- The Washington Times - Monday, August 30, 2021

The headlines speak volumes: “North Korean nuclear reactor used for plutonium production appears active, IAEA says,” CNN wrote, and “Notorious North Korea Nuclear Reactor Reportedly Back Up and Running,” The Daily Beast reported.

President Biden’s legacy of weakness continues.

This is not a surprise. This is a “right on cue” moment.

This is what Americans in the know about politics, i.e. conservatives, warned in the lead to November’s presidential elections: When America is weak, the world swirls in chaos because all of the evil players come out of their corners to exploit America’s weakness. And boy oh boy, is Biden a weakling. 

If there were any doubt, any lingering doubt at all, Afghanistan proved that truth.

“In ‘deeply troubling’ move, North Korea appears to have restarted plutonium-producing reactor,” Yahoo! News wrote.

The story went on to report how the International Atomic Energy Agency found that “since early July, there have been indications, including the discharge of cooling water, consistent with the operation of the reactor” at Yongbyon. The Wall Street Journal added to the dismal news by noting a lab near Yongbyon seems to be active, with workers busily involved in the separation of plutonium from spent fuel from the reactor.

“[It’s] deeply troubling,” not to mention a violation of U.S. Security Council resolutions, the IAEA wrote.

No kidding.

Inspectors were booted from North Korea in 2009, so really, nobody knows for certain how far along the country’s moved down the path of nuclear weapon development. Twenty weapons? Fifty? Sixty? Experts aren’t sure.

South Korea’s chief nuclear envoy has just arrived in the United States for talks on smoothing tensions with North Korea, in particular, over joint allied military exercises that angered Pyongyang and, of course, the latest news on Yongbyon. Likely, humanitarian assistance will be dangled as a carrot for Kim Jong-Un to stop prohibited nuclear pursuits.

But as with Afghanistan and this administration’s insistence on talking and trading and deal-making with the Taliban — and the disastrous results that have come — so, too, will go similarly foolish diplomatic endeavors of Team Biden versus North Korea.

Why would Pyongyang cave to a feeble White House — to a frail and feckless U.S. president? Of course, North Korea will talk.

Of course, North Korea will present on the international stage as trying to work with its global colleagues. 

Hmm. Just like the Taliban.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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