by Ric Ottaiano

October 9, 2006

The inevitable (if you have been paying attention) has apparently occurred and North Korea has successfully carried out an underground nuclear test.

The reaction has also been inevitable, We’ve have had the “strong condemnations” and calls for discussions about setting timetables for sanction debates, along with the usual fear-mongering about the inevitability of nuclear war. Well, for the record let’s set a few things straight.

Did anyone actually believe even before the 1994 “Agreed Framework” that there was any way to stop North Korea from going nuclear? If not then, how about after it was admitted by Pyongyang that it had been fudging on its obligations under that treaty so artfully negotiated by Jimmy Carter? As I recall, when the not so shocking news came out that the only party that had kept its end of the bargain had been the United States, North Korea let loose with the diplomatic equivalent of Steve Martin’s famous SNL line, “Well, excuuuuuuse me!” and then…end of discussion.

There are two lessons to be learned from this. One is that diplomacy is not a cost free option, if all it is being used for by one side is to buy time. The mind set that results in diplomacy for diplomacy’s sake is a path to nowhere, and was known as “appeasement” in the 1930s. Diplomacy must be coupled with a clearly stated, and fully intended, alternative to the bushel of carrots.

The other is that, despite this development, all is not as bad as it could be. Sure, Kim Jong Il is a meglomaniacal dictator with a short man’s complex. But he wants to live a long and despotically fruitful life at the helm of his slave state. That makes him much less likely to lob a missile into Portland (if and when he develops the delivery system) if he thinks the answer will be the creation of multiple ground zeros north of the 38th parallel. He also knows that if he lets some of his fissible material make its way into the hands of a suitcase carrying dirty bomber…same result. This may also compel South Korea and Japan to carry more of its own water, and place pressure on China to stop enabling the little tyrant.

That is why nukes in the hands of a death loving cultist like Iran’s Ahmadinejad are infinitely more dangerous. Mutally assured destruction is a sweet victory for him.

[This article can also be found at Release The Hounds!]

Be Sociable, Share!