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North Korea: If there isn’t enough going on in the Middle East to suit you ...
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dear Leader may be getting ready to test a nuclear weapon.
There is new evidence that North Korea may be preparing for an underground test of a nuclear bomb, U.S. officials told ABC News.

"It is the view of the intelligence community that a test is a real possibility," said a senior State Department official.

A senior military official told ABC News that a U.S. intelligence agency has recently observed "suspicious vehicle movement" at a suspected North Korean test site.

The activity includes the unloading of large reels of cable outside P'unggye-yok, an underground facility in northeast North Korea. Cables can be used in nuclear testing to connect an underground test site to outside observation equipment. The intelligence was brought to the attention of the White House last week.

Even before this most recent intelligence, there has been growing concern within the U.S. government that North Korea has been moving toward a nuclear test. North Korea is believed to have enough nuclear material to build as many as a dozen nuclear bombs, but it has never tested one. A successful test would remove any doubt that North Korea is a nuclear power.

"What does he have to lose?" asked one senior military official, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Well exactly. And since he's obviously been ignored way to long by the rest of the world, what better way to again gain their attention again than to demonstrate again why totalitarian regimes run by whack jobs shouldn't have nuclear weapons.

If you think Japan was a little upset with the missile tests, wait till NoKo boy pops a nuke.
Some analysts believe Kim Jong Il may feel the only way to be taken seriously is to prove that North Korea is a nuclear power. Officials acknowledge that nobody really knows Kim Jong Il's intentions, but there is a belief among analysts that he is upset about the recent U.N. resolution condemning his missile tests and upset with the Chinese for supporting that resolution.
So, if you're mad at China and don't believe you're being taken seriously enough, the way to make your point is to explode an atomic weapon?

Makes sense to DL, I guess.
Asked what the United States would do in response to a nuclear test, a senior U.S. official told ABC News, "We would try to hermetically seal the hermit kingdom."

The official said the United States would immediately push for sanctions to cut North Korea's ties to the outside world. Another possible option would be a naval blockade of North Korea.

But it is unclear how effective such efforts would be. North Korea is already the most isolated country in the world.
Yeah, that'll work. NoKo's land border is with China and Russia, two notorious friends of the US. It would be as effective as the Cuban Embargo and just as silly.

So Commenting Corps ... what should be the reaction to a nuclear test in NoKo? From the US? From the rest of the world? China? Japan? South Korea?

Personally I'd be all about getting the Japanese riled up enough to want to take a more active military role in the area. That might spur China into some sort of action against NoKo. The last thing China wants is a military rival in the area, and it knows full well that if given enough provocation, the Japanese could indeed become exactly that.

International affairs: never a dull moment. And possibly several involving bright flashes.
 
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Don’t discourage the Japanese when they start making noises about a nuclear arsenal of their own. That would probably be enough to get China off the dime.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
If I’m not mistaken, no country has ever had a failed, first test of a nuke.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, eh?

Can’t comment on what we should do. I’m getting to the point where I’d be happy with a couple of salted bombs placed strategically around the globe, but that’s me beind cynical.
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
I don’t think encouraging Japanese military expansion is a good idea, certainly not in this paradigm. The Chinese and the Japanese are suspicious-to-hostile of each other, and Japan has little leverage on China. I think japanese military buildup would lead to massive Chinese defense spending increases (they’re certainly only spending the barest fraction of what they could be spending), a hardened *defense* of North Korea as a proxy weapon, and an East Asian mini-cold war that could undo the most progressive region of the globe in the past half-century.

It’s not just China that remains suspicious of Japansese military expansion. There are a lot of old memories and wounds from the Big War that never quite psychologically healed.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I know this is going to make me sound like a nut: North Korea having nukes isn’t going to be tenable to anyone in the region. I find it possible that if Japan strongly reacts, we could see news reports of how the NoKos managed to fumble their new nuclear football and detonate one on themselves. The conspiracy-minded would debate who had actually done it yet never really know.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Pakistan, I seem to recall, had a failed first test. In fact, I seem to remember that they had something like three fizzles before they got the design right.

If I were in charge, we would probably make some diplomatic noises, and get UN sanctions in place, but basically give him nothing, not even much attention other than the normal diplomatic expressions of sad regret. In fact, I would not have anyone more senior than a press secretary even talking about it unless directly asked, in which case, I would play it down: "We already knew they had developed nuclear weapons. Now they have one fewer. It is a shame that their brinksmanship will probably push nations that would otherwise be inclined not to do so, to develop nuclear weapons of their own." Meanwhile, I’d clamp down hard on their finances and trade, and suggest to China, quietly, that we there is a nation in the area that has approached us about nuclear weapons programs in response, and unless China cuts their border crossings and stops supplying anything to North Korea we would of course be inclined to assist our allies with whatever technical services they needed to do so.

