July 5th, 2009
12:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden: Isolation policy working in North Korea

(CNN) - There are signs that the international policy to isolate North Korea from its traditional allies is working, despite the Pyongyang regime's weekend firing of seven-short range missiles toward the Sea of Japan, Vice President Joe Biden says.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on the ABC program "This Week," Biden called efforts by the United States and others to forge a unified response to North Korea's potential nuclear threat "a significant turning in pressure."

He noted that a North Korean ship believed to be carrying weapons-related materials turned back toward North Korea when tracked by U.S. naval ships as part of U.N. sanctions recently approved by the Security Council.

"No port would take it," Biden said, citing the development as a sign of new international resolve demonstrated by China - the longtime ally and benefactor of North Korea - signing onto the Security Council resolution.

"We have succeeded in uniting the most ... critical countries to North Korea on a common path to isolating" Pyongyang, Biden said.

Continuing such pressure would force North Korea to make "difficult decisions" as it faces the rumored ill health of longtime leader Kim Jong Il, Biden said.

The Security Council sanctions included cutting off new grants, loans and export credits and barring shipments of weapons-related material.

Filed under: Joe Biden • North Korea
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Joe, just tell NK that Bush is no longer president. That will get them to stop firing missiles.

    July 5, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    Just be quiet Joe.

    July 5, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. observer

    Biden is an idiot! The only thing North Korea will ever, ever understand is a mushroom cloud over its capital! I remember the Korean War well and they were a brutal, savage, unreasoning opponent!

    July 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Legna

    Yep! Isolation of Korea is making us look like a bunch of idiots. We and the UN set sanctions and nice July 4th fireworks from N.Korea. We also got proliferation of nuclear weapons. Got ships of weapons we follow and do nothing, what more could Biden ask for? Oh!!!!! don't forget Russia has a new weapon....OBAMA... Just give him a lump of sugar and make him look good so U.S. will keep him as president. This n itself will b better than a nuclear weapon because Obama and his Congress will implode our economy,end all manufacturing,eliminate missle defense, reduce nucleur weapons, and etc. What a great weapon for Russia but OBOMBA!!!!

    July 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. RR

    so this policy works with N. Korea, but not with Iran?

    What's the difference?

    July 5, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Andrew

    North Korea will never attack the United States now that they have lost all their support lines. They know full well that being the instigator in a war would give the US full right to drop the all-mighty hammer of the US military on them.

    We just need to make sure that we don't get duped into firing the first shot because of hot heads that think offense is the greatest defense.

    July 5, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Jim in Asheville

    Senator Biden's foreign policy record, going back to the 1980s, is pretty dismal. He often demonstrates a lack of understanding about complex international issues. Remember his recent plan to divide Iraq into thirds? I'm not sure if his pronouncements concerning North Korea carry much weight. What makes this awkward is that many consider foreign policy to be his strength.

    I'm still trying to figure out how Obama's Iraq and Afghanistan policies are significantly different than the previous administration's. The campaign rhetoric disappeared pretty quickly when reality set in.

    July 5, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. thetruth

    Another point that is lost, is that while the U.S. and John McCain are claiming that the NK ship is carrying illegal arms, it could have been an elaborate rouse–meant to humiliate the U.S. gvnmt. What if the ship was empty, or had no banned cargo on board. Here we would be–if we listened to John McCain–having boarded & searched the ship at sea...and we would've ended up looking like fools. Just another case of faulty American intelligence–you remember those...like WMD's in Iraq. The NK gvnmt would like nothing better than to discredit & embarrass the U.S. gvnmt in a game of chicken. We have to play it cool with NK and call their bluff. This weekend they fired short range rockets which didn't even come close to reaching Hawaii. I like Obama's cool & collected approach. Remember people NK would like nothing more than to start WWIII–which would involve at least 5 players from the 6-party members. We need to keep our heads about us.

    July 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. I hand out crying towels for republicans daily

    Thanks Joe, for your insight.@TCM.Tell us all about your 20yrs as a war hero story again.You must have been in the Civil War too.hahaha

    July 5, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    NK is making an idiot out of our make believe president. I bet in 2012 he won't get all the support from the american people.

