Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:19 AM

North Korea to The World: Nuke off!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

President Obama led a chorus of world leaders hurling patently meaningless condemnation at North Korea yesterday after it launched a long-range missile/satellite into space. Never mind that the only thing newsworthy about this launch is that (after the fifth, brazen attempt) it appears to have been successful.

Moreover, all indications are that the only danger North Korea poses is the irrational fear of imminent nuclear attack it incites every time it test-fires one of its missiles. Never mind that the United States possesses (and can fortify its regional allies with) anti-ballistic missile defenses that could neutralize any such attack.

So instead of stoking such fears, Obama should convene a coalition of the willing among Asia-Pacific countries (APEC) to forge agreement on the following resolution, which, significantly, would not be subject to UN-style veto by any country (namely, China or Russia):


  • Recognizing that the United Nations is unable or unwilling to stop North Korea from violating its resolutions (most notably, res. 1718 against conducting nuclear tests or launching ballistic missiles) with impunity;
  • Finding that these violations pose an untenable threat to the Asia-Pacific region;

Resolves that:

  1. Instead of continuing the feckless practice of bribing North Korea with cash, oil and food to get it to stop these violations, APEC shall henceforth impose the severest possible sanctions, unilaterally;
  2. If, either as a result of misfire or deliberate intent, any of North Korea’s missiles even threatens any APEC country, the United States shall lead the bombardment of all of its nuclear and missile facilities until they are incapable of even setting off firecrackers, let alone launching nuclear missiles.

All else is folly.

Which is why, instead of writing another commentary on this latest North Korea vs. The World Kabuki dance, I shall suffice to reprise the one I wrote exactly seven months ago (on April 13, 2012). I think you’ll find it every bit as relevant and instructive today (in every respect) as it was back then.


North Korea Commanding World Attention … Again


When you hear President Obama issuing his cease and desist statement to North Korea about testing its missile this week, just bear this is mind:

The only thing newsworthy about this statement is that it is almost identical to the one he issued last month in response to similar tests this hermit kingdom conducted.

Moreover, Obama could well have been reading from the statements his predecessors, Bush and Clinton, issued in response to the nuclear brinkmanship North Korea played on them throughout their respective presidencies. After all, for decades now, the bilateral relationship between this little country and ‘the world’s sole superpower’ has consisted of this improbable tail-wagging-the-dog phenomenon.

(“North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Wagging the U.S. Dog … Again,” The iPINIONS Journal, May 26, 2009)

More to the point:

I could barely contain my stupefaction at President Obama and world leaders for wasting time at their summit to fix the global financial crisis to warn Kim that playing with nuclear missiles is not the way to win friends and influence people.

After all, the record clearly shows that his pathology is such that dire warnings from perceived enemies only embolden Kim’s unruly behavior. Not to mention that these warnings never amount to anything more than hollow words…

The best way to deal with Kim is to let him test fire his missiles without making it seem like an existential threat to the world. Especially since North Korea has the same sovereign right the United States has to test its missiles … and he’ll do so anyway despite (or to spite) global protestations.

Of course, if he does the unthinkable (i.e. attacks another country or even attempts to sell nuclear weapons to terrorists), then I’m sure Obama will have no difficulty amassing a coalition of the willing, including the Chinese, to take out his little hermit kingdom.

(“North Korea…Calling the World’s Bluff … Again,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 4, 2009)

Obviously, I wrote the above about a North Korea led by the recently deceased Kim Jong-il whose domestic policy amounted to little more than manufacturing conventional weapons to fight a war with South Korea that ended almost 60 years ago, and whose foreign policy amounted to nothing more than building nuclear weapons to extort (from the United States and other countries) everything from oil to run his military industrial complex and food to feed the privileged among his starving people.

But I could have written the same about a North Korea led by the father (Kim II-sung) who preceded him just as easily as I could write the same about a North Korea now being led by the son (Kim Jong-un) who succeeded him.

This is a country whose military recently had to lower the minimum required height for its soldiers to 4 feet, 9 inches because of chronic malnutrition, the Los Angeles Times reports. One-third of North Korean children are believed to be ‘permanently stunted’ because of a lack of food. Additionally, Amnesty International has reported that crippling food shortages have forced malnourished North Koreans to eat grass and tree bark just to survive.

(The Atlantic Wire, April 12, 2012)

Therefore, you might wonder why North Korea is not just spending hundreds of millions to launch this rocket to “monitor weather patterns,” but also forfeiting over 240,000 tons of food aid from the United States to do so. Well, its perverse calculation is that a successful launch will give it a much stronger hand to extort (with threats to attack the South or sell nukes to terrorists) tons more money and food when it returns to the negotiating table for patently disingenuous talks about dismantling its nuclear program. And, past being prologue, it is right.

Meanwhile, it is surreal enough that Cuba has survived for 50 years with an economy stuck in 1962 (the year of the U.S. embargo). It is even more so that North Korea has thrived for 60 with an economy stuck in 1953 (the year the Korean War ended).

This is why, despite all of the worldwide Sturm und Drang now surrounding Baby Kim’s testing of yet another missile, it all smacks of a groundhog-day spectacle not worthy of any further or new comment.


Missile test bombs

The following only affirms my dismissive take on this spectacle:

For the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, who completed the last step in his hurried ascension to power in Pyongyang on Friday, his government’s failure to put a satellite into orbit is a $1 billion humiliation.

Mr. Kim wanted to mark his ascension to top political power — timed with the country’s biggest holiday in decades, the 100th birthday of his grandfather and North Korean founder, Kim Il-sung — with fireworks, real and symbolic. And the launching of its Kwangmyongsong, or ‘Bright Shining Star,’ satellite was the marquee event.

On Friday, the satellite disintegrated in a different kind of fireworks. The rocket carrying it exploded mid-air about one minute after the liftoff, according to American, South Korean and Japanese officials.

(New York Times, April 13, 2012)

This gives a whole new meaning to the term, minute man, eh?

But Baby Kim is only twenty-something and this was his first time. So instead of reveling in his embarrassment, I say we pat him on the head, let him know that every man suffers the premature “explosion” of his missile at this age, and assure him that things will get better.

Otherwise, this little jerk might really go ballistic and launch sure-fire missiles into South Korea in a cataclysmic attempt to prove his manhood.

Related commentaries:
North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Wagging the U.S. Dog
North Korea …calling the world’s bluff
Kim Jong il … is dead


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