Former vice president Mike Penn said Saturday that the Biden administration should exert “maximum pressure on North Korea , but keep open the possibility for talks with its leader Kim Jong Un, akin to the approach Donald Trump took in engaging the dictator.
“The truth is that weakness arouses evil,” Mr. Pence told dignitaries from South Korea and Japan at a virtual gathering Saturday. He also stressed that America must firmly stand up for allies across Asia in the face of China‘s growing assault on freedom, democracy and human rights.
The former vice president focused mainly on North Korea during a keynote speech hosted by “Think Tank 2022,” an initiative sponsored by The Washington Times Foundation and the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). This international nongovernmental organization is in general consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Mr. Hypertext1_Pence warned the Biden not to revert to “Strategic Patience”, on North Korea — which refers to the years of waffling between the Bush and Obama administrations. During their tenures the Kim regime accumulated its nuclear weapons and intercontinental missile (ICBM), arsenals.
“We launched a maximum pressure campaign right from the beginning of our administration, and we proved that peace can be achieved when America is strong,” he stated. He also said that similar to the “historical” steps the Trump administration made in the Middle East — The Abraham Accords in Middle East — the approach to North Korea strategy showed that “peace followed power .”
” Few people could have imagined that the leaders of the United States, North Korea would sit down to discuss peace,” Mr. Pence stated. “But, at the historic summit held in Singapore, it was possible. Nuclear testing in North Korea was stopped .”
The 2018 Singapore and 2019 Hanoi summits ultimately failed to deliver an agreement for North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons arsenal, and talks have since stalled. Despite Pyongyang’s other provocations and missile tests, the Kim regime has maintained the moratorium on nuclear and ICBM testing that Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim agreed to at the onset the summits.
” The strong stand taken in our administration, followed up by the historic dialogue with President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un, brought an end to nuclear testing and missiles that threaten to resume today, creating instability on the peninsula and around the globe,” stated Mr. Pence .
” With North Korea firing more missiles and expanding its nuclear capabilities, I hope the Biden Administration demonstrates the same strength as our administration, which is what the world needs while building on the progress made towards peace,” he stated.
North Korea recently claimed to have successfully tested long range cruise missiles. Eye-opening images show the North Korean launch of short range ballistic missiles from a train car. The Biden administration has remained largely silent in the face of the provocations, which have rattled U.S. allies South Korea and Japan. While Mr. Biden has kept sanctions on Pyongyang, he has not increased them. The administration also supported joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, which have provoked threats of an escalation by the Kim regime.
Mr. Pence criticised the administration’s security policies on other fronts, including the infamous debacle that surrounded the U.S. withdrawal form Afghanistan. he maintained America’s position as a global leader. The former vice president stated that, “Let’s be clear, despite this disastrous withdrawal by the American Administration from Afghanistan, the American people are absolutely committed to defending allies around Asia and around the globe.” “America will always remain freedom’s greatest champion and liberty’s greatest protector, and the United States military will continue to be the greatest force for good in the world .”
Bucking China‘s bullying
Organizers of “Think Tank 2022” have described it as a virtual think tank focused on solutions to major issues in Northeast Asia. Topics ranging from economics and trade to the role of China and the fate of the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea — a stretch of land that some have suggested as an ideal place for a fifth global United Nations office and a world peace park.
UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon participated in an event officially launching “Think Tank 2022” in May. Mrs. Moon, the widow and heir of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is the leader and founder of the Unification movement, which grew out of the Unification Church The Rev. Moon, a strident anti-communist, founded in 1954 — a year after the war between North and South Korea was frozen by a U.S.-backed armistice. Mrs. Moon and her husband, Mr. They founded The Washington Times in 1982.
Mr. Pence ,, who praised Mrs. Moon, who spoke at Saturday’s event and praised Mrs. At one point, he cited the “encouragement to scripture”. He said, “Let’s not get weary in doing good” and that .”
will be there when it is time to reap the harvest.
In a roughly 30-minute speech, the former vice president also leveled sharp criticism at the communist government in China. He mentioned its violations of human rights and trade, crackdown on democracy and Hong Kong, and aggressive military maneuvers in South China Sea. Also, threats to Taiwan’s island democracy.
Mr. Pence lamented Beijing’s inability to cooperate constructively with Washington on efforts to get North Korea the release of its nuclear weapons, which it has built up over decades of violations U.N. Security Council resolutions. China is a permanent member of the council.
“Now more than ever, the free nations of the world must call upon China to respect human rights, democratic principles, the freedom of navigation and do their part to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he said.
Concerning Hong Kong, he highlighted the case of Jimmy Lai, the 73-year-old entrepreneur, activist and pro-democracy newspaper publisher currently jailed as part of Beijing’s increasing crackdown on what had prior to recent years been a flourishing democracy in the semi-autonomous city-state.
“America must continue to stand with Hong Kong’s people,” Mr. Pence stated.
“Beijing is continuing to seek to bring Hong Kong to heel and make it just like the rest of China,” he said. “The free world must demand justice Jimmy Lai and all those who have suffered for their commitments to democracy
About Taiwan: The former vice president stated that America and its allies in the region should also make it clear they will stand by the people of Taiwan .”
“China is becoming more aggressive towards Taiwan with each passing day and even this week, China issued a new warning to foreign forces after 28 Chinese warplanes violated Taiwan’s air defense zone,” he said.
While Mr. Pence broadly credited the Biden administration with having “renewed our commitment to support Taiwan,” he stressed that “we cannot stand idle in the face of China‘s aggressive military maneuvers, lest Taiwan soon face the same fate as Hong Kong.”
He also said “freedom-loving nations of the world must demand that China come clean about the origins of the coronavirus.”
A ‘brighter future’
“Think Tank 2022” organizers say future events are expected to feature other high-level dignitaries. David Beasley was the U.N. World Food Program’s executive director, which is the largest humanitarian organization in the world, at the launch of the initiative.
Saturday’s event featured panel conversations in which former high-ranking U.S. and South Korean diplomats discussed their views with Mr. Pence.
Japanese Diet member Yoichi Anami and Retired Vice-Admiral Yoji Koda, the former commander in chief of Japan‘s Maritime Self, were among the dignitaries on the Japanese panel. Won-shik Shin, a member of the South Korean National Assembly, and the former Deputy Minister for Unification for Seoul Hyeongseok Kim were also on the South Korean panel.
The American panel featured former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Congressman Dan Burton; Christopher Hill, a former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and Michael Jenkins, the president of UPF International and Chairman of The Washington Times Foundation.
Mr. Pence stated to the group that “despite all the challenges we face in Northeast Asia, I remain optimistic that there is a brighter future for the United States, the Korean people, and our allies in that region, and for all those who stand firm for freedom and security .”
“During our four years of service in the White House, we reaffirmed America’s commitment to support the Republic of Korea, Japan and all of our allies in the region,” he said. “Peace follows strength. I believe that the unwavering commitment of our common defense, our shared values and the final and fully verified demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula is the best path to peaceful unification of Korea within our lifetime