North Korea has vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, hours ahead of a U.N. vote on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.
Tuesday’s nuclear test by North Korea poses major new questions about the sustainability of President Barack Obama’s first-term policy of “strategic patience” in dealing with Pyongyang.
North Korea, which conducted its third nuclear test Monday, is following closely in the heavy footsteps of Israel as one of the world's most intransigent nations, ignoring Security Council resolutions and defying the international community.
Soon after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, hundreds of leaders of the global medical community wrote an open letter to him, and to newly elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to make the abolition of nuclear weapons their highest priority:
We are currently witnessing the worst features of the state system: trading insults and threats, sanctions, readiness to use extreme violence, forward deployment of U.S. troops in Israel as hostages to guarantee U.S. involvement in a possible war, disregard for common people and the effects of warfare in the Middle East and the world.