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Impending North Korean Nuke test
Posted by: McQ on Monday, September 11, 2006

According to Russian sources, it appears North Korea is very close to conducting an underground test of a nuclear weapon. Says a Russian diplomat:
"If North Korea conducts an underground nuclear test, it will face severe punishment," said one Russian diplomat.

"It would pose a very serious threat to world peace."
Really?

And Iran won't? Of course Russian's position on Iran is "flexible" at best. That's mainly because Iran is floating on a sea of oil and, well, Kim's little fiefdom is just some poor, ragbag nation who's biggest coup to date has been a 4th of July rocket fest in which say its most hyped missile failed at launch. Well, that and stealing Chinese trains.

Russia is apparently of the opinion that it's all the US's fault that Kim wants to explode this bomb:
He said Kim Jong Il was "irritated" by financial sanctions imposed last year by the US, including the blocking of bank accounts abroad believed to have been used for money laundering and other illegal deals, including arms and drugs trading.
As I understand it that shouldn't be any problem whatsoever for Kim as apparently he runs one of the most sophisticated state sponsored counterfeiting ring in the world.

Nope, just another opportunity to pass the buck. If anyone believes that had financial sanctions not been imposed, Kim would have not attempted the test, well, there is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn I understand.

The question of course is why aren't we, the US, making statements about North Korea like those being made about Iran? We understand and expect Russian perfidy. But if it is "unacceptable" to us for Iran to have nuclear weapons, why isn't it just as unacceptable for North Korea? Both pose palpable threats to their regions and both are the type regimes which might export their expertice (if not their weaponry) for ideological or financial reasons to proxies or just plain old customers.

One of the reasons we don't raise the sort of fuss when democracies develop nuclear weapons is, for the most part, democratic societies tend to be peaceful and rational societies which mostly find a deterrent value in nukes. That's not necessarily so with regimes like North Korea and Iran (although an argument can be made for that sort of thinking within those regimes, it is less likely than with a true democratic nation). Naturally that's why they're considered to be so dangerous. But, and this is my point, it should be just as unacceptable to the US and the world for North Korea to have nukes as it is for Iran.

I recognize that in the case of NoKo they're more advanced in their pursuit, but dangerous is dangerous. And while they don't threaten Israel, they certainly pose a threat to their region.

Obviously, to this point, diplomacy has been a bust (just as it has been with Iran). Is there a point where we should indeed be more aggressive with North Korea? We've certainly implied such a stance with Iran if they don't cooperate much more willingly than they have up to now and eventually eschew nuclear weapons.

Or do you feel we've resigned ourselves to a nuclear North Korea and are now attempting to adapt ourselves to that reality? And isn't that also an option with Iran?
 
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Or do you feel we’ve resigned ourselves to a nuclear North Korea and are now attempting to adapt ourselves to that reality? And isn’t that also an option with Iran?

Yes and yes.

North Korea may surrender its nuclear weapons voluntarily when it becomes a democracy. Iran may as well. Counter-proliferation towards allies is the only reasonably successful counter-proliferation.

One of the reasons we don’t raise the sort of fuss when democracies develop nuclear weapons is, for the most part, democratic societies tend to be peaceful and rational societies which mostly find a deterrent value in nukes.

Unless changing conditions change the government.
 
Written By: glasnost
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