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How should the U.S. engage with North Korea?

The United States has condemned the North Korean artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeongpyeong. The North Korean government has told American experts that it would dismantle one of its nuclear weapons programs if the United States agreed to a pledge of "no hostile intent." In light of these recent events, weigh in on how the U.S. should proceed.

By Ryan Kellett  |  November 23, 2010; 5:08 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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And so,let me be clear here,not to worry about this matter,as Comrade Leader & Messiah Barack Hussein Obama will attend to
it after gets done playing another 72 holes of golf with Democrat Congressman James Clyburn and Obama and Michelle Obama
attend this week's White House Gala and have their White House Thanksgiving Dinner first.

And so,after attending to those matters our
no military experience Commander in Chief
Barack Hussein Obama will pack up the Magic
Teleprompters and board Air Force One so he
can start another 10 Days of Bowing to 3d World Dictators and read finger wagging
apologies all over Asia and that will surely take care of the problem.

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | November 24, 2010 6:01 AM


Please try to be a little less one sided. I don't agree with the democratic party man President Obama has turned out to be, but he's not Muslim, and he's not communist. To label him as such only reveals your own bigotry. America existed as a welfare state, with over %50 of the budget dedicated to medicare, social security and welfare, long before he took office.

Other presidents before him have enjoyed their leisure time as well. Please remember President G.W. Bush enjoyed his trips to the ranch, and took three days before responding to the 9-11 attacks.

Also, we have a tradition of Excellent presidents with no military experience. Franklin Delano Roosevelt for one.

My point is, flinging names around convinces no one that the President is a communist Muslim bent on destroying America, it only reflects poorly on you.

-A Naval Officer on deployment in the middle east.

Posted by: mmfujiusn | November 24, 2010 6:44 AM

If you think for a moment that No. Korea is not controlled by China, you know nothing about history and/or the present circumstances.

China is the only trading partner that this toilet has, they are 50 years behind the rest of the world in terms of services to their people.

Every dime is spent on the military and China uses them at will.

Absolutely everything No Korea does is approved first by China

Wake up people!!! China is the problem, NOT No. Korea.

Stupid Americans!

Posted by: Redchaser | November 24, 2010 8:13 AM

What a foolish "poll". It leaves off the table precisely the options that need to be considered.

Here's a suggested revised poll:

How should the United States engage with North Korea?

( ) Sustained conventional bombardment of all of North Korea's command and control centers, nuclear materials sites, artillery positions and air force.

( ) Sustained nuclear bombardment of all of North Korea's command and control centers, nuclear materials sites, artillery positions and air force.

( ) Sustained conventional and nuclear bombardment of all of North Korea's command and control centers, nuclear materials sites, artillery positions and air force.

Would that be an unfair and misleading poll? No more so than the bogus poll WAPO has above.

Posted by: bloggersvilleusa | November 24, 2010 9:08 AM

Have Walmart pull out of China.

Posted by: shhhhh | November 24, 2010 9:17 AM

Good, bad, or indifferent, the US has lost both influence and credibility in Korea -- on both sides. It has been 'all talk' since Clinton allowed Carter to visit in 1994, and think you will find the major decline of our influence started at that time.

The question is: where do we go from here?

*Obama is so indebted to China now, he (the US) really has no options.

*China fears a bad transition from Kim Jung Il (spill over of thousands of Koreans fleeing their country), so let them worry about what to do with north Korea.

*Longer term solution, encourage Japan to rearm and play a larger direct role in countering aggression in that part of the Pacific. That will get China's attention in a heart beat. Japan has credibility, and China has not forgotten what happened in the early 20th Century.

For Pete's sake, we essentially have 'house keeping' troops (about 30,000) in Korea today. We do not need President Dithers demonstrating his inability to make decisions on this one.

Posted by: wheeljc | November 24, 2010 9:20 AM


huuummmm 3 OR MAYBE 4 TO FIGHT wars, and yet DADT IS STILL THERE??????




