The Duck of Minerva

Belligerence 101: North Korea options

3 June 2010

First, from the archives: Vice President Dick Cheney was quoted by Hamish McDonald, “Cheney’s tough talking derails negotiations with North Korea,” Sydney Morning Herald, December 22, 2003:

The Knight-Ridder newspaper chain said a senior official had quoted Mr Cheney as telling the meeting: “I have been charged by the President with making sure that none of the tyrannies in the world are negotiated with. We don’t negotiate with evil; we defeat it.”

Next, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this past week, as quoted on May 27, 2010:

“This was an unacceptable provocation by North Korea and the international community has a responsibility and a duty to respond,” Mrs Clinton said, after talks with her South Korean counterpart, Yu Myung Hwan. “We cannot turn a blind eye to belligerence and provocation. We will stand with you in this difficult hour and will stand with you always.”

The Times of London journalist Richard Lloyd Parry helpfully added that “she failed to specify any concrete measures, underlining how few options short of full-scale war were available in dealing with the North.”