That might, just might, be enough to get China to cut the border, and if that happens, Kim Jong-Il is toast in less than a year: he cannot survive without China. He gives up his nukes, or gives up his country and to an invasion, or gives up his life to a coup. (Personally, I would be hoping for one of the first two: a coup could result in nukes getting sold abroad, with all kinds of horrible consequences.)

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I think we should put together a nice incentive package for KJI to stop his nuclear program. It would include the following.

1 week visit to the playboy mansion
A recording contract
Guest host at the grammy awards
A tour of graceland
Procuction of one of his plays on broadway
And a trip to disney world

If we get GB in on the plan then maybe they can get a set of autographed elton john sunglasses for him.

Although this is meant to be sarcastic if you ever read anything about KJI would probably find that this would appeal more to him than anything else that has been offered.


 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
Japan has little leverage on China
Not quite...Japan is a regional economic powerhouse, and could field a navy that could be a serious strategic threat to China.
I don’t think encouraging Japanese military expansion is a good idea, certainly not in this paradigm. The Chinese and the Japanese are suspicious-to-hostile of each other, and Japan has little leverage on China. I think japanese military buildup would lead to massive Chinese defense spending increases (they’re certainly only spending the barest fraction of what they could be spending), a hardened *defense* of North Korea as a proxy weapon, and an East Asian mini-cold war that could undo the most progressive region of the globe in the past half-century


Maybe, maybe not. The cold war worked once before you know :)

Personally, I bet the Chinese pressure Idiot Leader into calling it off. NK may be a proxy of China but there is no way in hell that the Chicoms actually want this idiot with nukes right next to them. It’s not in their interests.....they walk a fine line here
 
Written By: SHARK
URL: http://
MAC: I suggest we add a PGA Tour card. I hear KJI has mad skills.
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
Observations:

1. China has long been NORKy’s Big Daddy. Bailed them out, keep them going...always on the premise that the NORKs are a semi-autonomous satellite of the Middle Kingdom. As will all of Korea once it is unified. But for now in return for China’s largess and sacrifice in past conflict the NORKs are expected to have deep respect and listen diligently to Big Daddy and not screw Big Daddy’s life up....their job was to screw other’s lives up.

But a nuke detonation would be a colossal loss of face for China. Figuratively dribbling NORK spittle off the nose type loss of face. That might lead China to save face by cutting the lifeline.

2. Besides Japan, S Korea and Taiwan have the ability to go nuclear in under 24 months.

3. And a nuke N Korea would completely trash the S Korean engagement policy.

4. A N Korea that threatens to sell the bomb to terrorists or a regional power is is a nation that might get 750,000 degrees hotter.

5. Japan re-militarization might upset China enough to threaten begger nation America to stop it or else China will go with calling all the hundreds of billions 200 billion a year surplus trade dollars and dollars in T-bill notes Bush groveled to them to get - so he could fund his corporate welfare, 13 trillion Big Pharma subsidy plan, and tax cuts for the wealthy.

It is possible the end result of a NORK nuke could be China collapsing our debtor nation currency, go with Euros, and suffer modest droppage in trade for the pleasure of seeing both the NORKs and the USA on their knees and humbled.

Other fun scenarios exist. The idiot Chavez could show up offering a fission bombs for oil deal, forcing us to blow away that moron. The Philippines could get all friendly to the US again watching the Japs don Kamikaze head bandannas.

 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Any suggestion I would make would require a genuine bi-partisan and unanimous agreement. Anything less would be taken as, perhaps correctly, as political puffery that would not survive the next election, if that long. Consistency and credibility have value, but unfortunately we don’t have too many "leaders" who can demonstrate either. Realistically, we are left with the hope that the N Korean leadership takes the usual threat of "grave consequences" seriously.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Here’s my idea... Lets elect a certified madman with a hair trigger temper and anger management issues.

Scare the other nations sh*tless that this kook really would push the button :)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It is possible the end result of a NORK nuke could be China collapsing our debtor nation currency, go with Euros, and suffer modest droppage in trade for the pleasure of seeing both the NORKs and the USA on their knees and humbled.
And so when the CHINESE economy is on ITS knees, what will the government in Beijing think of this plan, do you think, C.Ford? After all the US and Europse are the target of Chinese manufactures.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Here’s my idea... Lets elect a certified madman with a hair trigger temper and anger management issues.

Scare the other nations sh*tless that this kook really would push the button :)
Shark, I was waiting for someone to knock this outta the ball park!

We HAVE man, we have! Chimpy McHaliburton, he’s a crazed Christainist who invaded a country because they threatened his "Pappy."

Come one people, do I have to do ALL the work here? Where’s MK or Glasnost?

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Shark, I was waiting for someone to knock this outta the ball park!
Yawn... I try to let the softballs pass ;-) But hey - good job Joe!
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Hey, did you just call the President a monkey?

You’re not gonna get elected if you keep that up man!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Where’s MK or Glasnost?

Several posts above you, and offering serious opinions, rather than juvenile deliquency, buddy.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
No Glasnost, let’s face facts you and MK may be serious, but are you CORRECT?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

 
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