can’t see the forest

Kim Jong-Il Celebrates Anniversary With a Real Bang

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the government of North Korea has detonated a nuclear device beneath the surface of the Earth at Gilju. The explosion is said to have produced a seismic event measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale. The nuclear test took place at 10:36 A.M. local time on Monday, one day after the anniversary of Kim’s ascension to power .

The test comes after recent “threats” but also after one North Korean official claimed “it is not yet time” for just such a test. A release from that country’s government, led by military dictator Kim Jong-Il, reports: “The nuclear test will contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.” Furthermore, “The nuclear test is an historic event that brought happiness to our military and people.” Meanwhile, millions of North Koreans continue to subsist without reliable supplies of energy or food.

Perhaps Kim could not resist conducting the test just as new Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe arrives in South Korea to discuss the situation with that country’s leadership, having just concluded talks with counterparts in Beijing.

It will be interesting to see the response from Beijing and from Washington. Will the focus be on the plight of the impoverished North Korean people? Hardly. If there is any decisive action, it will likely consist of further economic sanctions which will only more harshly punish the people already suffering so much.

[It appears that White House spokesman Tony Snow has issued the following statement: “We expect the UN Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act.”

This nuclear test may be many things, but that it is strictly unprovoked is something I find a little difficult to swallow. I think the word choice could have been a little more discerning there. But the particularly interesting thing, to me, is this kind of bullish yelling at the United Nations. The UN was expected to obediently acquiesce to US demands for a full-scale invasion of Iraq, in which no nuclear testing of any kind had been underway. Yet in North Korea, where a nuclear blast has in fact decidedly occured, along with a specific declaration from the government that the blast was aimed for the ears of Washington, the UN has now been nothing less than commanded by the White House to take the lead in punishing the Kim regime (although it is undoubtedly the Korean people who will take most of the licks.) That’s because there aren’t any natural resources to exploit in the vicinity of Pyongyang, and too much of a hunger problem. So the US feels no compulsion to get its hands dirty. Not that it even has the resources for that right at the moment. It is content here, unlike in Iraq, to pursue a policy of containment through strangulation. That’s what the UN is for, as far as the current White House is concerned.]



4 Responses

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  1. quranbible said, on 10/9/06 at 9:57 am

    My own observation is North Korea Nuclear Test come at very appropriate time which is jusifitied as for the protection of the country and its people. Kim Jong-Il has the same responsibility to protect its country and people from enemy attack just like Bush.

  2. tellitlikeitis said, on 10/9/06 at 11:07 am

    Mmmmm…I agree that Kim has a responsibility to protect his people, and that threats to that end have been made by others, including the US.

    But the people he is protecting are starving explicitly because of his policies. He diverts foreign aid into his military programs.

    So I’m afraid that by conducting this nuclear test, which I agree that he has the right to do in terms of international diplomacy, he’s only going to fuel the fire that’s already been ringed around him by Washington and others.

    And I think he wants that, and I think that Washington wants that.

    But I don’t think the North Korean people do, and I think they’re about to pay an even heavier price for it than what’s been levied so far.

    So when we talk about Kim’s right to conduct nuclear testing in the face of international opposition, however unjust that opposition might be, we also have to weigh the cost to the people of Korea. If they’re truly more worried about a hostile takeover by a foreign power than what they’re going to eat today, it’s only because of Kim’s propaganda and Bush’s delusion. So these issues are very closely intertwined.

  3. quranbible said, on 10/9/06 at 12:55 pm

    Very intelligent way of thinking. North Korea population is suffering due to another Weapon of Mass Destruction and i.e. UN Sanctions.

    US has used these brutal sactions against the leadership of the countries who opposses its foreign policies and this includes Cuba and Iraq where the sancations has caused hardship to poor people of those countries not the leadersip. Fidel Castro is still holding on to power. Saddam Hussein government is toppled down and the sancations are lifted but the lives of common Iraqis has become more hard to survive where they are getting “liberated with suicide bombs” instead of lack of medicines and food. The official death figures of Iraq children women died due to these sanctions are over 500,000.

    Kim Jong-Il is in desperate need of financial aid and lifting of these sancations which can bring relief to poor Koreans.

  4. Dr. Victorino de la Vega said, on 10/9/06 at 1:14 pm

    The “Axis of Evil” always was a cartoonish assortment of “Asian” paper-tiger villains with Semitic and/or Mongoloid traits, ideal for Tony Snow’s fearsome reports on Faux News and/or the White House lawn.

    Now the soviet-style gnome of Pingpongrad has gone “Nukular” all the way!

    Truly, (corrupt political) life imitates (particularly bad) art…

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