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
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
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
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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