Joe Biden’s North Korean policy ‘not working’, key Republican lawmaker says
President Biden’s embrace of an Obama-era policy of ‘strategic patience 2.0’ toward North Korea isn’t working, according to a Senate Foreign Policy Republican voice, who argues the administration needs to adopt a more active position on the ballistic missile and threat of nuclear weapons emanating from Pyongyang.
“I don’t believe the Biden administration has prioritized the threat of a nuclear North Korea,” Indiana Sen. Todd Young, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told “The Washington Brief”, a monthly virtual forum hosted by The Washington Times Foundation.
Mr. Young, known for his conservative values but also for his willingness to go to the other side of the aisle when it comes to national security, welcomed Mr. Biden’s recent visit to South Korea and Japan, but pointed out that the president had not yet developed a comprehensive and coherent strategy for dealing with the North. Korea as US intelligence warns another North Korean nuclear test may be imminent.
“American policy in recent years has not been clear about what US policy goals are or how we are going to achieve them, and I think that needs to change,” he said. “The American people rightly demand not only competence, but also consistency in our foreign policy.”
While the administration has focused on other foreign policy crises, from the Afghan withdrawal to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Young said the lack of focus on the North Korean threat risks ” show other evil regimes around the world that we are asleep at the wheel”. as they search for their own nuclear arsenal[s].”
His comments came amid signs that the administration is seeking to increase military coordination between the United States and South Korea, where new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called for a stronger alignment between Seoul and Washington. in response to the North Korean nuclear escalation. and missile threats, as well as China’s growing pressure tactics against smaller countries in Asia.
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The South Korean and US military flew 20 fighter jets over waters off South Korea’s west coast on Tuesday in a show of force as a senior US official warned of a forceful response if North Korea conducts its first alleged nuclear test in nearly five years.
The flight came a day after allies fired eight surface-to-surface missiles into South Korea’s eastern waters to match a weekend missile display by North Korea, which fired the same number of guns from multiple locations Sunday in what was likely its biggest single-day testing event, according to an Associated Press report.
Traveling to Seoul to discuss the standoff with South Korean and Japanese allies, US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned of a ‘swift and forceful’ response if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un proceeds to another nuclear test, the news agency noted on Tuesday.
The Biden administration has pledged to push for additional international sanctions if North Korea proceeds with the nuclear test, but the prospects for further meaningful punitive measures are unclear, with the UN Security Council set. Split.
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the American continent on May 25, analysts said. More recent launches of shorter-range missiles on Sunday brought the total number of missile tests carried out this year by Mr Kim Jong’s regime to 18.
Young said the accelerated pace of North Korean missile testing should serve as a warning signal to the United States and its regional allies.
“The events of this weekend, the 18th test this year, should be a wake-up call to the administration about the threat facing us from the North,” the senator said. “Moving forward, we must strike a balance between a coherent strategy of engagement and a strategy of restraint in this vital region of the world.”
President Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’ approach to the North, but Mr Trump’s personal diplomatic contacts with Mr Kim in a series of meetings have failed to yield a deal of denuclearization. Analysts say Mr Biden has returned to Obama’s approach, signaling he is ready for further talks with the North but is waiting for Pyongyang to make the first move.
But instead of talks, Mr Kim has responded with a series of escalating missile tests since the start of the year.
When asked at the roundtable if he thinks Mr. Biden’s policy towards North Korea, dubbed “Strategic Patience 2.0”, is working, Mr. Young replied: “No, it’s not working. .
“We should judge policies by their results,” he said. “I know there are a lot of distractions in the world that contribute to missile launches and other things, so there are exogenous factors. I recognize that the world is a complicated place, but my God, 18 years? Eighteen launches so far this year? I think it’s demonstrative that this current policy isn’t working.