Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s dictator, has taken his country off the deep end. While we were enjoying beer and brats over the holiday weekend, the Communist regime successfully tested a nuclear bomb. Not satisfied with just that, North Korea launched two test missiles, one a surface-to-air and the other a surface-to-ship. So, in two days, North Korea demonstrated it was now a member of the nuclear club and that it had a delivery capability. With Iran’s nuclear huffing and puffing, North Korea’s actions underscore the axis of evil concept.
Naturally, there was world outrage and the UN Security Council condemned the tests. So, why did North Korea conduct the atomic explosion? How about proof of concept or negotiating position? Or maybe just just mocking Obama. The proof-of-concept ties into what is probably the larger concern, however. North Korea probably won’t use nukes on South Korea; China probably wouldn’t stand for that. But, North Korea could sell the technology, which is probably the bigger concern.
Since the tests, South Korea signed on to the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative. North Korea called it an act of war and said it’s no longer bound by the 1953 armistice. Kinda seems to prove the point, doesn’t it?
Although the level of commitment is less clear, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council denounced North Korea’s actions. Big woopie do! No better than Secretary of State Clinton’s comment “there are consequences.”
Ever the spoiled brat, North Korea said sanctions would trigger “further self-defense measures”. There is discussion about the effectiveness of sanctions, considering average North Koreans are practically starving and living in abject poverty. The key is to employ effective sanctions; there are some.
There’s been much huffing and puffing on the situation, including claims North Korea’s test was inconclusive. There’s been no shortage of North Korean rhetoric and calls for tougher sanctions. At least it seems China and Russia are in agreement this time. It sure took them long enough to realize what a nutjob Kim Jong-Il is and how out of control Pyongyang is.