Dong or Nodong

The test was a success because it was conducted

Those who point out that the long-range Taepodong-2 missile failed because it dropped into the sea less than a minute after it was launched miss the entire point of North Korea’s missile tests. And those who believe that it lacks compact nuclear warheads that can be fitted onto its missiles overlook reports that indicate that Pakistan transferred shrink-wrapped warheads to North Korea in return for missile technology.

Kim Jong Il has reminded the United States that he remains capable of (and inclined to) destabilising East Asia and for that reason must be indulged. America is thus confronted with a challenge— to punish him and retain its international credibility or to indulge him at the risk of weakening it. China’s situation is more complex. It benefits from North Korea’s continued relevance as the paw that torments the United States in East Asia, but it loses its credibility as an interlocutor with any influence over Pyongyang. Japan is likely to wring its hands and perhaps end up with the more hawkish candidate to succeed Prime Minister Koizumi. And South Koreans have little choice but to live with it.

What’s that again about the most dangerous place in the world?

2 thoughts on “Dong or Nodong”

  1. Good point. But yes, the problem is that there is nothing much US can do about it. The key is China, unless and until it gives up its support of the North Korean regime we are destined to live with it.

  2. China doesn’t care about being the interlocutor here…this is such a wonderful situation for the Chinese…it scares the crap out of the Japanese, annoys the Americans and pisses off other neighbors in SE Asia…this is like the little wart that itches and after scratching causes joy to some and blood to others…i think the stars have come together for the Chinese like the heavens never dreamt possible….the Pakis to annoy the Indians, the weak Indians who don’t whimper about Tibet, a weak India-China border that can be tweaked anytime to create trouble for the Indians, plenty of Island disputes from Russia to the Phillipines that keeps these little pesky nations on tenter hooks..(yes Russia is pesky and little – remove the oil and the slavs have nothing) net net N. Korea is good for the Chinese yes and Japan…er future generations will be talking about the historic rise and fall of a race called the Japanese that stopped breeding and was then occupied by Han Chinese and Filipino labor.

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