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May 21st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Consequences facing N. Korea for sinking S. Korean ship?

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The wreckage of the naval vessel Cheonan is seen, which was sunk on March 26 near the maritime border with N. Korea. A multi-national investigation team concluded that N. Korea's torpedo sank the S. Korean warship, killing 46 sailors. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning that North Korea must face consequences... in light of a report that it torpedoed and sank a South Korean warship in March - killing 46 sailors.

Clinton, who was in Tokyo, says it's important to send a clear message that provocative actions have consequences... and that this attack can't go unanswered by the international community. Other U.S. officials are calling the attack "unprovoked and unwarranted."

Tensions are already rising dramatically on the Korean peninsula: North Korea denies it had anything to do with sinking the ship, claiming this is "sheer fabrication." They say that if South Korea retaliates, they will respond promptly with tough measures including "all-out war." Pyongyang is also threatening to back out of a non-aggression pact between the nations.

Meanwhile South Korea claims this attack is a military provocation that violates the armistice agreement between the two countries. They point to results of an official investigation - conducted by international experts - which concluded North Korea fired a torpedo that cut the ship in half.

It's unclear what an appropriate response is. North Korea is already under sanctions because of its missile and nuclear tests.

So how to punish North Korea without starting a war?

One expert suggests there are basically three options: Seoul could act unilaterally by cutting off all trade with the north, Seoul and Washington could take bilateral action by stepping up intelligence or naval cooperation. Lastly, the international community could act as a whole - possibly through the UN Security Council. Sanctions have worked so well in the past, haven't they?

Here’s my question to you: What consequences should North Korea face for sinking a South Korean ship?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: North Korea
August 5th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Clinton's N. Korea meeting = negotiating with terrorists?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Critics say the U.S. violated its own policy against negotiating with terrorists by sending Bill Clinton to North Korea. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton calls Clinton's role in winning the release of the two journalists a "significant propaganda victory" for the communist regime.

He says sending someone of such high stature - like a former president - gives North Korea more legitimacy. Bolton - who served under Former President George W. Bush - says North Korea essentially took these women hostage; and in such a situation, our efforts to protect them shouldn't create bigger risks for other Americans in the future.

Yet, after Clinton's visit, it's possible that a country like Iran may want similar treatment before it releases the American hikers recently taken captive there. Other experts say that North Korea will now expect dealings with a high-profile figure when it comes to the nuclear issue.

The Obama administration insists Clinton's visit was a private and humanitarian one; and that he didn't relay any messages or apologies from the White House. One top official says Clinton's trip won't be part of any broader negotiations between the two countries - or be tied in to talks over North Korea's nuclear program.

But the problem is... Kim Jong Il may not see it that way. For one thing, Bill Clinton was greeted at the Pyongyang airport by top government officials including the country's head nuclear negotiator.

Here’s my question to you: Did Bill Clinton's meeting with Kim Jong Il to win the release of two Americans violate this country's policy of not negotiating with terrorists?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Korea
August 4th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Release of U.S. journalists affect N. Korea's relations with rest of world?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Before we nominate Kim Jong Il for the Nobel Peace Prize for releasing those two journalists, it's worth remembering who we're dealing with. The fact that former President Clinton was able to gain the women's release shouldn't change anything.

North Korea is still a very dangerous regime armed with nuclear weapons and in the midst of a lot of questions about who will succeed the little mad man who runs the place.

In all likelihood, North Korea would like to sit down with the United States alone and negotiate another of the phony deals they've been party to in the past. They don't like the six party talks aimed at trying to get them to disarm. They would rather get the United States to agree to feed their people without having to do much of anything in return.

There should be no letting up on the part of the group of six nations just because of today's humanitarian gesture on the part of North Korea. These are the same folks who have threatened to fire a missile toward Hawaii and have made repeated threats against South Korea and other of their neighbors.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that today's developments change anything when it comes to North Korea. But North Korea undoubtedly will think it does.

Here’s my question to you: How will the release of the two American journalists affect North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Image • Global matters • North Korea
August 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Why did Bill Clinton succeed in N. Korea where U.S. govt failed?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Go figure. Bill Clinton waltzes into North Korea and wins the release of two journalists accused of entering North Korea illegally and engaging in hostile acts.

Bill Clinton met earlier today with N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

They were sentenced to 12-years at hard labor. Which in all likelihood they would never have survived.

The U.S. has been trying for weeks to win their release. From President Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all efforts have been rejected up to this point.

And then Bubba comes along and presto - the two women are free to go.

Makes you wonder what gives... The old expression is, "Beware of a stranger bearing gifts." And no one is any stranger than Kim Jong Il, the weird little dictator who runs North Korea and goes around threatening to blow up the world.

