This weekend the North Koreans tested their Taepodong 2 ballistic missile, surpassing their 2006 effort by completing at least two phases and traveling a longer distance. This improvement is still a troubling development.
To his credit, Obama is calling for the UN to enforce its previous resolutions prohibiting North Korea from launching a ballistic missile. If the UN fails to respond it calls in to question its own legitimacy.
But at a time when the U.S. should be taking very seriously threats from around the world, President Obama chose to give a speech in the Czech Republic outlining his belief that nuclear free world was the key to solving the North Korea threat. Media headlines report “Obama outlines sweeping goal of nuclear-free world.”
Kim Holmes, Vice President of Heritage’s Foreign Policy Center warned of this fantasy last Thursday:
Surely a world without nuclear weapons is safer than one with them. But this insight is not particularly helpful for guiding arms control talks. Nuclear arms exist and, regardless of what we may want, many countries want to keep them. An exclusive focus on eliminating all nuclear weaponry distracts from the larger, more important goal of security. After all, the reason to rid ourselves of nukes is to make us safe, not simply to cut up missiles.