04 October, 2006

North Korea

Good news and bad news for Korea. Good news: it seems likely that a diplomat from South Korea will be the next Secretary-General of the UN. Bad news: North Korea pledges to test a nuclear weapon. Kim Jong-Il has developed a fine sense of timing. Even with all the hand-wringing, he'll probably get away with it.

7 comments:

Lindsey and Charlie said...

That is mixed news indeed. It will certainly be interesting to see how Japan and China react to the possibility of a nuclear test from North Korea.

Also, the new blog format looks good.

Daniel McIntosh said...

Thanks for the kind comments. I was getting a little tired of the dark, dark scheme I used before. It looked cool, but not particularly easy to read.

Japan has already increased work on a ballistic missile defense system. Next comes the power projection forces. China will probably protest and offer to improve the security (permissive action links, etc.) for the bombs. Bad as it for North Korea to have a bomb, it's worse for North Korea to have a to have a bomb without the means to secure it.

Where is Team America?

Noah said...

There is some speculation in the news that N. Korea could test the bomb this weekend.

Jeremy said...

Well, it happened (sort of/probably... 550 tons of TNT???).

And all I can manage is a shrug. I don't see how all that much changes. NK is still vastly outclassed in conventional military aspects, and especially in economics. The DPRK, nukes or not, is still only to grow poorer and more isolated as time goes on.

Daniel McIntosh said...

You're right, it's mostly symbolic at this point. It would be insane for NK to push for military action. It would be nearly as insane for the US to push for anything more than (another) embargo. But it is a threshold, and a prompt to re-evaluate policy. Symbols matter, too.

Jeremy said...

The interesting thing here (to me) is the reaction of the Chinese. To my knowledge, they've never (at least publicly) condemned the DPRK as harshly as they have in the past several days.

We'll have to wait and see what the next generation of Chinese leadership says and does on the matter, assuming the current one doesn't do something unexpected and engineer "an unfortunate incident" which results in Kim's...neutralization. It seems that each successive generation of post-Mao Chinese leadership thus far is more 'liberalized' and 'normal' than the prior. In the world as it is and progresses, that can't bode well for the current DPRK regime as it stands.

Daniel McIntosh said...

Oddly enough, China is constrained by North Korea's relative weakness. It's good to see them pushing, but for several years now the prospect of Korean refugees (many of them armed) flooding the border has limited action. Of course, it's also a dangerous game for North Korea: when your best threat is that you might die, it makes it hard to suggest that its an option you'd choose for yourself.