Just Another Guy with Opinions

North Korea goes Nuclear

Posted by shadmia on October 19, 2006


Maps courtesy of used with permission.


President Bush promised a “A grave consequence” to North Korea if it tried to export nuclear weapons to either Iran or Al-Qaida. At this point I think it is pretty clear that the US has very limited options with regards to North Korea. A military strike seems to be out of the question, if for no other reason than it shares a border with China. The Chinese would not take kindly to any kind of display of American Power on its doorsteps. For this same reason an armed invasion of the country is even less likely.

So what are the “grave consequences” that the President is talking about? A blockade? An embargo? none of which is likely to have any effect without the active participation of the Chinese. China has displayed concern over the actions of North Korea but has essentially done nothing to punish them. In fact China is the one country that could choke the economic life out of North Korea and has been reticent to even vote for sanctions against its neighbor and trading partner.

When you refuse to engage in direct talks with your enemy you limit severely what options you have to influence its behavior. This is the position that America finds itself in. North Korea has been asking for direct talks with the US for years now but to no avail. Bush has refused to deal one on one with them. He has blessed multinational talks which have gone nowhere and have resulted in North Korea testing a nuclear bomb.

In fact America has helped North Korea with the technology and hardware to develop nuclear armaments. The following video implicates Donald Rumsfeld as a director of a company that sold nuclear reactors to North Korea. Now North Korea has the dubious distinction of belonging to two very elite clubs…..The “Axis of Evil Club” and the “Nuclear Weapons Club“.

In reality there is nothing much anyone (except maybe China) can do or say that will have an impact on the decisions that North Korea makes. It is already an isolated, poor country. What can you take away from someone who has nothing?

The real question is what lessons will other countries learn (especially Iran) from this? Has the US lost much of its influence in the world and will this experience cause others to wonder why it is not in their best national interest to pursue the development of nuclear weapons technology? Is this the beginning of a new nuclear arms race?

nkorea-flag.jpg china-flag.jpg us-flag.jpg


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