Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Tag

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Bill Maher “John Boehner said today he wants to take away North Korea’s missiles, but he won’t because that’s a slippery slope from there to gun control.  Well, there was a small victory on gun control this week.  You saw Republicans, they wanted to have a filibuster.  They did not have the votes for a filibuster, so they, there will be a debate about the gun bill.  And, given the recent rash of gun violence in America, the Republicans said it was the least they could do.  Literally, they had a meeting and said, what is the least we can do?  The absolute least.  So, where we are now is 68 Senators want to move forward on background checks, and 31, almost all of them Republicans, say no, that’s the death of freedom.  They are sticking with the principle that asking for any kind of ID would be a horrible violation of the Constitution, unless it keeps black people from voting.”

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Re North Korea:

FAREED ZAKARIA (CNN): Do you think the Obama administration has handled this well?

BRET STEPHENS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think, and painful and unnatural as it is for me to say this, I think they’ve handled it superbly, certainly in contrast to both predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

ZAKARIA: Both of whom fell for this …

STEPHENS: Both of whom fell for this story, but not understanding that this is a regime that doesn’t stay bribed and they manufacture crises in order to extract concessions from the West then you have a period of a year or two.

Meanwhile, the crisis serves the purpose of Kim Jong-un, or however, you say his name, because it helps consolidate his power base. We don’t want that to happen.

Now, I agree with Tom that China is the country that can solve this, but China is the country that will never solve this because their interests are two — I think they’ve had a conviction for a very long time that a reunified South Korea is a disaster for them.

It’s also potentially a humanitarian problem for them. I mean there are millions of Koreans who are going to be streaming north of the Yalu River if you have a disaster in Korea. So they are going to prop up this regime for a long time.

The Obama administration and Japan and South Korea, I doubt Russia, is going to have to engineer some kind of policy towards North Korea that works to make Kim’s rule shorter, that creates humanitarian avenues for North Koreans to leave, that puts public pressure on the Chinese to allow the underground — the North Korean Underground Railroad to move people to Mongolia or Thailand or however they get out.

But so far this administration has done better than anyone.