…when two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea return to the United States after a visit from a high-profile politician, but no one seems to make a fuss when a bona fide American wacko is released by the Burmese after swimming, inspired by a vision, to Aung San Suu Kyi’s house? Can’t Jim Webb get any props?
More foolhardy North Korea spitballing, this time from Greg Sheridan in The Australian, via Real Clear World:
Investment in missile defence is another precaution dictated by North Korea’s nuclear delinquency and here Obama foolishly is pulling back from Bush’s position. Missile defence, ineffective against large numbers of missiles, does have a good chance of working against a couple of missiles launched by a rogue regime.
Because an elaborate missile defense system in the Czech Republic will do wonders in intercepting short-range nuclear weapons launched from North Korea to Japan.
Fortunately, Michael O’Hanlon is around to tell us what to do in worst-case scenarios that even he admits are unlikely. With North Korea, he sees two options: either Pyongyang agrees to give up its nuclear program (uhh…has he been paying attention?), or…the terrorists will get it!
We might, for example, discover that North Korea had made contacts with a terrorist organization to explore the possible sale of plutonium (or even an assembled nuclear bomb). This scenario is unlikely – probably less likely, in fact, than a successful negotiation to dismantle the North Korean nuclear arsenal. But it cannot be dismissed.
And dismiss it O’Hanlon does not. He spends the next seven paragraphs describing the military procedures for enforcing the “quarantine” that will unlikely be required. This is the only insight in O’Hanlon’s piece beyond the realization that it’s “tough to deal with the North Koreans.” Maybe he should stick with informing us when things are going badly in bad places in the world.
An odd choice of geographical description from NYT‘s David Sanger:
The sanction has never been enforced, partly because of concerns that it could escalate hostilities with North Korea, the poorest and least predictable state in Northeast Asia. [emphasis mine]
In Northeast Asia? I’d venture that North Korea takes the cake for poorest and least predictable state out of a group larger than just China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia (and okay, maybe Mongolia). But, um, yes, that is the correct quadrant of the correct continent in which North Korea is poor and unpredictable.
(image from flickr user earthhopper under a Creative Commons license)
“The satellite is transmitting the melodies of the immortal revolutionary paeans ‘Song of Gen. Kim Il Sung’ and ‘Song of Gen. Kim Jong Il’ as well as measurement data back to Earth,” [Korean Central News Agency] said, referring to the country’s late founder and his son, the current leader.
I think tracking pirates is a much more worthwhile endeavor.
(hat tip: Nathan Hodge at DangerRoom)
What do you do if you’re part of the ruling cadre of a notoriously closed dictatorship, the “Dear Leader” who has ruled over the country for decades is incapacitated, or perhaps even dead, but you are determined to keep up your impoverished country’s Orwellian façade, conveying both its military might and the continued good health of its immortal autocrat?