From Korean DMZ Mike Pence Threatens War: ‘The Era of Strategic Patience is Over’

Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit Monday to the demilitarized zone, or DMZ on the border of North and South Korea to deliver what Fox News is calling a “fiery message.”

The VP turned his back to North Korean border guards to tell CNN’s Dana Bash that,

“We’re going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience. But we’re going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably.”

“[Strategic patience] was the policy of the United States of America during prior administrations to practice what they called strategic patience, that was to hope to martial international support to bring an end to the nuclear ambitions and the ballistic missile program of North Korea. that clearly ahs failed and the advent of nuclear weapons testing and development of a nuclear program…all confirms the fact that strategic patience has failed.”

Bash asked what it means to say that policy has ended and Pence explained,

“We’re going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience but we’re going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea.

“Our hope is that we can resolve this situation peaceably. And I know the President was heartened by his discussions with President Xi (Jinping). We’ve seen China begin to take some actions to bring pressure on North Korea but there needs to be more.”

Pence went on to add that,

“Resolving this issue requires all relevant parties, especially parties that bear major responsibility and play a key role in this issue, to work in the same direction and make a joint effort.”

In case you’re wondering what this means with regard to some sort of U.S. policy, Sarah Kendzior offers an answer:

Sure, Pence paid lip-service to diplomacy in talking to Bash, but what he said during an appearance with acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday shows he’s thinking more in terms of stick than carrot:

“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.

“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”

The meaning is pretty clear. North Korea will make nice or Donald Trump will give them another example of his “resolve.”

We can joke about Trump’s resolve to distract people from his Russia scandal, or at the image of Kim Jong-un trembling at the loss of an airfield for less than a day, or even at Trump dropping the mother of all bombs in a remote mountain valley that contained the blast and killed less than 100 enemy combatants.

However, Kim Jong-un seems unimpressed so far with either China or Trump’s admonitions to make nice. The threat of war is nothing to joke about, and that is where Trump’s careless saber-rattling could be leading us.