Monday, October 09, 2006
this should surprise no one. Pyongyang is working to is own goals, and 'international condemnation' is seldom going to sway the actions of a nation that is already an international outcast.
I can not help but feel that our actions the last 6 years have only enabled the N. Korean governments actions. While we have, on occasion, played with various ploys to try to redirrect the government, we don't seem to have a firm sense of what realistic direction we wanted them to head in. For the most part our efforts consisted of insulting them, then ignoring them for long periods of time. While we were busy in Iraq, they have been able to increase the size of their nuclear arsenal by over 500%. That said, I am not sure that there was any tact that would have prevented them from their nuclear program.
I can actually understand their claim that this is for self defense. A small, regional form of MAD may make sense to a nation who feels it is under threat from both external and internal forces. It is flawed, deeply flawed, but is understandable when you consider the paranoia that overwhelms that nation.
Now the idea of a nuclear N. Korea can not longer be considered in the abstract, they do have nuclear weapon, at least a handful of them. Our posture to them must adjust to this reality. While we can work for disarmerment, and that should be our long term goal, we must also have shorter term goals that can be reached.
It is very unlikely that the current leadership can overcome their fear and loathing of the west to disarm, but if they can be contained, and further growth of their arsenal can be stopped, with time we may find a solution that doesn't involve a nuclear exchange.