Last week, the CIA announced that North Korea has ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the West Coast of the United States.
Intelligence sources also said that North Korea might be preparing to test fire a missile over Japan in a show of force.
However, President George W. Bush said that he was not considering sanctions against the rogue nation.
In a speech last week, Bush said that the U.S. would use “every ounce of power to defeat” Saddam Hussein, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.
Bush has given little more than public rebuke to North Korea, a nation that is capable of striking North America with nuclear weapons.
At the same time, he threatens a devastating military assault and nuclear annihilation against Iraq, which the U.S. intelligence community says is incapable of attacking the U.S.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations body that monitors nuclear activity in rogue nations, has declared North Korea to be in violation of international treaties, which triggers the involvement of the U.N. Security Council and the possibility of U.N. sanctions.
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, has said that any sanctions against his country would be considered an act of war.
Russia and Cuba opposed the IAEA move, saying that it would distract diplomatic efforts.
Kim is also demanding that the U.S. negotiate directly with him and not through the auspices of any international body.
He said that the U.S. would try and use international bodies to cloak its responsibility for the crisis.
North Korea has been an escalating crisis since last October.
First, North Korea announced its intent to restart its nuclear weapons program.
Then, it expelled IAEA inspectors in response to Bush’s decision to cut off oil supplies.
North Korea has also restarted nuclear reactors that will be capable of producing weapon-grade nuclear material in months.
North Korea is an obvious menace to the security of Asia and any nation within its nuclear reach.
Bush is taking the correct approach by handling the situation delicately.
North Korea may be putting on a bellicose front, but the country has certainly done nothing worthy of military strike.
Bush should take a cue from this policy and apply it to the situation with Iraq. If he feels that it is acceptable to treat a greater threat like North Korea with diplomacy, why is it necessary to threaten such massive force against the relatively harmless Iraq?
The answer is that Iraq is an easy target for a president desperate for tangible victories in his war on terror. Iraq will not be able to stand up to the U.S. military force that is building up in the Middle East.
Bush is hoping for a quick war that will get the public back behind his agenda.
Bush is playing politics with the lives of American soldiers and the Iraqi people.
This is unacceptable behavior for the leader of the world’s last superpower.
Bush should be using his position of power to negotiate a world of peace, not one with constant war clouds looming on the horizon.
The Temple News editorial board members are:
* Mike Gainer, Editor in Chief
* Jeremy Smith, Managing Editor
* Brian White, News Editor
* Kia Gregory, Opinion Editor
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