Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mondale Supports Strike Against North Korea

Former Vice President Walter Mondale joined the list of people supporting a pre-emptive U.S. strike against a North Korean missile. Mondale said that the United States should tell North Korea to dismantle the missile - and if it doesn't "we are going to take it out." He said the missile would be easy to hit and "I think it would end the nuclear long-range dreams of this dangerous country," said Mondale, who's also a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, in the interview. Mondale, 78, said North Korea already has nuclear weapons and its ambition to develop a long-range missile is "one of the most dangerous developments in recent history." It's so dangerous, he said, because of the nation's isolation from the international community and its unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Il."It is the danger of our time," he said. "Here's this bizarre, hermit kingdom over there with a paranoid leader getting ready to test a missile system that can hit us." The tensions are over North Korea's apparent preparations to test-fire a Taepodong-2 missile, which is believed to have a range of up to 9,300 miles. That would make it capable of hitting much of the U.S. mainland. Former President Clinton's defense secretary, William Perry, advocated such a pre-emptive strike in The Washington Post. But National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley brushed aside Perry's suggestion. Hadley said he hoped that North Korea would see the unanimously negative reaction from the international community to the test and return to the negotiating table.Mondale and President Jimmy Carter took office 1976 and were defeated by Republican Ronald Reagon in 1980. Mondale was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1984, and lost. President Clinton appointed him ambassador to Japan in 1993 and he served as Clinton's special envoy on the Asian financial crisis and economic reforms in Indonesia five years later. He's currently practicing law in Minneapolis.