September 27, 2021

The Obama administration is right on N.Korea, the critics are wrong

North Korea’s refusal to accept administration’s outstretched hand led to current impasse

The following is an edited and condensed version of a speech offered at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University on May 13. The full text of the speech and a video of it can be viewed here.

It has become increasingly clear that North Korea aims to be able to credibly threaten the American homeland with nuclear attack, and has made considerable progress in that direction. The next American president will thus come into office in January concerned that Pyongyang may achieve its goal during his or her tenure. So, early on, he or she will conduct a policy review to take a fresh look at Pyongyang’s capabilities and intentions to decide his or her own policy toward the regime. An important aspect of that review will be an assessment of President Obama’s policy and the criticism of it.