Canada and Brits (THE UNITED KINGDOM ), ISRAEL , SWEDEN AND LATIN Countries etc also have had Gays in the military for almost two decades and both of those countries have proven far more effective in Afghanistan than the US military (something about understanding other cultures), MAYBE US SAME SEXERS SHOULD GO AND BUILD UP OTHER NATIONS MILITARIES AND TECHNOLOGIES INSTEAD

Twenty-nine nations, including Israel, Canada, Germany and Sweden, allow openly gay troops, according to the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group and plaintiff in the lawsuit before Phillips.

GOOGLE" LIST OF COUNTRIES/ NATION THAT HAS HOMOSEXUAL/ BISEXUAL, [or] the US Military can Traffic (US CITIZENS) Same Sex Enlistees to Other ALLI Military Forces Instead as a TREATIES Agreement, TOO BUILD UP THEIR FORCES INSTEAD ,seeing That The Great Alexander Had World Conquering Success with Same Sex Armies , as well as The Powerful Roman Civilization that The US Benefits From To this Day




Posted by: shaiarra | November 24, 2010 9:23 AM

i vote none of the above. let South Korea bomb the North's civilian population. they are hungry there and will die fast

Posted by: rmk1122 | November 24, 2010 10:12 AM

I see from the poll above, that most Americans do not want one more war to add to the huge list, over 200 wars, invasions, and military actions, in our 200+ years of history.

I hope all lovers of war wind up their affairs (if they even have any), and fly to Seoul and sign up in the ROK army.

Posted by: PatMaGroyn | November 24, 2010 10:14 AM

Whew. I have found something to be very thankful for -- like the way Obama is handling this or not: that those who are posting on this question are not in any positions of authority. Except for the Naval Officer, you guys are really whacked.

We just retired a president who, in spite of having sent 4,000 Americans to their death in Iraq under false pretenses, sees the lowest point in his presidency as being told he didn't like Black people by a rap artist.

Posted by: tradeczar | November 24, 2010 10:19 AM

Obama will try to appease the North Koreans. He does not have the willpower or the testicular fortitude to confront any other country that's appears aggresssive to our interest.

Posted by: r_leever | November 24, 2010 10:36 AM

Just on PGM in the proper place would bring these shenanigans to the end.

Posted by: erodrik | November 24, 2010 10:45 AM

Why listen to the Hero of Gaza - Carter?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 24, 2010 10:55 AM

Our incompetence is only matched by the emptiness of our pockets! Can be stop playing Lord of the Universe now??

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | November 24, 2010 10:58 AM

Let Samsung, Hyundai and Kia fight their own battles. Yeonpyeong is an island off the coast of North Korea, which the South Koreans claim. The incident with the sinking ship a few months back happened in similar situation of "South Korean" territory, namely a little island off the shore of North Korea.

Lee Myung-bak, South Korea's leader, pledged to strengthen South Korea-United States relations and also implement a tougher policy with regards to North Korea.
This is just like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that started our war with Vietnam.

Posted by: alance | November 24, 2010 11:14 AM

How can the world's international power elite make from from this?
I do not know, but that is how China and the U.S. will deal with the tinhorn in North Korea.

Posted by: sperrico | November 24, 2010 11:42 AM

Enough engagement. If there's one more act of war, bomb the crap out of all their military installations and uranium enrichment facilities.

Posted by: st50taw | November 24, 2010 12:23 PM


Perhaps some have failed to recognize that North Korea has SUNK a S. Korean ship and killed S. Korean Sailors; has shot and killed several S. Korean border guards; and has now fired 80 artillery rounds into S. Korean sovereign territory.

And, S. Korea, and everyone else keeps wanting to TALK to the N. Koreans about their behavior? HELLO? N. Korea just committed an act of WAR against S. Korea and the so-called "international community" is stamping its foot?

An Act of WAR requires a response of WAR. How many more ACTS of WAR will S. Korea tolerate? All of them?

