, a plan to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, and a scheme to increase support for education. He laid out his liberal agenda, which showed his determination to push forward with social reforms. But, above all, the most striking point in his speech was that President Obama expressed different attitudes towards North Korea and Iran.
President Obama condemned North Korea, which conducted its third underground nuclear test, “Provocations of the sort last night will only further isolate them, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to the threats.” Yet, there was complete silence in the chamber, and no one applauded his remarks.
On the other hand, when President Obama referred to Iran’s nuclear program, “we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon,” he received a standing ovation from the congress members, quite a contrast to their reaction with regards to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Due to the progress of North Korea’s nuclear development program, the U.S. should be taking a tougher stance with respect to the aspirations of North Korea’s leading officials.
Iran is enriching uranium still, and it has not yet reached the point of production of nuclear weapons that use enriched uranium. On the contrary, North Korea has successfully manufactured nuclear weapons, and it has already carried out three tests. In addition, it test-fired a missile in the month of December 2012, which spurred North Korea’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
If North Korea becomes capable of the production of a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device, the U.S. mainland will face a direct threat posed by its nuclear missiles in the near future. In light of this deteriorating situation, it can be said that Obama’s speech lacked a sense of urgency.
North Korea, which publicly stated that it would turn Seoul into a sea of fire and declared that it is prepared for all-out confrontation with the U.S., will threaten American national security with nuclear weapons before long. The U.S. must take this situation seriously.
Some experts insist that the concerned countries should seek the possibility of a potential dialogue with Pyongyang, but if they compromise their stance thinking that North Korea is just aiming to get economic assistance, it could be another Munich Pact, a settlement which provoked the Nazi invasion of Europe.
Reports exist from North Korea that the military confiscated crops from local farms to secure a food supply for its army. According to the news, the farmers in some of those villages have been starved to such an extent that they have not been able to survive without a resort to cannibalism. God will never forgive a nation such as North Korea whose leadership is willing to sacrifice the lives of its own people in order to threaten the lives of people in other countries with weapons of mass destruction.
This is what President Obama should have said,
“It’s our humanitarian mission to put an end to the oppressive rule of North Korea and free its people from suffering.”