BEST OF THE NEW MEDIA
by Techniguy | 10-14-2006
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Last Monday, North Korea conducted a "nuclear test" that failed, just like their Taepodong Missile test in July. There is still no confirmed consensus that it even was a nuke and not just a deep hole in the ground filled with high explosives. Recently released results of air sampling show some traces of nuclear particles in the air which point to a nuclear test, however, the explosive yield of the test shows a blast equivalence to only 550 tons of TNT, instead of the expected several Kilotons that should result from a successful test of a crude nuclear device. The conclusion would appear to be a failed test which resulted in more of a "dirty bomb" than a nuclear detonation.

The reason for this is simple. A minimum amount of nuclear mass is required for fission to take place. Once that happens, it is almost impossible to achieve a yield of less than 2 Kilotons. The standard for a first test for a country who has never done this before is 15 to 20 Kt. N. Korea has always had a problem developing a successful nuclear trigger for their bomb, it would appear that they still do and an imperfect trigger would result in what we saw last Monday - only partial fission.

Once again, the US has allowed the United Nations to complicate the issue and muddy the waters with socialist diplomacy in regards to North Korea with the passage of Resolution 1718 on Saturday, Oct. 14th. I only say that because the current conflict is primarily limited to N. Korea and the United States and doesn't involve other countries directly, or at least it didn't until the UN became involved. Why canít the U.S. deal with itís own defense problems anymore without always running to the failed UN Security Council. One answer - political correctness and liberal socialist diplomacy has become the standard of the day.

The official word is that this resolution sends a message to the D.P.R.K. (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) that their actions regarding WMD will not be tolerated. But in spite of strong sanctions imposed in UN, Resolution 1718 it also sends the message to the D.P.R.K. that their actions will be tolerated by the international community because of compromises made by Russia and China on the UN Security Council.

This is just one more example of the inability of the UN to resolve problems of U.S. security and defense by not acting in the best interests of America. How long will we continue to compromise on our security by allowing other governments who do not agree with us to have a say in our defense? How much longer will the American people tolerate our governmentí's reliance on the UN to solve our defense problems? The Democrats killed Cowboy Bush over Iraq and now we have what i's left of him, afraid to do anything without world socialistsí approval.  The Bush doctrine of preemption has been preempted by the Bush doctrine of world consensus.

The military threat posed by N. Korea should be met with a greater military threat by the United States but instead, text added to the resolution by Russia and China refers to Article 41 of Chapter 7 which prohibits the use of military force to impose sanctions. This has become standard procedure in the UN so again, we have a resolution with no enforcement to back it up. It calls for D.P.R.K. to voluntarily comply which of course, they will not. Non-compliance will result in another UN resolution, probably with the same restrictions, so the message being sent to D.P.R.K. is that in spite of various restrictions, in the end we will tolerate your behavior.

The Security Council condemned the nuclear test that North Korea said it conducted on Oct 9. It demanded that North Korea immediately return to six-party talks aimed at persuading Pyongyang to dismantle its weapons program without precondition. That demand, of course, will be met with the same response as given by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. One thing these two have in common is that their nuclear programs are their highest priority and they are willing to protect them at any cost.

It imposed sanctions for the North's "flagrant disregard" of the council's appeal not to detonate a nuclear device and demanded that North Korea "not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile." This demand is expected to be answered with another nuclear test within the next week, maybe even a successful test unlike the last one which was a miserable failure.

The resolution bans the import or export of material and equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. It orders all countries to freeze the assets and ban travel for anyone engaged in supporting North Korea's weapons programs. This is helpful, as far as it goes, in helping to stem the sales of nuclear weapons and materials by N. Korea to terrorist groups and supporting countries. This is absolutely essential, but can it be enforced without a military backup? 

To meet Russian and Chinese concerns, the Americans eliminated a complete ban on the sale of conventional weapons. Instead, the resolution limits the embargo to major hardware such as tanks, warships, combat aircraft and missiles. The resolution also calls on all countries to inspect cargo leaving and arriving in North Korea to prevent any illegal trafficking in weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles. A complete ban on exports wouldn't be a bad idea since the only exports from N. Korea are weapons, drugs, and counterfeit currency, the world could well do without those.

China's ambassador, Wang Guangya, said after the vote that this provision to allow the boarding of ships to inspect cargo was unacceptable to China but none the less allowed the resolution to pass which also includes wording to lift the embargo if D.P.R.K. returns to the 6 party talks. D.P.R.K. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon walked out of the Security Council meeting after calling the resolution an "act of war". US Ambassador, John Bolton, is to be congratulated on his diligence and efforts to get at least this much out of the UN Security Council which is more than I would have expected from them.

The problem with this resolution is that although it does put in place measures to prevent N. Korea from transferring nukes to terrorists, it doesn't really do anything to comprehensively end and dismantle N. Korea's nuclear program. That is left up to the veracity of Kim Jong Il. That is exactly what we did throughout the 1990s and it didn't work. Kim cheated on the agreements every time and continued with his nuclear programs. When President Bush discovered this in 2002, all U.S. aid to N. Korea was discontinued and now Kim wants it back.

D.P.R.K. keeps insisting on bilateral talks with the U.S. but President Bush is insisting on the resumption of the 6 party talks. We hear some of our own politicians say we should be engaging N. Korea with bilateral talks; "We should talk with them face to face" says John Kerry, but there is good reason why we should not. Bilateral agreements with N. Korea thus far have resulted in D.P.R.K. not keeping their part of the bargain. In their view, they are only cheating on the U.S. and that's ok. It would be much more difficult for them to cheat on agreements in 6 party talks because it would be cheating not only on the U.S., but also on their own neighbors and allies, including China, which they depend on for their very survival. This is why President Bush is insisting on 6 party talks and rejects the suggestion of bilateral talks which were tried and failed for over a decade.