Being held hostage by the terrorists to the North while no one is willing to STOP them once and for all. The U.S. should pull ALL of its troops out of S. Korea now, as S. Korea is NOT worth defending IF it won't defend itself.

Posted by: gglenc | November 24, 2010 12:55 PM

How about, "take them at their word and acknowledge that a shooting war is inevitable unless we cut off the snake's head"?

Posted by: pcgeorge | November 24, 2010 12:59 PM

North Korea is a client state of China. The government is, again, engaged in flights of fantasy if they don't see the connection between our displeasure with China's trade practices and NK's aggression. China will play the part of peacemaker in exchange for "trade concessions". And, of course, Wall Street will cheer that on - anything to prevent them from more obscene profits due to job outsourcing. Our government is run by incompetent fools that are digging us into a hole that lead to a third world war. The correct response is 25% across the board trade tariffs on all Chinese imports.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 24, 2010 1:06 PM

I think all the "experts" have it wrong.

Consider this: The North Korean population has been documented committing cannibalism. Their military is not exempt from this desperation. The only way for a North Korean soldier or unit to give up and cross over to South Korea to be fed is to start shooting, get shot at and then surrender. Anything else – gets you shot in the back.

Posted by: gregegger | November 24, 2010 2:02 PM

So, where are all the Moselm protests? They re always the first to jump on another country with charges of agression and demands for UN interference. Why are they silent when the agressor is not Israel?

If we said that North Korea was full of Jews, every Arab state in the world would call for their heads to be cut off. The racism and bigotry of the Moselms today is outstanding.

Posted by: LeeH1 | November 24, 2010 2:03 PM

Several months ago, the Economist had an article discussing what to do about North Korea. That particular article stated that the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, and S. Korea need to set up a coordinated plan to deal with the eventual implosion of N. Korea, so we don't wind up stepping on each other's toes when that happens.

Posted by: apn3206 | November 24, 2010 6:07 PM

Minneapolis Nov 24th, 2010 12:59 pm

"Does anyone remember the Bay of Tonkin incident? Who provoked whom when the incident was originally reported? And did we learn 25+ years later after loss of tens of thousands of American lives and millions of Vitenamese lives? And what about the recent Iraq War?

A South Korean friend told me that before the North Korean attack, South Korea has been conducting military exercises near NLL (Northern Limit Line) and shelling near the NLL to the "North Korean water" despite the repeated warnings from the North. He also told me that the current South Korean govervnment is very "conservative", like GOP in US. Could it be that South Korea/ and US try to "destablize" the North and create internal conflicts (as Cha in his piece was saying) during what South Korea/US perceive as a vulnerable period of the North during the leadership "transition". This may also explain why out of the blue the Norh invites three American scientists to show off its stockpile of the centrifuges.

It appeas that some people, including some folks at NYT, are more interested in drumming up the potential war instead of getting to the real truth behind it. Some may even be interested to see WIII break out, by putting pressure on Chin and dragging China into the war. as stated in another article of NYT " ,"
"The exercise will include sending the aircraft carrier George Washington and a number of accompanying ships into the region, both to deter further attacks by the North and to signal to China that unless it reins in its unruly ally it will see an even larger American presence in the vicinity."

So if US is really interested in calming the dispute, why sending a US carrier to conduct further joint military exercise, risking further provoking the North? And what is this statement "to signal to China that unless it reins in its unruly ally it will see an even larger American presence in the vicinity" really about, if not to irk the Chinese military (and Chinese people)? We know that at the economic front, the NYT columist Paul Krugman has been busy setting up China as the evil empire and despicable villain columns after columns in the past year. Perhaps he understands fully well it was WII that fully pulled US out of the Great Depression, and this time around we need a similar war to simulate the economy. Call me a cynical!

Finally, granted the hermit nature of Norh Korea makes it hard, just like Saddam Hussein's regime makes it hard to find out the real truth about WMDs pre-Iraq war. However, just because North Korth is a despicable totalitarian government doesn't mean it will provoke a war when it has more to lose. Or perhpas it was Chinese who secretly got the North and South Koreas at war again so as to drag US and get its further into dept, thus the hands of the Chinese?"

