Rogues ‘watch­ing’ West’s re­sponse to North Korea

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security - BY JON WARD

Pres­i­dent Obama’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser said May 27 that ten­sions with North Korea are be­ing watched closely by other rogue regimes, such as Iran, to see how the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity re­sponds, adding that the United States knew ahead of time that Py­ongyang was go­ing to test a nu­clear bomb on May 25.

“There are other coun­tries that are watch­ing what we are do­ing and will draw some con­clu­sions for their own [nu­clear] pro­grams,” said re­tired Marine Gen. James L. Jones dur­ing a speech to a for­eign pol­icy group at a Wash­ing­ton ho­tel, his first ma­jor ad­dress since join­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. “This is a pretty se­ri­ous mo­ment,” he said.

But he said North Korea’s nu­clear test last week, along with the test launch of sev­eral lon­grange mis­siles and threats to at- tack U.S. and South Korean naval ves­sels, is not “an im­mi­nent threat” to the United States.

“The im­mi­nent threat is the pro­lif­er­a­tion of [nu­clear] tech-

He em­pha­sized that “noth­ing that the North Kore­ans did sur­prised us.”

“We knew they were go­ing to do this. They said so. There were no sur­prises here,” he said.

“There are other coun­tries that are watch­ing what we are do­ing and will draw some con­clu­sions for their own [nu­clear] pro­grams,” said re­tired Marine Gen. James L. Jones dur­ing a speech to a for­eign pol­icy group at a Wash­ing­ton ho­tel, his first ma­jor ad­dress since join­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. “This is a pretty se­ri­ous mo­ment,” he said.

nol­ogy to other coun­tries and po­ten­tially to ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions and non­state ac­tors,” said Mr. Jones, adding that Py­ongyang is still not able to make nu­clear weapons or to de­liver nu­clear de­vices.

He also said there is a “grow­ing” con­sen­sus among the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity “that states like Nor th Korea and Iran should not be per­mit­ted to have [nu­clear weapons] ca­pa­bil­ity.”

The soft-spo­ken, for­mer four- star gen­eral also gave some de­tails about the chal­lenges of run­ning the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, hav­ing come into the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion as an out­sider who was both un­famil- iar with many of the pres­i­dent’s clos­est for­eign pol­icy ad­vis­ers from the cam­paign and sig­nif­i­cantly older than many of the White House staff mem­bers work­ing for him and for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Jones said it has been “a lit­tle tor­tur­ous and painful” to make de­ci­sions, but said that “as peo­ple un­der­stand their roles a lit­tle bit bet­ter I think we’re go­ing to get bet­ter.”

He also ad­dressed re­cent crit­i­cism of Mr. Obama’s na­tional se­cu­rity poli­cies by for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.

“I think that the for­mer vice pres­i­dent knows full well that per­fec­tion is an im­pos­si­ble stan­dard [. . . ],” Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Cheney has said that Mr. Obama’s poli­cies have made the U.S. less safe, prompt­ing some to spec­u­late that he is set­ting the White House up for blame if there is an­other ter­ror­ist at­tack.

“There’s no harm in try­ing for per­fec­tion,” Mr. Jones said.

“This isn’t a ques­tion of be­ing naive. It’s a ques­tion of do­ing what­ever you can, what­ever is rea­son­ably pos­si­ble, but rec­og­niz­ing that the next day you may be found want­ing,” he said.

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