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Back from the brink: North Korea retreats, for now

August 17. 2017 12:50AM

North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un has backed off his threat to launch missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam.

As far as we know, the United States did not have to fly a jumbo jet filled with cash to Pyongyang to get him to do so.

De-escalation of the tense missile standoff is a victory for the Trump administration, and great news for the whole world.

For decades, North Korea’s ruling family has provoked the world with its military and nuclear ambitions. Such saber rattling is designed both to deter foreign governments from finally taking out the fascist regime, and to extort as much foreign aid as possible.

The latest provocation came as North Korea has stepped up its ballistic missile program. Its retreat had less to do with President Donald Trump’s bellicose tweets, and more to do with the strong, clear message conveyed by the entire White House national security team.

Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley made sure that Kim knew any missile fired at the United States would be considered an act of war, triggering a military response. A nation unwilling to respond to aggression invites more aggression.

Trump effectively used China to leverage North Korea. He should be basking in the glow of a foreign policy success.

Instead, he’s making excuses for alt-right extremists. He’ll blame the media. But it is Trump’s own fault that he lacks the discipline to get out of his own way.

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