ZOA: Obama Demands Isolation Of North Korea For Nuclear Threat – But No Such Action On Iran
May 28, 2009


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to a major inconsistency in the approach of the Obama Administration to the nuclear weapons threat posed by North Korea and Iran. In the North Korean case, President Barack Obama has stated explicitly that North Korea is in violation of international law and prior commitments, threatens international peace, will deepen its own isolation and that it is inviting stronger international pressure.  In the Iranian case, however, President Obama, has not stated that the Iranian nuclear program is also in violation of international law and past Iranian commitments and, while stating that it constitutes a grave threat, has not spoken of greater international pressure or isolation, only enhanced negotiations till at least the end of this year and inducements.


Iran is in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory, lied about its program in the past and has defaulted on every deadline demanded by international negotiators for stopping its program.


President Obama’s statements on North Korea’s latest testing of a nuclear weapon:


·         Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law.  It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch.  These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations.  North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security. By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community.  North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia.  Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation.  It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community.  We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead. (‘Statement from the President Regarding North Korea,’ White House, May 25, 2009).

·         “…a blatant violation of international law… [North Korea has] flown in the face of U.N. resolutions and … [is] inviting stronger international pressure … North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons … We will work with our friends and allies to stand up to this behavior. The United States will never waver from our determination to protect our people and the peace and security of the world” (Merrill Hartson, ‘Obama: World must “stand up” to North Korea,’ Yahoo News, May 25, 2009).

·         President Obama reiterated the United State’s unequivocal commitment to the defense of Japan and to maintaining peace and security in Northeast Asia” (‘Readout of the President’s Call with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso,’ May 25, 2009).

·         “President Obama assured President Lee of the unequivocal commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea” (‘Readout of the President’s Call with Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak,’ May 25, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We have here a flat contradiction in President Obama’s attitude and approach to the respective Iranian and North Korean nuclear threats. On the one hand, President Obama has no trouble naming the illegality of the North Korean act and calling for massive international pressure and isolation of North Korea. Yet, when it comes to Iran’s serial violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and international deadlines, we hear only of negotiations and engagement, not pressure and isolation. This is all the more surprising as North Korea has not publicly threatened to use its missiles or destroy an existing state, whereas Iran has called repeatedly for Israel to be wiped off the map and several Iranian leaders past and present have spoken of wiping out Israel.


Ayatollah Khomeini once said, ‘I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.’ Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said, ‘[using] an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.’ And Ahmadinejad never misses an opportunity to say that Israel must be wiped out.


“When one adds to this that President Obama and several high officials in his Administration have spoken of conditioning at least some of what the Administration will do to stop Iran gaining nuclear weapons upon Israel making major concessions to the existing, unreconstructed Palestinian Authority terror regime, we see a false linkage which displays both a lack of logic and hostility to Israel.


“Either Iran poses a major security threat to the U.S. and others, or it doesn’t. If it does – and the President has said that it does – then there can be no reason or logic for the Obama Administration to do less than everything to stop Iran. Let us also not forget that President Obama has repeatedly said he will do ‘everything’ to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power. He should do so regardless of differences with Jerusalem over dealing with the Palestinians and if he doesn’t it will be a monumental dereliction of his duty.”

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