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Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea open thread

I'd be very interested to know what you think is the way(s) to deal with KIM Jong Il's rogue North Korea, now that they've apparently successfully tested a nuclear weapon.

Do we essentially continue a strategy of containment which doesn't appear to be containing much but the growth of the people? What else can you take away by way of sanctions? It would appear that his people going without is not a deterrent to this clown.
I've heard it suggested we offer China that we'll remove our troops from S. Korea in exchange for them taking out this leadership. Interesting theoretically but does China even have that ability, though they'd certainly be interested in no longer essentially having our troops on their border.
One of the biggest deterrents to military action has been all those North Korean missiles aimed at South Korea. That aside, what military action would make a difference? We're stretched awfully thin as it is militarily, but would you propose a surgical strike to try to take out the leadership or bombing them back to the stone age (oh, that's right, they're already back in the stone age)?
Do we just de facto ignore it, while using words of condemnation? They are not a threat today, especially since they can't seem to get rockets to work; but there's always the chance they could sell what they've learned.
Any thoughts?

On a personal note: Having my stepson on the border there makes me wary of where this may lead.


Ingrid said...

Zeb, read Mash's post. It makes a LOT of sense. From this point on, we need to avoid the US doing their preemptive strike 'reflex'. I think that on the whole, considering who should or who shouldn't have nuclear arms is kind of a 'joke'. It's not as if this country has been reliable with their weaponry in which ever shape or form. (selling arms to Israel at the height of this summer's conflict, need I mention Iraq). I think for N.Korea and Iran, it is considered a matter of deterrance. The US has been very aggressive (this administration) in manner of speaking and sabotaging diplomacy and just by the precedent of the preemptive Iraqi war, no one on this planet can feel safe with the American military might hanging over their heads. I cannot see even Dong il what's his name (sorry, can't remember) using the nukes other than deterrance. People distrust the US (meaning neocons) the world over, and I don't think we can blame them regardless of their regimes. That said, my first thought was, thanks Dong il what's your name! Could you have at least waited till after the election?! I have to force myself to think hopeful thoughts and say, this is not going to become a conflict. And for your and Shel's son sake, I really hope that even more!
I think the Bush administration needs to respond wisely in a manner that has been never required from them before, let's see how bad they want to win the election..

Zebster said...

Ingrid, he makes some very good points, Mash

Here's another I'd recommend Pen and Sword

Robbie said...

If there was one country that needed to be liberated in 2003, it was this one. Now, we don't have the troops or the equipment to do it. That's why they can thumb their nose at us. We can't do anything about it.

Ingrid said...

Zeb! I haven't been at Jeff Huber's site for a while (ahem, I was your lead to that one) because it unnerves me and at times, I need to take distance. Not to put my head in the sand, but it is sooo easy to get upset whilst being unable to affect anything I tell you..but yes, he's an excellent analyst. Speaking of which, you've been doing some excellent writing yourself!
I heard/read the news about our dear leader's outburst of , you withhold my food, I'll declare war nonsense..good grief. Now I am getting more worried. He reminds me of that skit in the Monty Python Holy Grail film where one of John Cleese's character, on top of the castle: "I fart in your general direction!"...
on a much more serious note, I do hope there will be no physical confrontation as I will think of your son, I hope you guys do get some semblance of sleep!

David said...

To call North Korea's test a success is a bit premature. Seismologists and nuclear weapons experts have agreed that if it was an atomic explosion, (note they said if) then it essentially was merely a fizzle and thus, a failed test.

That being said, diplomacy hasn't worked very well with North Korea for the last several years. Just a few years ago when Pres. Bush wanted to impose sanctions to prompt Kim Jong Il to stop his nuclear program, those on the left said Bush was jumping to conclusions and that N. Korea wanted to develop reactors for energy purposes. We know better now don't we?

In the dicussions concerning N. Korea, it would be easy to include Iran in the debate. Just insert the word IRAN everywhere you read N. KOREA and ta-da....same story.

And don't be fooled by those who say these two countries would only develop such weapons as a deterrant. Il has stated more than once what he would do if he had nuclear weapons.

Brent Kremer said...

The same problem there exists as when I was stationed in Seoul back in the early 90's. The North Korean conventional forces can run over the South without too much trouble. Any further escalation would drag in China , Japan, and possibly Russia. Old hatred would spring up rather quickly and then you just wouldn't have a Korean conflict, but an entire region becoming involved in the fighting.

I believe that you can't solve this problem militarily. Diplomatically is the way to go, and our leader has decided that he isn't going to talk directly to North Korea. Hopefully nothing happens within the next 2 years and our next President will step up and use negotiation and deterrence instead of threats.

Zebster said...

Dave, absolutely it was a test, perhaps a failed one and, yes, Iran is a similar cahoots probably in that regard with North Korea. All scary stuff but not as much as some make it...yet.
But I see no way that this administration can say they've had any success dealing with NK, quite the opposite. Anybody on the left who thought KIM had altruistic intentions is and was a fool, but has nothing to do with this administration's failures there.
That being said, there doesn't seem to be a military solution now and may not have been for sometime.

David said...

Nobody has had success with N. Korea. That is because we can't all get on the same page. That is the only way the West will be able to rein in Kim Jong Il.

Talks between the U.S. and N. Korea without including Japan and China would be fruitless. N. Korea only wants exclusive talks with the U.S. so Il can say be made America play on his terms.

Definitely no military option, and there shouldn't be. All the more reason for the west to get on the same page. For that to happen W would need to learn a little give and take.

Zebster said...

Dave, I agree with your comment almost completely, except that talks with the other countries have been and continue to be fruitless, even in the face of a confirmed test.
I could care less whether they want to call it carrot and no stick or carrot and stick, if more bilateral talks were held other than the one with Chris Hill (who's very good) and positive results happen, then who gives a damn how it happened. Git er done!