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 24, 2010 7:18 PM

The US should engage PRK - one megaton at a time.

Posted by: ksherlin | November 24, 2010 8:22 PM

My optimistic hope has always been that the NK Stalinist regime will gradually fade into insignificance and be absorbed by the vibrant economy of SK. However, history is rife with irrational behaviors and outrageous consequences, such as the events that led up to WWI and WWII and the horrific damages those conflicts wrought on humanity. Thus, the most pragmatic approach that I advocate is to once and for all destroy the NK nuclear complex and war machine, including the thousands of artillery tubes aimed at Seoul, China be damned. Of course, this will involve redeploying troops from the ridiculous farce of Iraq and Afghanistan, as if OBL and his stone-age army pose any significant threat to our national survival or are contained by some convenient arbitrary borders (we lost that opportunity at Tora Bora - thanks, Dick)- Ultimately, the world will be a better place once the Kims are deposed. Any bets on the likelihood that our leaders will have the cojones to do what needs to be done? thought so...

Posted by: jstiver | November 24, 2010 10:41 PM

How many thousands of US troops will die in the first week, if N Korea attacks S Korea???

Posted by: 5shot | November 25, 2010 1:04 AM

time to start killing all the mooslims

Posted by: getjiggly2 | November 25, 2010 5:14 AM

Enough of North Korea and its extortions, if they want to fight then South Korea should attack with US backing. Finish them off and unite the Korean peninsula. Also, hell with China & the US companies over there that sold out our work force and country.

Posted by: Plato3 | November 25, 2010 8:19 AM

MrObama has done the right thing. Time has come to take concrete action against this big bully in Asia. South Korea may not be able to do it alone

Posted by: malkit | November 25, 2010 8:59 AM

South Korea will need to stand on it's own two feet on this one as spineless NO BALLS Obama won't do squat and anyone with a brain knows it..............

Posted by: franklinone | November 25, 2010 9:58 AM

What next? Nothing. The brat did his dirty deed. They won't let him do another. What can S. Korea do? Invade the north? Absurd. What can the US do? Nothing real. The dear junior bird brain leader made the world notice him. That was the point and the only point. Too bad it cost innocent human lives.

Posted by: Jihm | November 25, 2010 11:23 AM

You may have missed this little item:

"The attack on Yeonpyeong Island occurred after South Korean forces on exercises fired test shots into waters near the North Korean coast." (from the New York Times)

So who provoked whom? The best response of the United States to the North Koreans is to ignore them. They are not a threat to the US, and South Korea is quite capable of taking care of itself. Just let the incident blow itself out, as have all the similar incidents that seem to occur with some regularity.

Posted by: eelfish2008 | November 25, 2010 12:08 PM

North Korea and Iran have sought significant quantities of Uranium from Africa. Either nation can launch an attack on the US in less than five minutes. We will disarm them.

To help the US economy, a substantial military draft is called for. 20,000,000 plus who will serve for the duration of the war on terrorism. This will open up significant job opportunities in the private sector.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 25, 2010 12:14 PM

People may not want to hear this but the US really messed up back in the Korean War/conflict when we did not eliminate North Korea. We are seeing the results of that faulty decision. We have also seen the same type of things happen in Viet Nam. You don't waste money, time and lives to not win something.

Posted by: mrcox54 | November 25, 2010 2:11 PM

Please do negotiate; offer plenty of carrots and use a very big stick. I would prefer that the the Chinese not take the lead. But...

One thing I do not want to see is no negotions.
Among other things, I was a negotiator for many years--both commercial and labor relations. I found that people who won't negotiate are cowards deep down; they are too insecure to take risks. the U.S. should never fear to take risks as we are the most powerful and militarily competent nation on the face of this planet. We have lots of leaway if we use it intellegently

By the way, the vicious insults thrown at our president in these comments do not advance our conversation at all. Whatever other weakness he may have, it is not in the area of national security. He is the most aggressive and resourceful of our recent presidents. He takes expert advice well. And he shows guts to negotiate in the face of attacks by chest thumpers on the right.

