Tags: North Korea | richard haass | sanctions | north korea

Richard Haass: 'Sanctions Aren't the Answer' for NKorea

(MSNBC's "Morning Joe")

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 08:24 AM

There are not many options left when it comes to North Korea, but continued sanctions won't work, given the nature of the country's society, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass said Tuesday.

"North Korea is the most closed society in the world," Haass told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "They're willing to have their people starve, if need be, in order to support their nuclear programs, so sanctions aren't the answer."

North Korea is already stockpiling oil, said Haass, and where cutting off business is concerned, "there have always been outliers, there's black markets, there's gray markets."

That leaves the matter down to a "binary choice," said Haass.

"Either we learn to manage or live with a North Korea that has nuclear weapons on missiles," said Haass, and that could include a combination of deterrence through additional military forces or missile defense, or a pre-emptive strike can be launched.

"We simply say, this has reached an intolerable point, and when we use words like intolerable or unacceptable, we're going to do something," said Haass.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's criticism that South Korea has been appeasing North Korea is a sign that the national security process is "not working," said Haass.

"All focus ought to be on collaborating with South Korea against North Korea," he said. "One of North Korea's strategic aims is to split the United States from South Korea."

Washington Post associate editor and columnist David Ignatius, also on the program, said he believes Trump's comments came because he is frustrated and angry at allies because of the "failure of his own policy."

"We have to remember that in moving last weekend to test, we believe, a hydrogen bomb, to significantly escalate the confrontation between the United States and North Korea, Kim Jong Un rebuffed a very direct diplomatic opening, from the U.S. president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson," said Ignatius.

Kim was credited, he said, for being restrained for not making additional tests, but has "blown right through the scenario the United States was carefully drafting ... last weekend shattered that. So the president, I think, is now scrambling. He always reacts impulsively, I think, to new developments."

Meanwhile, the push for China to increase pressure has resulted in North Korea being pushed to rush faster, and now the country is a nuclear state, Ignatius continued.

Ignatius rejected Haass' opinion that the tension with North Korea has become a binary choice, a term that worries him, because it usually means the choice between going to war or not, with no options in between.

"I think that the question really, is if action is going to be taken to deal with this threat," said Ignatius, or the idea of "simply accommodating" the nuclear threat.

"Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the coolest head in this, is really saying if North Korea attacks us, it will be met with massive response," but stressing the U.S. prefers diplomatic outcomes, said Ignatius.

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There are not many options left when it comes to North Korea, but continued sanctions won't work, given the nature of the country's society, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass said Tuesday.
richard haass, sanctions, north korea
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2017-24-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 08:24 AM
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