North Korea’s Turn on the Axis of Evil

In his now famous 2002 State of the Union speech, President Bush warned of an “Axis of Evil” that threatens the security of the world with weapons of mass destruction. The “Axis” included Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. In hindsight, we can all see the President was right. Of course the Iraqi regime is no longer a threat, but Iran and North Korea still are. Both Iran and North Korea are seeking to obtain nuclear weapons.The pledge yesterday from North Korea that they would soon conduct a nuclear test demonstrates the high-stakes of an unfolding geopolitical drama. North Korea claims they are compelled to conduct this test because of the threat of a nuclear attack by the United States against North Korea.

As far as we know, North Korea does not have missiles capable of reaching the U.S. homeland. The primary threat from North Korea to the U.S. is the possiblilty that they could start an arms-race in southeast Asia or that they would transfer nuclear weapons/technology to our enemies or to terrorists. To my mind, it is the latter that is the most frightening prospect.

All of this demonstrates why it is important for the U.S. to “lean forward” in opposing the “Axis of Evil.” It would be foolish to sit back and wait for things to happen. The longer we wait, the more dangerous the world becomes.

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