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North Korea still a threat to U.S.

February 25, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

President Barack Obama found that his pledge to bring change to Washington resonated with many voters. We suspect that many Americans view U.S. policy toward North Korea as a leading candidate for dramatic change.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first official trip overseas last week, with a visit to countries in Asia. Among issues she was expected to discuss was North Korea.

Leaders of that hard-line communist nation - possibly in reaction to Clinton's warning to them to avoid "provocative action and unhelpful rhetoric" -revealed on Monday that they plan to go ahead with a controversial test of a new missile. Analysts have warned that the rocket is a long-range weapon that may be capable of reaching the United States.

For too long, North Korean leaders have rattled their sabers loudly - then, under pressure from the international community, vowed to back away from an aggressive arms buildup that includes long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. After making such agreements, the North Koreans within months go back to bellicose rhetoric and development of weapons of mass destruction.

It is a truly vicious cycle - one that has continued through the administrations of both Republican and Democratic presidents. At some point, North Korea will become a serious threat to U.S. security. Now would be a good time for Obama and Clinton, working with leaders of other world powers, to apply the "change" mandate to Pyongyang.



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