The news and fallout is all about the NorK Nuke. On Sunday eve/Monday morn I originally made the indignant remark that the NorKs were PoSeUrs, setting off a simulated bomb, simply because I didn’t see anything on the USGS seismic detectors. But when that was updated to show a seismic impact of 4.2 magnitude, I ate crow and said, “Ok, looks like North Korea actually does have the bomb.”
But now experts are warning that the explosion was far short of an actual nuclear explosion. So did the NorK’s set off a really big dirty bomb (a conventional explosion which spreads radiological materials)? Of was it all a ruse to make people think they did have a device?
My guess is the former. They wouldn’t have done it unless they really thought they could have done it. That’s why they’re gung-ho about the next test– they have to get it right.
This is typical of the North Korean technology base– claim you have something, go to test it, and watch it fizzle. It’s like their Taepo Dong-2 (two stage) missile, which was successfully fired into the ocean near Japan (well, that’s the NK spin machine– in reality, it should have a range to hit areas of the West Coast of the US).
Lil Kim thinks he’s the second coming of Mao. The difference? While the Chinese are brutal in suppression, they also have a great deal of national pride. For the most part, people aren’t hungry. As for the North Koreans, the population is starving. The people are demoralized, beaten and oppressed. And that includes the scientists, several of whom are being put to death or torture at the moment for not successfully detonating a nuke. That’s Lil Kim’s way, and it’s no way to push your country into the future.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, China’s diplomacy is at fault here, and it’s still faulty. Look at their most recent statement on Korea. It says, “Bad! Bad North Korea! UN, spank my bad dog!” (I have taken liberties with the statement.) But they are asking the UN to come in and solve the problem, which is insane. China made Kim Jong Il. They’ve supplied him with food, money, medicine, and weapons, just to watch him squander it on military technology at the expense of his people. He’s an embarrassment, but the Chinese can’t risk deposing him or invading because he’s an ally, and if the Chinese do that to allies, who’s going to ally themselves with China? So they’re practically begging the UN to help solve the crisis. And, given the track record of the UN in solving crises like these, they won’t.
I’ll tell you how to solve the North Korean Crisis. China needs to renounce alliance status with North Korea. Then they need to authorize UN military action (by abstaining at the UNSC vote), and allow a joint-force to move into North Korea, disable the military and remove Kim from power. Then they can negotiate a new North Korean leadership, and gradually work to make it a pro-Chinese lapdog that will not develop nukes.
Of course, it’ll never happen. The UN will probably insist on “fair elections”, and South Korea will attempt to reunify Korea. But I’d say all that is infinitely better than a nuclear North Korea, South Korean, Taiwan, and Japan.