Why should we give anything to N. Korea? They are not our ally or even our friend. In the past we have simply complied with nuclear blackmail by N. Korea and offered them carrots to comply with our wishes regarding their nuclear program which began in the 1980s. We can now see what that got us, so it's time to show them the stick instead of more carrots. If N. Korea wants aid and goodies from us, why don't they offer us a carrot instead of the stick? If they would stop with their nuclear and missile ambitions, we would be more than glad to help them out, but don't expect rational behavior from Communist dictator who is obsessed with power.

N. Korea insists they need a nuclear program to protect themselves against a nuclear attack threatened by the United States.  There has never been any such threat by the U.S. but N. Korea seems to be trying to antagonize us into making one.  D.P.R.K.s insistence in pursuing nuclear weapons is the only thing that stands between peace between the U.S. and N. Korea.  Such is the delusional thinking of Kim Jong Il.

In addition to the shipping embargo passed by the UN which should prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons from N. Korea to terrorists, the U.S. needs to make a clear and firm statement to the Kim Jong Il regime, China, and Russia: N. Korea is free to do anything they want within their own country but if they detonate another nuclear weapon anywhere in the world, including their own country, there will be serious consequences. Specifically, the U.S. will launch air and missile strikes to destroy all of N. Korea's nuclear and missile installations as well as neutralize the D.P.R.K. army to prevent counter attacks on South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

Answering a nuclear threat with economic sanctions as the UN always does is useless. It would not be out of the question to respond to a nuclear threat with a nuclear response. At the very least, and after one warning, the U.S. should be prepared to eliminate the military threat from N. Korea with a military response and that would be the end of the problem. No invasion with ground troops would be necessary. No, or very few civilian casualties would result but the threat would be eliminated.  It's high time the U.S. put it foot down, stand up strong, and stop being pushed around by third world countries.  If N. Korea wants to threaten us with a nuke, then we should threaten them with a bigger one and take away their nukes and their ability to develop them.

Of course it won't be quite that easy, N. Korea is prepared to fight back.  On the other hand, we thought Saddam was prepared to fight back too but he fell right over.  We must be prepared to use whatever force is necessary for a swift and complete victory and not repeat the mistakes of our past.  We must also be prepared to deal with the response from China and possibly Russia which is the real problem here with any attack on N. Korea. 

Neither of those countries wants to see a nuclear armed Korea, but will they come to Kim's defense to prevent it's destruction?  The last thing we want to do is start a world war over N. Korea, so it will probably turn out that Kim will keep his nukes and the U.S. will back down or never stand up in the first place.  The U.N. will control world security even though they are incapable of doing so and the U.S. will continue to be seen as a paper tiger.  Iran will be loving the show and preparing to take center stage for act 2 and their turn in the nuclear spotlight.

Contrary to popular belief on the right, Clinton was not responsible N. Korea developing nukes. N. Korea began it's affair with nuclear reactors in 1965 with the help of the Russians, and it's nuclear weapons program began in the 80s. Russia provided them with materials and technology from the start, and right up and until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989. When Clinton took office, N. Korea already had enough Plutonium on hand for a couple of nukes and the technology provided by Russia, China, Pakistan, and India.

Clinton tried to deal with this problem in joint negotiations with S. Korea and Japan by making a deal with N. Korea to shut down their graphite controlled reactors being used for electrical power, and replace them with light water reactors which don't produce plutonium as a byproduct. The failure came in not monitoring them closely enough and enforcing the conditions of the deal, one of which stated that spent fuel rods from their graphite reactors would be transferred to a 3rd country rather than remain in N. Korea.

The North didn't keep that part of the bargain. They kept the spent fuel rods which are now being reprocessed into enriched uranium for bombs. Clinton trusted, but didn't verify. An issue was never brought up that N. Korea was not returning the spent fuel rods and that was his failure. Clinton had the right idea, but the agreement was not kept by N. Korea and Clinton didn't verify that it was being kept. Just like with his handling of Osama bin Ladden, he set plans in motion but failed to follow through and that failure is now contributing to the nuclear threat we face from N. Korea.

China and South Korea don't want any action taken that could collapse the country of N. Korea or it's government. China is concerned that a collapse would create a flood of refugees into China's already over crowded population. South Korea is still holding out hopes of a united Korea and many in their population are concerned for their relatives trapped in N. Korea. An attack on N. Korea's nuclear, missile, and military installations would not adversely effect the general population except for the loss of some electricity, nor would it collapse the government. It would remove the nuclear threat however.

It is being suggested that to deal with this problem we should warn China that if they do not reign in N. Korea and put a stop to their nuclear program, the U.S. will arm Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons. I disagree. For one thing, it would be a violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty which we signed, and N. Korea pulled out of in 2002 after we discovered their cheating on it.

For another thing, we can't guarantee that Japan and South Korea will always be our allies. We provided Iran with nuclear technology when the Shaw was in power and Iran was our ally. Now they are likely to use that technology against us and the same could happen some day with Japan and N. Korea.

But whatever we do about this situation, we better do it from a position of strength and not weakness as we have done in the recent past with the only exceptions being Afghanistan and Iraq. We are facing the same threat from Iran as we now have with N. Korea and Iran will be watching very closely how we handle it and use that as an example of what to expect from the U.S. when their turn comes.  If we do not show a strong response to the N. Korean nuclear threat, it's going to that much harder to deal with the threat from Iran.

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