Lets talk, not shout at each other. We will get a lot further that way.

Posted by: vfrazier | November 25, 2010 4:33 PM

Thank you, mmfujiusn, for your service, not to mention your thoughtful comment!

Posted by: Itzajob | November 25, 2010 9:21 PM

We need to follow the lead of Israel - an attack such as this should not go unanswered. Our military should have a list of high priority stategic targets in North Korea - each incident such as this should be answered with the destruction of 2-5 such targets by drones/bombers. This behavior would quickly stop.

Posted by: VirginiaResident2007 | November 25, 2010 9:25 PM

General Ralphinphnx with your loaded shotguns behind your bombshelter made from bibles you'd rather have Field Marshall Palin solve your problems. I'm sure all republicans are working 24/7 to make the world a safer place for the rich as well as fruitcakes.

Posted by: unoiamrite | November 28, 2010 8:10 AM

General Ralphinphnx with your loaded shotguns behind your bombshelter made from bibles you'd rather have Field Marshall Palin solve your problems. I'm sure all republicans are working 24/7 to make the world a safer place for the rich as well as fruitcakes.

Posted by: unoiamrite | November 28, 2010 8:13 AM

Not sure what there is to talk about?

US needs to demand that the person who gave the order to open fire be turned over to the World Court for prosecution.

Of course this would go nowhere, but it would satisfy some.

The South Koreans should STOP all commercial activity with the North and a total embargo on the North's ship activity should happen.

China should be put on notice by US that if it fails to terminate NBK's militarism in the next 60 days, the US will close out China from the US commercial market.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | November 28, 2010 8:20 AM

China has influence but not control over North Korea in the near term.

All of Korea has crazy thought processes, including the South. So, this situation is likely to continue with periodic nose-tweaking by the South, and aggressive acts by North Korea until Japan awakes. Japan is not real happy with the situation right now and is starting to assess what they need to do about it.

The Chinese should ask themselves if they are going to be happy with a re-assertive, and possibly nuclear-armed, Japan.

If I am not mistaken, the United States is the only nation that has ever defeated Japan in war (The WWII Allies got partial credit, but the U.S. did the fighting).

Posted by: Torishimariyaku | November 28, 2010 8:30 AM

Calling the entire Korean Peninsula "crazy" is offensive to me.

China should be given one chance to defuse tensions. One.

Our friends are living in fear. This situation is untenable.

Posted by: brickerd | November 28, 2010 8:58 AM

The raiders rushed madly down the slope to their target. While Goliath screamed and the patrol hooted and displayed, he was held and beaten and kicked and lifted and dropped and bitten and jumped on.... His aggressors showed their excitement in a continuous barrage of hooting and drumming and charging and branch-waving and screaming.

While this scenario may sound nothing like modern human warfare, Wrangham insists that the motives for the assault were the same as those that drive conflicts among human societies: the acquisition of territory and resources, the enhancement of status, and the sheer will to conquer. "One of the amazing things is how there are these similarities between nation-states and chimpanzees in a group," he says. "We are the only two species of mammals who raid territories."

Posted by: Capn0ok | November 28, 2010 9:53 AM

How should we respond? By pulling all of our troops and military support out, and selling a reasonable amount of short range missiles and nuclear bombs to South Korea, and let South Korea worry about their own defense.

Posted by: kamdog | November 28, 2010 10:03 AM

Before Israel attacks any country in the middle-east, they clear it with the US, everybody is aware of that. So why are there so many idiots commenting here who don't realize Korea notified China of it's plans long before it carried them out. It probably also informed Iran and Russia (trading partners). The day after the US takes any hostile action against NK, China responds with equal force and Iran takes over in the middle-east.

