- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
U.S. takes delicate approach to North Korean succession
Question of the Day
North Korea’s pursuit and development of nuclear weapons in recent years has irritated the administrations of three U.S. presidents.
Washington has tried repeatedly to embrace multilateral “six-party talks” to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons program. The talks, which feature South Korea, China, Japan and Russia, have become moribund in recent years.
“The successor regime will have to consolidate itself before it will be prepared to engage the United States, South Korea and others,” said Richard C. Bush III, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Some elements of North Korea’s military or political hierarchies may seize on the fact that next year marks the 100th anniversary of regime founder Kim Il-sung’s birth to pursue their own ambitions. Kim Il-sung died in 1994 and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il.
“We just don’t know enough about others in the system to say whether there will be ones who will resist this third dynastic succession,” Mr. Cha said.
John Tkacik Jr., a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation who served as chief of China intelligence at the State Department during the Clinton administration, said the U.S. has a chance to undermine the legitimacy of the new regime from the start.
“The way to do that is for the U.S. and South Korea to say that this is a despotic dictatorship that doesn’t represent the North Korean people,” Mr. Tkacik said. “We should not provide food aid or fuel; instead, there should be a heightened military presence that would give us an opportunity to push regime change.”
The Obama administration, meanwhile, disputed reports that it had been planning the resumption of food aid to North Korea’s starving population this week.
In recent months, the administration has attempted to develop a quid pro quo in which North Korea could be pressured into suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for the aid.
“The U.S. has not been extending food aid to North Korea strictly on humanitarian grounds, that’s clear,” said Roberta Cohen, who heads the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and is a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution.
She said it’s understandable that the White House would pull back on the aid announcement.
“When you have this uncertainty about who the new leadership is going to be, and you don’t know who your interlocutor is anymore, obviously they’re going to wait and see,” Ms. Cohen said.
• Dave Boyer, Ashish Kumar Sen, Shaun Waterman and Bill Gertz contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- U.S. intelligence nearly certain pro-Russian separatists downed Malaysian Airlines flight
- Israel's ambassador praises Obama, slams Human Rights Watch report
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- MH17: Fear of ground-to-air missile strike becomes nightmare reality in Ukraine
- U.S., China to participate in unprecedented joint ground force exercise
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq