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The Rosett Report

Just Another Day in the Expanding North Korean Nuclear Program

August 11th, 2013 - 10:53 pm

Step by step, the “unacceptable” becomes the de facto accepted. North Korea was never supposed to get far enough to conduct plutonium-based nuclear tests, but it did. North Korea was not supposed to ┬áhave a uranium-based nuclear weapons program, but the signs are that it does. North Korea was not supposed to make ballistic missiles, but last December’s test was its most successful yet. All these things have long since over-run the bounds of what the U.S. would have regarded 20 years ago as a profound crisis. In that time, the world has become more dangerous. North Korea’s partners in Iran have been toiling along a similar track. The U.S. no longer bestrides a freshly post-Soviet world as global cop and victor of the Cold War. America is drawing in, and drawing down.

Perhaps the big yawn over North Korea is due to the sense that there is nothing “acceptable” to be done. Nuclear freeze deals and endless rounds of talks, gifts of appeasement, concessions and aid, alternating with layers of sanctions, have failed to stop Pyongyang’s pursuit of ever deadlier weapons. The only real solution would be the end of the North Korean regime. And in the West, there appears to be no official stomach for the risks that would entail; no leadership, no plan, no end game. So on it goes, and one after another, these stories appear, chronicling the signs, the makings of the what-ifs, the if-onlys. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and some deus ex machina will intervene. Maybe not.



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The problem being, how do you stop the North Koreans short of a war?

And if there's a war, yes we'd win but the variables are unknown: How much damage would there be to South Korea and what would the Chinese do (they certainly do not want a US presence right over the Yalu river.)

And then there's the prize: OK, you've won North Korea, now deal with 22 million impoverished cult members who have been brain washed into believing you are the devil.

Yeah, good luck with that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are quite correct about the complications in this or any other intervention contemplated by that US. But meanwhile the situation grows evermore urgent and grave and the complications expand rather than resolve themselves as time passes.

"Wait and see" is the preferred course for the politicians as long as they can plausibly maintain that there is no urgency, but it is not always the best course. Often it simply serves to dump a far worse problem on the next man in the White House. Or Hillary.
1 year ago
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