December 13th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

What should U.S. do about North Korea launch?

By Jason Miks

North Korea has defied the international community by launching a satellite into space. But even as questions remain over how much control Pyongyang actually has over the satellite, policymakers are considering how to respond to what the U.S. described as a "provocative" move.

Writing on CNN, Joe Cirincione, president of global security foundation Ploughshares Fund, argued today that although the launch represents a notable technological step for North Korea, it does not pose a serious military threat to the U.S. or other nations.

“If the past is any guide, North Korea's launch of an Unha-3 rocket will have international security repercussions far out of proportion to its military capability,” he wrote.

Still, the launch is being taken seriously by Washington, which is leading the global response, including at the United Nations where the issue is reportedly considered urgent.

“The United States and other nations may impose unilateral measures, senior administration officials warned. But Pyongyang has ignored such threats before,” wrote CNN’s Josh Lev, who noted the views of George Lopez, a professor with the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, who last year served on a U.N. panel of experts monitoring sanctions already in place against North Korea.

The council’s sanctions committee could, Lopez suggested, add more North Korean entities to the sanctions list, or could also do more to enforce sanctions already in place, for example by increasing inspections of cargo leaving North Korea to ensure no weapons technology is being shipped out.

So what can – and should – the international community do to tighten the screws on a country where already an estimated one-fourth of the country’s 24 million people are malnourished, and where two-thirds rely on government rations to survive?

GPS would like to hear readers’ views on what the U.S. should do next.

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Topics: North Korea

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Hahahahahahaha

    I know!!!!!!!...........I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!..........I know!!!!!!!!!!!.........."Tax cuts for the rich to create jobs in NK!!!!!!!!"

    December 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The US and China should co-operate. Although China has had strong ties with North Korea in the past, it doesn't appreciate erratic, unruly behaviour. Nobody knows where the young Kim is heading. It's possible he was just looking for a publicity coup with the launch. No doubt China wants to continue its tradition with North Korea, which serves as its buffer zone, but it wouldn't like to see a nuclear proliferation in the region, knowing J apan and South Korea won't sit idly by.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • Hahahahahahaha

        No, No, No, No. How many times have we been told............"Tax Cuts For The Rich!!" fixes everything!!!!!!!! Hahahahahaha

        December 14, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Barry G.

        Cooperate with China!

        Are you serious?

        Given the horrific human rights abuses in China, given that they are a totalitarian State, given their horrendous corruption–and you think we should cooperate with and become complicit with them and follow their immoral example?

        That's almost as absurd as saying that we should follow the insane example of North Korea.

        We should never have allowed ourselves to become beholden to China. That was our foolish mistake, and now we must live with this.

        We should be setting a sterling example, which China and the world should follow. Sadly our leaders (both parties) are corrupt. They love bribes—I mean “campaign contributions”.

        December 14, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  2. grandone

    North Korrea is clearly posturing for a fight. Should we shoot one of their missiles down, they would have an excuse to escalate. If we do nothing, they will continue their development of missile technology. Firing a missile into space is one thing. Having the payload tumbling out of control in space shows that all they have is missile capability. We should do nothing.

    December 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  3. planet4589

    Sanctions notwithstanding, if we launch missiles over international waters and in space, we're in no moral position to tell another sovereign country that they can't do the same thing. On the contrary, our goal should be to draw NK into the international regime of law, and that won't happen if they see there is one law for us and another for them.

    December 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  4. Barry G.

    There seems to be little we can do about North Korea, given that we've allowed ourselves to be so beholden to China.

    Allowing ourselves to become so beholden to China and being, therefore, obligated to cowtow to and defer to China's whims and desires was a foolish, foolish mistake.

    We should have never taken a dime from China.

    December 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  5. deniz boro

    I know abouıt noting on the issue

    December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • eric l

      We ave to go there but ho no! No oil we do just help people i am right no viva north america....

      December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  6. Michael

    I feel bad for south korea.

    December 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  7. Mark

    I don't think we should do anything at all – we should stay out of it. Let's just save the money and blood we keep wasting on foreign adventures, and start thinking about our own people for a change.

    As an American, I couldn't care less about countries like North Korea, Israel, Pakistan or Palestine – they are only interested in squeezing whatever they can get from America. I am concerned that our Congressmen seem quite happy to spill the blood of American soldiers for the sake of other countries, but seem so reluctant to serve America itself.

    December 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
    • eric l

      You are soooo dumb but you no right welll maby not!

      December 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Sen Nen

      what is American? some leaders are...

      December 17, 2012 at 3:40 am | Reply
  8. Amir Ali

    Congratulation on successful history of North Korea and Pakistan like o learn same like North Korean n bit open market for investment is marvellous for nation.

    December 14, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  9. Amir Ali

    Sir Rest in Heaven with the peace Mr President of North Korea and God Bless Pentagon with partners Saud Arabia and her Majesty Rest in Heaven with peace Brazil.

    December 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  10. Joshua

    This: http://freekorea.us/2012/04/11/a-new-approach-to-north-korea-contain-constrict-collapse/

    December 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  11. CharlieSeattle

    Duh!...Test the ABM system or the Airborne Laser.

    Screw North Korea or China if they don't like it.

    December 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  12. Eric Song

    I seriously think that North Korea is a failure, and if they're intending to destroy the U.S., the U.S. military should do something about it first. Like for example,the U.S. military spying on the ballistic missile test.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  13. timo

    He is very transparent of his intensions, If someone held a gun to my head and said I will count to ten and pull trigger , I would have 10 seconds to live why do we stand there waiting when we are very well informed , Are we scared of bullies now , Sticks and Stones is not an option here government, Lets take out Kim we can make him a International threat and get rid of him I think the north Korean people starving would rather have a nice healthy life than a quak ruining there chances , Obama lets take him out , You have been warned by him now lets heed the warning he is a punk with big toys ,

    February 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply

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