Right Hooks

North Korea Puts Nuclear Reactor Back Online

Iran isn't the only player actively working to attain nuclear weapons.

Jordan Candler · Sep. 15, 2015

Much of the recent nuclear arms race talk has focused on Iran. As a result, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, who like Iran’s leaders indulges in anti-American bravado and perennial threats of nuclear annihilation, has become either increasingly jealous or dangerously emboldened — or both — particularly after Iran came out the winner in a “deal” negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry. This week, the Korean Central News Agency reported that the country’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor is back online after having been shuttered since 2007 under a Bush-era disarmament agreement. Regardless of whether the claim is purely rhetoric or something more substantive, the Korea deal clearly hasn’t worked out as envisioned for America — and neither will Iran’s. One of the reasons Korea’s latest revelation is concerning has to do with its recent ballistic missiles testing and U.S. military satellite analysis. As The Washington Post reported, “While Kim’s regime is known for its bellicose rhetoric, Tuesday’s claims are consistent with American analysts’ interpretation of recent satellite imagery.” How’s that diplomacy working out?

There are several important similarities between the world’s two foremost terrorism threats. First, while Iran and Korea race to attain nuclear warheads, both nations are exercising underground research to get there — and some indications are that Korea already has nuclear weapons. Second, both nations are willing and ready to trample on these so-called agreements that obviously aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Third, and most despicable of all, both nations actively imprison American hostages — yet somehow they’ve managed to come out on the good end of U.S.-sanctioned deals. That’s like letting a homicidal person with a gun to someone’s head walk away as long as they promise not to come back and pull the trigger. Wishful thinking doesn’t transcend reality. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes, “No one has the will to go to war with North Korea, and so we will all do the Sanctions Dance and pray that someone deposes the Kims and restores sanity to the Korean peninsula before Kim The Latest decides he finally has to follow through on his threats.” Being war-weary is understandable. But the same ones who call war reckless promoted an even more reckless foreign policy. America is worse off as a consequence, culminating in metastasizing threats.

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