Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea's nuclear test

Well, hardly a surprise.
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There are those blaming George Bush for this.
There are those calling for military action.
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The real answer is China. China has its boot poised above the windpipe of North Korea. Unfortunately, North Korea has a string of grenades wrapped around itself.
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China supplies North Korea with the oil and electricity that enables it to barely function. It could cut these off and the regime could not sustain itself for long.
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However - North Korea would probably pull the pin out of its grenades if this was done and throw them - after all, what would it have to lose? Kim Jong Il and his lackies would face being overthrown and losing everything.
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So it is Cold War - icy cold. Not that it has ever been much better since 1953, nothing much has changed and the nuclear deterrent against North Korea has worked well since then. North Korea will not launch an attack on South Korea or Japan - for China would firmly crush its windpipe making it impossible to sustain conventional warfare. China will do this in exchange for the US NOT using nuclear weapons against North Korea - and frankly, South Korea would agree. However, if North Korea released a nuclear weapon upon South Korea or Japan, there would have to be a similar response in kind to the North.
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No Right Turn thinks the US may take an "idiot response" to this. Well military action against North Korea would be moral if it weren't for the effect of threatening the lives of millions of South Koreans and Japanese.
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Tony Blair on BBC Breakfast TV this morning described North Korea "as a kind of oppression akin to slavery" and he is right. Unlike the BBC which constantly repeats the mantra "we don't really know what it is like there".
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So we have more tension, and probable sanctions against North Korea on arms and trade. How can this end? Well:
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- North Korea announces it is abandoning nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and reducing its military presence by 35% (to the same level as South Korea and US in Korea);
- North Korea announces it is embarking on economic reform to allow private investment and ownership, and "socialism with Korean characteristics";
- North Korea announces it is allowing liberalisation of internal political debate and discussion, and providing amnesty for those in gulags;
- North Korea announces it is seeking normalisation of relations with Japan, South Korea and the USA, in exchange for a formal ending of the Korean War and recognition of the Republic of Korea - this will include a further verifiable reduction in military capability;
- Kim Jong Il and family disappear and spend rest of their days in a compound in China in exchange for a transition of power to a fully elected Supreme People's Assembly.
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OR:
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- Kim Jong Il can be assassinated and succeeded by military generals who announce their intention to embark on a radical reform agenda ala China. You hope.
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Since the US has been useless at political assassinations in recent history, I don't hold out hope for the latter.
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UPDATE 1: The Maori Party's latent Marxism comes to fore again - lamblasting the USA for having a nuclear arsenal - as if it is the same as North Korea. The Maori Party gets its "intelligence" from Greenpeace:
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“If we are to believe Greenpeace - and we have no reason not to - there are over five thousand nuclear weapons in the States alone” said Mr Flavell.
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So does Russia Mr Flavell, but hey never mind, anti-Americanism is "cool" eh bro? I guess the USA should disarm now while North Korea, China and Russia have weapons, along with India and Pakistan, and while Iran is pursuing them.
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Mr Flavell conveniently ignores the slave state conditions of North Korea, maybe because his party secretly admires something about it?
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UPDATE 2 - Keith Locke gets his oar in too, can't resist beating up China and the USA because they haven't made moves to disarm. Is it any bloody wonder? The fact is the world nuclear weapon arsenal has dropped by about two-thirds since the end of the Cold War - because the Soviet Union and its evil empire collapsed. Something Keith Locke might, for once, celebrate as a major contribution to reducing global tensions.
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As long as the means to develop nuclear weapons remains in the world and there remain states interested in aggression against their citizens and neighbours, nuclear weapons should remain. Peace comes from strength - those keen on wiping out the USA wont give up just because the USA has lost a means to deter them from wiping it out!

2 comments:

stef said...

While China's actions have been bad the South has been worse in appeasing North Korea. The sunshine policy might as well be re-named 'pass us the k-y'

libertyscott said...

The motivations of South Korean firms desperately seeking very low cost labour in the North to remain competitive with China probably have something to do with it - meanwhile, the KCNA still calls it the "South Korean puppet clique".