We dropped out of the #1 spot (Superpower) years ago while going broke defending Iraq from Iraqis and Afghanistan from Afghans. It may not be common knowledge in the rural parts of the US, but it is common knowledge in China (No. 1) and Russia (tied with the US for No. 2). One more big investment in another war and we won't even be No. 3.....without the draft.

Posted by: wmboyd | November 28, 2010 10:31 AM

To MMFUJIUSN | NOVEMBER 24, 2010 6:44 AM

Well said. God speed and stay safe. dan-

Posted by: danh2027 | November 28, 2010 12:30 PM

RE: TRADECZAR | NOVEMBER 24, 2010 10:19 AM

Like you, I scanned the posts here, and I'm really troubled by the bizarre, hate-filled, and racists remarks (the Naval officer excepted).

I wish I could say this was just a few oddballs, but it seems whatever the topic, these people show up and turn any effort to have an intelligent discussion into their usual litany of epithets.

I'd like to think this is not mainstream views and behavior, but I can only imagine how many didn't make it through the filters on this site. It's discouraging to say the least.

Posted by: danh2027 | November 28, 2010 12:55 PM

Here's what we do we send in the SEALS to take out those North Korean artillery site. We then announce to the world that we will help both Japan and the ROK acquire nuclear weapons by 2013 at the latest. We offer to sell the ROk and the Japan a couple old boomers or attack subs at pennies on the dollar. We also offer Vietnam military aid to include good deals on ships for their navy.

China forces North Korea to do what the world wants. See its easy if you dont litigate the matter and show some leadership Mr President.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 28, 2010 1:13 PM

The Pacific Ocean will soon be Communist China's little lake, Communist North Korea is China's problem or solution as is the world economy now controlled by China...Communist China now calls the shots now thanks to wall Street and Washington.
Our Republic does not have the wealth, industrial base or enough trained and combat ready ground troops for a land war in Korea. North Korea itslef has 1.5 million troops in comparison to the twenty eight thousand troops we have stationed there who would be quickly surrounded...rescue would not be possible, we do not have the resources or transportation...reinstating the draft now this very moment and bringing up our troop strength would take two or three years at a minimum. Another comparison is the one hundred Communist Chinese Army divisions...even at war we only have eighteen total divisions of combined Army and Marines not all field ready. Communist China has a larger air force with more jet aircraft then the USA and arguably the best fighter interceptor, more aircraft then the USA, Great Briton and France combined, the world's best air defence system, and Communist China is building the world's largest surface and submarine Navy which will surpass our shrinking Navy in just three years with thier ship yards going 24-7...they are building on a war footing...Asia is Communist China's game now....and I am sure they are very grateful to Wall Street for the industries, technology and wealth that has made them what they direct proportion to our loss of wealth and military strength...and that is a fact. So the Next time some loon complains about Socialism...what could be worse then Wall Street and our career politcians supporting Communism.
So what will Washington do...confer/beg Communist China to do something...and Communist China will, you can bet on it...ask our Korean War and Vietnam War veterans...

Posted by: 123Njord | November 28, 2010 2:09 PM

You can't believe anything they say. They agree to agreements whi9le they build new nuclear facilities.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 28, 2010 2:47 PM

The NK's respect only force. For the moment the US has two failed wars to work out. If NK decides to escalate further and the US has to defend SK then there must be a return to the draft. There will be heavy US losses and that includes a lot of US civilians. Contrary to the belief of some NK will resort to the use of nukes and then what do we do? Meanwhile Americans are happily spending money for Xmas and could really care less.

Posted by: KBlit | November 28, 2010 4:25 PM

North Korea has "cried wolf" this way once too often. Bad behavior should not be rewarded w/ new rounds of talks and aid.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has no bargaining chip w/ China to compel them to reign in their client state. It looks like our best response @ the moment would be no response; let NK go until China's interests there are threatened & they intercede. Though, if NK, SK & China want to play poker, it would be tempting to announce that we are implementing a program to train the Japanese military in the use of our advanced weapons systems....that could freak 'em out.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | November 29, 2010 9:55 AM

Mullen should resign.


Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 8, 2010 7:15 AM

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