Regarding the Iran deal, President Barack Obama said last year that “international inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program – from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program.
“North Korea has played the U.S. time and time again,” notes Kroenig. North Korea’s nuclear test comes about six months after the Iran deal was finalized. Since the agreement, Iran has extended its influence across the Middle East and tested two ballistic missiles, in violation of a U.N. resolution. In kind, North Korea also violated a U.N. resolution when it tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile in December.
North Korea has seen no repercussions from the international community for its missile test thus far. In response to Iran’s breach, President Obama announced a new round of sanctions against the country’s missile program last week, however, the White House has since delayed implementing them. (RELATED: Obama To Announce New Sanctions On Iran’s Missile Program)
Kroenig describes the Obama’s North Korea strategy as “strategic patience.” He explains that with diplomatic options exhausted and limited willingness and ability to engage in military options, the White House can do little more than wait. “The policy is a failure and has allowed the threat to grow,” he adds, “North Korea now has around 30 nuclear warheads.”
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