Well, the North Koreans have had their test.
John Bolton has a lot of new fuel for his bluster at the UN, but I hope one of these days, folks take a step back and ask how this happened. How can America and its allies so badly fail to secure their political and security objectives — which used to be, in part, to prevent North Korea from acquiring nukes and conducting tests?
Bolton failed when he was Under Secretary of State for International Security and Arms Control to set back North Korea’s nuclear program. In fact, his behavior and a counter-productive 31 July 2003 speech probably hardened North Korea’s intentions. As Ambassador to the United Nations, he has deployed a package of bluster, name-calling, and highly ineffective diplomacy that has distanced rather than brought closer Chinese collaboration with the U.S. to contain North Korea.
It’s a whole new game now.
Watch Japan. It will take a while, but my bet is that Japan is outgrowing its nuclear allergy.
— Steve Clemons