- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2013

“Beijing has obstructed all previous attempts [at the Security Council], and its obstructionism has only encouraged further North Korean provocations,” said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation.

China is key to an effective North Korea policy.

“The key to stemming North Korea’s cycle of provocation is to seriously engage the Chinese in exercising leverage over their neighbor,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Security Council convened an emergency meeting in New York on Tuesday to cobble together a resolution that would strengthen and widen the scope of existing sanctions against North Korea.

Obama’s ‘failed’ policy

The Obama administration’s options are limited. Washington already has in place a tough sanctions regime against Pyongyang.

President Obama condemned the North Korean test as a “highly provocative act” that “undermines regional stability.” He said the test violates Pyongyang’s international commitments and increases the risk of proliferation.

“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community,” Mr. Obama said.

Republican lawmakers said North Korea’s nuclear test was proof that the U.S. policy is not working.

“Today’s test is another reminder of years of failed policies to prevent North Korea’s nuclear programs and proliferation,” said Mr. Rogers. “We need a completely new approach to dealing with this growing national security threat.”

Rep. Edward R. Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Obama administration’s North Korea policy had failed.

“The Obama administration must replace its failed North Korea policy with one that is energetic, creative and focused on crippling [the North Korean] regime’s military capabilities through stringent sanctions that tackle its illicit activities and cuts off its flow of hard currency,” the California Republican said.

‘Reckless hostility’

North Korea said the nuclear test was a response to the “reckless hostility of the United States,” said North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, referring to the U.S.-led U.N. sanctions.

The news agency said the test was a “first measure” and warned that North Korea could conduct a “stronger second or third measure” if the United States continues with “[its] hostility and complicates the situation.”

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