(CNN) - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described the behavior of North Korea as "belligerent" on Sunday, following a report that the country is stepping up its nuclear program.
"It confirms or validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium which they've denied routinely," Adm. Mike Mullen said on CNN's "State of the Union." "All of this is consistent with belligerent behavior, the kind of instability creation in a part of the world that is very dangerous."
The criticism follows a report from an American nuclear scientist who recently visited North Korea and was told the country is producing low-enriched uranium for a new reactor.
Mullen, the top U.S. military officer, said North Korea's actions violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.
"We've worked hard with other countries to bring pressure on them and to have them comply," Mullen told Candy Crowley, CNN's Chief Political Correspondent. "They're a country that routinely we are unable to believe that they would do what they say."
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N. Korea wants the world to know they have nuclear so that nobody gets any ideas about taking them out. That's why all of our efforts to de-nuclearize N. Korea are doomed to fail because we've never figured out a way to make it in their interest NOT to possess nukes.
Embargos are weak tools because
a. The leadership is very willing to let people suffer.
b. It feeds into their paranoia that the world is out to destroy them.
c. We are fast running out of things to embargo.
I have to laugh at American's complaining that the North Koreas are breaking the law to build a nuke to protect themselves from the annihilation that George W. Bush promised. The USA is an international scofflaw including: violating NAFTA and softwood trade agreements with Canada, attacking Afghanistan unprovoked to steal its lithium, attacking Iraq unprovoked to steal its oil, calling the Geneva conventions "quaint" , use of many types of banned weapons. use of torture... If it thumbs its nose at the law, it can't very well complain when others do too.
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
~ Noam Chomsky 1928-12-07
"Terrorism : killing civilians with the intent of changing their political affiliation."
~ Caleb Carr 1955-08-02
Belligerent because, like most countries, it wants to protect itself from the US? We didn't stop India, Pakistan or others from developing nuclear weapons ? Why now? The US has started three of the last four wars in the world and then we can throw in Vietnam, also!
What are Obama's options with this situation? Have Secretary of State Clinton handle this issue? There's a decent argument here that she IS the issue. This is what you get when you make critical cabinet-level appointments based on political gamesmanship as opposed to capability and experience.
China does not want their to be a permanent nuclear presence on the Korean Peninsula. Japan does not want there to be any nuclear weapons at all. The immediate nuclear threat to region peace is N. Korea, not China.
The U.S. should announce first to Japan and China, then to the UN, that given N. Korea's insistance on having a nuclear capacity, we are transferring our expertise and hardware to the S. Korean government. This gives China and Japan, mainly China, a year to really pressure N. Korea to open up and dismantle. It also forces N. Korea to deal with S. Korea to negotiate a peace treaty for the peninsula.
There is not much the U.S. can do. It is in China's backyard and America is limited in its options. North Korea is much stronger than Iraq even though it was not sold that way by the GOP under Bush....
When all is said and done more is said that can actually be done.......
Kim is testing the Former Anointed One, who I am sure will reiterate "deep concern" and then once again do nothing.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq what kind of panic button did that send to North Korea and Iran, I'm just saying.