    July 5, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Ed in Iowa

    The North Korean regime is like a spoiled brat who has learned that every time they throw a fit, they get some kind of treat to settle them down. And now, with Kim Jong Il about to croak, he's trying to do it again. What treat does he want this time? The guarantee that his son will succeed him and not be deposed or killed. He's trying to show strength. But we've got a new, smarter, stricter "decider" who isn't going to spoil the NK brat anymore. This is good, because now when Kim Jong Il dies, his son will not sit long on the throne. Let's hope there is a revolution, or at least a derious moderation, when the new government takes over. Until then, we can wait them out. No need to attack them to create regime change, the spectre of Death is already on his way to achieve that goal. The administration is doing the right thing – making sure they can't build a nuke while we wait for Kim Jong to drop dead.

    July 5, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Zero.

    Another do nothing. Done nothing but talk. Nothing! Absolutly nothing has changed since they took office.

    July 5, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. barry in las vegas

    And the MSM called Sara Palin dumb. This guy is beyond dumb – he's stupid.

    North Korea is laughing at Obama and his policies against NK – but I forgot – if we just talk nice to them – they will come around.

    How many missles have the shot off?

    July 5, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Johnny DC

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Working? They're testing and retesting and redesigning weapons at a record pace.

    Good observation, Mr. Vice President. Just pray it takes them more than 8 years to figure out what they want to do with them, so you can blame the next GOP President.

    July 5, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. BH

    Does Joe mean the policy of isolation begun in the Bush Administration? Or does having a new Administration mean the same policy is now ok?

    Obama is the safest President in history thanks to the dope he picked to be a heartbeat away.

    July 5, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. beefy

    if accurate, this is great news.

    July 5, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Sick -n- Tired

    All I can say about North Korea is " bombs away"! Thats a war I could support right there! They're bluff needs to be called!

    July 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Reality

    Working? Has Joe turned on the TV? N Korea is launching on a daily basis! It wasn't until the pentagon all but forced Obama and Joe to pay attention and move some ships in position to protect Hawaii. Our current executive branch is more worried about photo ops than homeland security. Good thing Bush's military policies were so effective or Hawaii might not be here today.

    July 5, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Daniel

    Silly observer. This is already the first step of war, its called an embargo. America did the same thing to Japan prior to their entrance into WW2. The economic noose that this will cause will be far superior in suppressing the government because it doesn't have the threat of nuclear war. The government either complies with the golden straight jacket or fails to keep up technologically with the rest of the world. North Korea will figure it out eventually, or fall so far behind that it won't matter anymore.

    July 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. former GOPer

    For the love of God, shut up Biden. You know absolutely nothing about North Korea, and I agree with Observer – the only way they are going to quit saber-rattling is if we carpet bomb every government facility in North Korea. Launching missiles day after day into international waters is not acceptable behavior.

    July 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Alex (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    I absolutely agree with VP Biden. One weakness of America is we have a heart and spirit to always fight for what is right and what is good for democracy. Unfortunately, other countries who share the same views as ours have also been complacent because we always rush to save the day. On the other hand, anti-American countries has exploited this achilles heel to weaken and smear USA's reputation specially in recruiting young men to extremism. We should condemn the firing of the missiles of course, but U.N. and the surrounding countries (which are foremost to be affected) of NK should be the one acting like China and Russia. It is for their safety that they are fighting for anyway. USA giving support and close monitoring at the sidelines is all we have to do. Maximizing our resources and reputation with minimal direct engagement is always good. Besides, if NK fires at us, we are ready. So yes, vigilance is a necessary component at a crucial time such as this. Oh yeah, I do love a confused, broken Iran regime. A well-handled issue by P. Obama's administration. Congratulations.

    July 5, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. MJH

    I see Biden, in the same interview, gave Israel a green light to attack the Iranian nuclear facility. I assume the White Hose will shortly issue a statement saying the media misinterpreted Biden's latest gaffe. The man is an unmitigated disaster. I shutter to think he is only a step away from the presidency.

    July 5, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |

    My grandfather was in the Korean war and would hardly speak of what
    he encountered over there. As he was passing he would speak
    here and there about it but over all he kept it to himself. Not
    good what he did disclose to me. Keep an eye out.

    July 5, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. fred

    Did anyone read what Biden said about this administration misread how bad economy was? Or about not getting in Israel's way if they attack Iran? CNN PLEASE print a NEWS story that isn't TOALLY slanted in favor of Obama/Biden! Oh, and actually print just ONE of my posts! Stop censoring intelligent comments!!!

    July 5, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Joe---it's not working....

    Both N. Korea and Iran continue to mock Obama.....Obama's idle threats have made him a laughing stock in these and other countries....

    July 5, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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