BRIEF REMARKS AND ROBUST ROUND-UP ON NORTH KOREA
This post was prompted by a pleasant debate
I am having with Cheryl "CKR" Rofer
over at Whirledview
, who unlike most bloggers, actually has professional experience with nuclear weapons issues. A fairly methodical and seemingly nonpartisan history of North Korean nuclear activities up until 2002, can be found at NITI: Country Overview: North Korea Profile
First my remarks:
The DPRK has just been sanctioned by the UNSC
for its renegade nuclear test. The sanctions are trivial and mild but still noteworthy for securing, for the first time, the assent of China and Russia in punishing Pyongyang. The ire in Beijing over Kim Jong-Il's latest gesture of defiance must have been quite significant, as the Chinese government also permitted unflattering horror stories from the North Korean border
to reach the Western press, something the Chinese government normally would suppress. North Korea, the most isolated and hellish regime on earth, has managed to discover a whole new lower level of global detestation.
But to my mind, not yet low enough.
The answer to the North Korean threat, other than a a blockade, is a new security structure for the Far East, modelled on Euro-Atlantic institutions, ultimately morphing into an Asian NATO
that includes the United States. This solution, aside from create a concert ofnations to deal with Pyongyang, has the utility of killing multiple birds with one stone including incipient Sino-Japanese, Korean-Japanese, Sino-American and the existing Indo-Pakistani arms races. The more erratic and destabilizing the nuclear activities of North Korea, the more attractive a formal regional security relationship will seem in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and New Delhi.
Like the crazy loner on a neighborhood block who has been threatening his community for years with a gun only to have it be inconveniently be discovered by neighbors that the gun is unloaded, North Korea's failed nuclear test has confirmed to the world that the regime is both malevolently intentioned and incompetent. In another era, the phrase would have been " paper tiger".
The Bush administration should press the issue while North Korea has offended its last patron, alarmed adjacent countries and is enduring a serious loss of face. China and South Korea fear to be left " holding the bag" in the advent of a regime collapse in the DPRK and a subsequent humanitarian catastrophe as North Koreans attempt to flee en masse. We should make clear that managing the North Korean problem is not confined to nuclear weapons but is designed for sharing the burden resulting from any implosion. We might find more willing partners that way.BLOGGERS AND PAPERS ON NORTH KOREA:American Future
, Glittering Eye
, Thomas P.M. Barnett
, Josh Manchester
, Armchair Generalist
, Rebecca MacKinnon
, The Useless Tree
, Sun Bin
, The Asia Pages
, Washington Post
, New York Times
, Don Surber
, Duck of Minerva
, Captain Ed
, Steve DeAngelis