The United States can no longer tolerate the aggressive and irrational behavior of the North Korean regime. A once manageable threat is now destabilizing an entire region. The time for half measures is over. The time for action has arrived.
For decades Pyongyang has pursued a policy of erratic behavior designed to attract attention and to extract concessions from Western powers. For decades we have alternated between threatening retaliation and attempting to buy good behavior by the granting of some demands. However unsatisfying this has been, in the near term we have succeeded in accomplishing our primary task, preventing war.
The North Korean nuclear weapons program has changed all that. Pyongyang now stands on the threshold of having deliverable nuclear weapons, which it can mount on ballistic missiles and use against Japan, North Korea and the U.S. bases within. It’s continued testing of these missiles demonstrates that they are a very real threat. North Korea has even made significant strides toward the mounting of ballistic missiles on submarines, meaning in the near future it may well be able to threaten not only Tokyo and Seoul but launch a nuclear Pearl Harbor on Honolulu as well.
The game has changed. Where once the worst we had to contemplate was waging a conventional war on the Korean peninsula, we now must face a world in which Kim Jung Un can decide any time he wants to destroy entire cities within range. This we cannot accept.
Originally published by The Hill.