Nuclear tests, missile firings… he's a real day at the beach. And he refuses to even listen to the international community when they suggest he give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for membership in the community of nations and things like food. North Korea has no food… But Kim could care less.

Recently this absurd regime had taken to calling our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton names - things like: "She looks like a primary school girl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping." They called her a "funny lady unaware of the elementary etiquette of the international community."

Now Hillary's husband walks in and walks out with these two prisoners. Very, very strange... But the women, their families and the rest of us will take it. Way to go, President Clinton.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say that Bill Clinton succeeded in North Korea where the U.S. government failed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Korea
June 19th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

If N. Korea fires missile toward Hawaii, is time for talking over?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

U.S relations with North Korea seem to get more tense with each passing day. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. could defend itself if North Korea launches a missile toward Hawaii.

S. Korean activists carry a mock missile at a rally in Seoul.

Gates says there are missile interceptors and radar equipment deployed, and "we are in a good position should it become necessary to protect American territory."

This comes after a Japanese newspaper reported that North Korea might fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward Hawaii sometime around July 4. Although the missile isn't expected to reach U.S. territory - it would be a real slap in the face to the U.S. and the international community.

And there's more... the U.S. is also tracking a North Korean ship in the Pacific; it's believed to be carrying illegal weapons or technology.

North Korea has been making waves since May - when it conducted a nuclear test, fired test rockets and threatened U.S. and South Korean ships near its waters. Also last month, U.S. satellites spotted vehicle activity at a North Korean ballistic missile facility.

The UN has since slapped new sanctions on the country... to which North Korea responded with threats of war and promises to expand its nuclear bomb-making program.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll shows more Americans view North Korea as a direct threat to U.S. security than any other country in this survey. President Obama says the country's nuclear program is a grave threat to the world.

Here’s my question to you: If North Korea fires a missile toward Hawaii, is the time for talking over?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: North Korea
May 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What can be done about North Korea's nuclear weapons?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test near the Chinese border yesterday - an explosion roughly equal to the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War Two. But this was more than just a test of a nuclear weapon. It's also a test of the Obama administration, and for that matter the rest of the civilized world. Can our new President orchestrate an international response that will successfully pave the way for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program? Previous administrations have failed at this, and judging by the bellicosity of Kim Jung Il, there's no reason to hold out a lot of hope.

art.korea.gi

President Obama clearly plans to act more aggressively than his predecessor after North Korea's first nuclear test more than two years ago. Yesterday he called it a blatant violation of international law and vowed to take action.

Russia and China also condemned the nuclear test, as did the U.N. Security Council. But we've been here and done this before when it comes to North Korea. It remains to be seen if they will be on the same page as President Obama when it comes to taking a next step - whatever that is. And there are other countries to consider as well, like Japan and South Korea, who could be in danger of a direct attack. North Korea is a rogue nation that continues to prove it is undeserving of a seat at the table of civilized nations.

Here’s my question to you: What can the international community do about North Koreas nuclear weapons program?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: North Korea
April 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Gingrich: Would have disabled North Korea’s missile

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to North Korea's missile launch, Newt Gingrich says he would have disabled the long-range missile before it ever left the launch pad. The Former House Speaker says too many people "do not appreciate the scale of the threat that is evolving on the planet."

Gingrich says he hasn't seen the UN do anything effective with either Iran or N. Korea.

He adds that he hasn't seen the United Nations do anything effective with either Iran or North Korea. And he's right about that.

But the UN is the route that President Obama is taking. The State Department called the launch a "provocative act" in violation of a 2006 Security Council resolution; and said North Korea's action "merits a clear, strong response" in the form of another council resolution.

However, an emergency meeting of the Security Council ended yesterday without any official reaction to North Korea. And many U.N. security council resolutions in the past have proved not to be worth the paper they're written on.

Gingrich isn't the only one questioning if the Democratic administration is tough enough on national security. While the White House insists North Korea's missile launch shows the importance of President Obama's call for "a world without nuclear weapons," critics say that's an unrealistic and dangerous position.

John Bolton, former Ambassador to the UN under President Bush, describes president Obama's no nukes call as "otherworldly." Bolton says the threat of the Security Council has no real impact on countries like North Korea and Iran. Gingrich also called the president's plan for a Global Summit on Nuclear Security "a wonderful fantasy idea," saying Russia and other nations can't be trusted.

Meanwhile, the White House is pushing back against accusations of appearing weak, suggesting that the Bush administration's tough talk toward both Iran and North Korea proved ineffective.

Here’s my question to you: Newt Gingrich says he would have disabled North Korea's missile. Is that what the U.S. should have done?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Newt Gingrich • North Korea