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Editorial: U.S. should maintain a tough stance against North Korea

(Sankei: January 14, 2016 – p. 2)


 U.S. President Barack Obama has just delivered his final State of the Union address to Congress.


 However, he did not even mention North Korea’s nuclear test, rendering the speech unsatisfactory as a whole. The U.S. president with one year left in his term of office cannot afford to be a lame duck in light of increasing uncertainty in the world situation.


 In reaction to North Korea’s nuclear test, Japan, the U.S., and the ROK are stepping up efforts to impose their own sanctions or sanctions through the UN Security Council. The U.S. has sent a B-52 strategic bomber to the ROK to apply pressure on the DPRK.


 Obama should have criticized North Korea directly in his State of the Union address. He should have denounced the nuclear test.


 His statement that “no nation attacks us directly, or our allies, because they know that’s the path to ruin” was probably meant as a warning, but it is incomprehensible why he has avoided naming North Korea.


 Obama, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for advocating a world without nuclear weapons, declared in his State of the Union address in 2013 that the U.S. would “take firm action” against North Korea.


 Yet North Korea has been engaged in repeated acts of outrage that would seem to mock this past speech. The U.S. president should adopt a tough stance and take the lead in applying pressure on the DPRK.


 With regard to China, although Obama touched on the TPP agreement and stated that “China does not set the rules in the region; we do,” there was no mention of its aggressive maritime advances in the South China Sea and elsewhere. We would have wanted him to make a strong statement on “changing the status quo by force.”


 Obama withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and has rejected the U.S.’s role as the “world’s policeman.” This contributed to the creation of a power vacuum that brought about “dangerous times.” The rise of China and North Korea’s nuclear test are not unrelated to this.


 The U.S. has a responsibility to maintain stability in the international community. We would have liked to have heard strong statements on this. (Slightly abridged)

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