It is. It has to be.
There are certain bottom lines to U.S. foreign policy that cannot be altered or avoided. One is that a North Korean regime with nuclear weapons that can hit the United States is an intolerable, existential threat that must be prevented at any cost.
Vice President Mike Pence Monday travelled to the DMZ, the no man’s land that separates North and South Korea, to warn North Korea against continuing with its nuclear weapons program.
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence said. “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”
A war on the Korean peninsula would be a horrifying catastrophe. Tens of thousands, or more, would die. But a nuclear weapon landing in Cleveland — or Washington, for that matter — would be far worse.
Okay, I know some of you wouldn’t mind a nuclear weapon landing on Washington, but you know what I mean.
This is the situation that Bill Clinton, a careless, irresponsible president, left us in when, instead of aborting North Korea’s nascent nuclear program, he caved into another catastrophic Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, who undermined Clinton by negotiating his own deal with the North. George W. Bush, his hands full fighting terrorism, didn’t do much to correct things, and Barack Obama, another careless and irresponsible Democratic president, let the problem fester and then left it to his successor to deal with it.
Trump, I believe, will deal with it. Because he’s familiar with bottom lines, and he knows that keeping a first-strike capability out of the hands of Kim Jong-Un is one of them.