Wednesday, April 29, 2009

North Korea's high-stakes nuclear gamesmanship

What, exactly, does North Korea have to gain by continuing to violate UN Security Council resolutions and baiting the United States into a confrontation on nuclear development? That's the question today after Pyongyang announced it would begin enriching uranium as an addition to its known plutonium-enrichment program unless UN sanctions were lifted, according to the New York Times. North Korea said it also would conduct additional nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests if the UN did not apologize for the Security Council's April 13 condemnation of its most recent missile test and threat to tighten economic sanctions, which it said it considered "a declaration of war." Pyongyang has managed to exact some concessions from Washington, including high-level dialogue and shipments of food for its impoverished people, with earlier threats, but it is hard to see what Pyongyang wants now. North Korea was impoverished by the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which cut its international trade lifeline, and has been depending on shipments of food from the West to feed its people. Of course, the billions of dollars it is pouring into its weapons research would feed a lot of people if redirected into domestic programs. Instead, the North denounced the Security Council as “a tool for the U.S. highhanded and arbitrary practices” and refused to acknowledge its continuing activities, which the United States believes includes helping Syria with its nuclear research. A spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Fred Lash, said Wednesday that the Security Council resolution was “balanced and appropriate.” “We certainly call on North Korea, as we have in the past, to uphold its commitments” under a Sept. 19, 2005, joint statement of six-party talks and a 2006 Security Council imposing sanctions, the Times said. “We remain committed to achieving the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, hopefully through the six-party talks,” Lash said. “We urge them, as we always do, to return to the table.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What kind of state of mind are our world leaders in these days considering 64 years have past since the two big ones were dropped on Japan.
Truman agonized over his decision to drop the bomb. The Japanese know it should never be used again. It's said that Ike threatened to obliterate China if they didn't meet for peace regarding the Korean war. Did Ike lay out our policy behind closed doors for as long as there is a United states: that we will use nukes as a last resort against any nation that threatens our security in any tangible way?
Is the world not at the point where an understanding is reached by all in the nuclear club that any first use of such a known destroyer of life will be met by swift retaliation by the rest of the club. Who - especially Kim so Ill - has the lack of a brain to even consider the ramifications of using such weapons. You only need to sit in at a nuclear, biological, chemical warfare class and pull out your compass and map, draw your impact circle around your city and contemplate the sheer size of a single bomb. Will any leader really use such a device at this juncture in history or are the fear mongers trying to keep the populace tuned in to old B.S.
Ike once said that one day the people would want peace so badly that governments would have to get the hell out of the way and give it to them. So get the Hell out of the way and give us some peaceful news about peace!