Tags: Castro-Cuba | Exclusive Interviews | Iran | MidPoint | North Korea | War on Terrorism | Joshua Katz

Ex-CIA Officer: Time to Give North Korea the Cuba Treatment

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 07:47 PM

North Korea has spent even more time than Cuba being ostracized by the United States, and with similarly futile results, says a former CIA officer who argued on Newsmax TV on Monday that more openness toward the secretive Stalinist regime in Pyongyang is required.

Citing a policy of enmity dating to 1950 "that has yielded nothing except for a nuclear North Korea," Joshua Katz told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that it's time to bring the hermit kingdom "into the modern era" with a dose of Americanism, not more sanctions against the alleged cyber-attackers.

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"I'd like to say we need to embrace them with our capitalism," said Katz, a partner with the Enright Group, a global intelligence consulting firm, and a former adviser to the House Committee on Homeland Security.

"We can't negotiate with a North Korea that is constantly behaving in an irrational manner," said Katz. "We have seen that our tactics in the past haven't worked, so let's go after North Korea and let's hug them with our capitalism and our democracy."

Katz argued that President Barack Obama's surprise opening to Cuba in December, ending more than five decades of mutual estrangement, provides a template for managing another hostile communist country with a cult of personality surrounding its leadership.

But Obama is not likely to go that route, he added.

"The administration is trying to really wait out North Korea, try to get rid of this and put this off their table," said Katz. "We're seeing that also with Iran . . . [W]ith their sanctions and with the talks, which aren't really going anywhere, it's more of a waiting game."

The problem, said Katz, is that current U.S. policies are not making the world safer but are pushing enemies such as Iran and North Korea closer to one another.

"We need new tactics here," said Katz.

Katz also discussed the latest military advances by Boko Haram, the radical Islamist group whose spread in Nigeria is becoming reminiscent of the Islamic State's rampage through Iraq and Syria.

"At what point do you consider them to be an imminent threat to us, and then do you take action when it's probably too late at that point?" said Katz.

"This administration . . . really shows how short-sighted they are right now with terrorism," he said.

While first lady Michelle Obama tweeted her support for the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, Katz said that "as soon as the public eye is off" the White House policy "quickly changes or their action really dwindles."

He said that whether dealing with the Islamic State or Boko Haram, anything less than a commitment to complete annihilation of the enemy doesn't work. The "containment strategy" in effect against the Islamic State, for example, is "just staving off the problem," said Katz.

"This just pushes it further down the road until American lives are put on the line," he said.

"We really have to destroy them," said Katz. "But in order to not get ourselves entangled in every corner of the world all at once, we should handle them swiftly and decisively one at a time."

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North Korea has spent even more time than Cuba being ostracized by the United States, and with similarly futile results, says a former CIA officer who argued on Newsmax TV Monday that more openness toward the secretive Stalinist regime in Pyongyang is required.
Joshua Katz, North Korea, Iran, policies, failed
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Monday, 05 Jan 2015 07:47 PM
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