October 08, 2006
North Korea Goes Nuclear
North Korea says they tested a nuke. The USGS is calling it a 4.2 earthquake. "Light" by earthquake standards. Right now, we have to figure out if they're telling the truth. There was some event noticed by seismographs [also here, here, here, here, and here]around North Korea. Whether it was a nuclear test or not we'll have to wait and see. Geologists will have to study the p-waves and the s-waves to confirm the test.
Let's assume the North Koreans did it. They said they would, and why should we think they wouldn't? They weren't getting enough attention from only threatening to perform a test. Now it's kind of hard to ignore a fruitcake with a real, live nuke. I'd like to know how many North Koreans had to starve so Kim Jong Il could have his new, super-powered weapon? The starving masses will be pleased that "It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability." Excuse me while I boil some tree bark soup to sympathize with their oppression.
The ball's in China's court. If they don't mind Kim Jong Il having nukes then they'll do nothing. And if that happens Japan will certainly have to build a defensive nuclear arsenal of their own which won't make Bejing happy.
"North Korea Says Nuclear Test Successful"
"Report: North Korea Tests Nuke; Update: Confirmed?"
"Norks Already Tested a Nuke? (Update: One Administration Official Confirms)"
UPDATE: Stop the ACLU went link-crazy so check him out for lots of reaction.
I'm uncomfortable with North Korea having a real, live nuke, but only difference is we now know it works. When India and Pakistan developed nukes I know many thought South Asia would be the next place for a nuclear war. It hasn't happened yet. Maybe there's something about possessing a weapon so destructive a leader becomes extremely wary of using it. One can argue that the U.S and U.S.S.R. didn't go to war because both sides knew it could quickly come to a nuclear holocaust.
There are two big problems with North Korea having nukes. The first is we don't know how rational Kim Jong Il is. If all he wants to do is live and stay in control of his communist state then he can be deterred. If he's a paranoid nutball then I'd start making plans for building fallout shelters. Second, he could pass on a nuke or its technology to terrorists. But even if terrorists succeeded in a nuclear attack on the U.S. the trail would eventually come back to Pyongyang.
If anything this will push Japan futher to build its military especially missile defense and could push them to build a nuclear arsenal of its own. That won't please Bejing.
UPDATE II: Cambodia doesn't approve of North Korea's test but doesn't want to do anything about it.del.icio.us | Digg it | Furl | reddit | Spurl | Yahoo MyWeb
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 11:54 PM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (1)
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