Desperate times call for desperate columns. That was my initial reaction to the column we posted yesterday by my hero, Charles Krauthammer, on North Korea. For those who missed it, Krauthammer urged that we threaten China with a nuclear Japan if China does not help us squeeze North Korea into abandoning its nuclear project. But does Japan have any desire to acquire nuclear weapons? I’m not aware that they do. And would the threat of a nuclear Japan be enough to fundamentally alter Chinese policy? That’s not clear to me either.
Not that I have a better answer. One thing we shouldn’t do, though, is release vessels carrying North Korean missiles and nucelar technology bound for places like Yemen, when he are lucky enough to intercept them on the high seas. Here, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, my former law colleagues, argue on National Review Online that seizing such cargo is justified not only by geopolitical imperatives, but probably by international law as well. According to Rivkin and Casey, seizing the scuds would have been improper only if they were intended only for Yemen (with whom we are not at war) and not for Al Qaeda. Since it is far from clear that this was the case, Rivkin and Casey contend that we should have seized the cargo and then offered Yemen the opportunity to prove, in a U.S. court, that the scuds belonged to it, and it alone.
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