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President Clinton’s promises in 1994 regarding North Korea were eerily similar to those President Obama made in announcing his nuclear deal with Iran last year. Like Clinton, Obama declared that his administration has taken the “first step” toward “a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.” Like Clinton, he said his deal “is good for the security of the United States, for our allies, and for the world.” And as with Clinton, all those promises will be for naught.
North Korea provokes every time they want concessions and this time around, their saber-rattling can’t be separated from the Iran nuclear deal. The United States must not cave into blackmail. Offering incentives to bring Pyongyang to the table won’t bring peace, but will only reward defiance.
Washington should use all of its tools of statecraft to build its relationship with Taiwan, given its geostrategic location and its status as a democratic, capitalist friend. High-level diplomatic engagement would improve strategic coordination, remove obstacles to better trade relations, and help end Taiwan’s isolation.
French FONOPs in the South China Sea would signal a renewed commitment to upholding the liberal international order, which has been under strain in Eastern Europe of late. If that order fails in one region, it fails everywhere. It’s about time America’s European partners recognize that.