SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – As President Obama carried out a diplomatic mission to South Korea Saturday, members of congress issued an ultimatum to North Korea over its prospective weapons program, and warned the international community that a nuclear armed North Korea could pose a grave threat to America’s longstanding hopes of justifying a war with Iran.
Having flouted several UN mandates over its nuclear weapons program, North Korea has continued to carry out missile tests, while it is still not clear whether the nation of Iran is aiming to use nuclear generators to strike up an arsenal of its own.
“As long as North Korea, a country that we have no intention of invading, continues to remain open about its weapons testing, not only will this spell problems for neighboring countries, but our bold plans of offering the American people a viable pretext for invading Iran will almost certainly go up in smoke”, said Texas Congressman Joe Barton. “It won’t help us either that North Korea is itself governed by one of the world’s most repressive regimes; one that makes the Ahmedinejad administration look like a bunch of… well, pussies. Let me be clear; North Korea must disarm.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the congressman’s concerns, saying that North Korea “must de-nuclearize or the US will be forced to take military action off the table with regard to Iran.”
“An unstable North Korea – who has carried out documented threats against the south and who is known to harbor nuclear weapons – has the potential to obliterate our hopes of gaining support for an invasion of Iran – a country that, to date, has no nuclear weapons,” she said. “North Korea’s brutal regime must also make a commitment to change its style of governance or the overthrow of President Ahmedinejad could be blown off the map.”
In a related development, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said he expects Israel – a key ally to the U.S. – to lead regime change in Tehran once “North Korea finally gets its act together and stops dicking around”.