Misunderestimating North Korea

April 7th, 2009 at 10:51 am | 4 Comments |

| Print

In 2007, an Israeli preemptive strike destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor modeled after the Yongbyon reactor based in North Korea.  The dangers of the nexus between nuclear weapons, rogue regimes and terrorist-supporting states outlined by President George W. Bush in his famous 2002 State of the Union address very nearly burst out of the hypothetical and became reality.  Weapons trade between North Korea and Islamist or anti-American regimes was nothing new (the Duelfer Report listed details of North Korea-Saddam missile ties). Today, the North Koreans continue selling or sharing the goods of their apocalyptic market: Kim’s beloved nuclear program is believed to be sharing technology with the Iranian program, which is spread throughout the Islamic Republic, making it a far more difficult target for any nation to eliminate in an Osirak or Syrian fashion.

Kim Jong-il, more a warden of a concentration camp than the leader of a nation-state, has managed to do quite a bit to rock the boat for the Obama Administration.  The missile test may have failed, but the President’s initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons seemed in light of the launch to be — as Charles Krauthammer put it — “childish.”  Judging by the collective shrugging of the Security Council on the issue, most of the world is perfectly at ease to allow rogue regimes like North Korea — no matter how disturbing their ties may be with Syria or militant Iran — to keep refining their nuclear weapons’ programs; let alone the rest of the world’s nations (most of whom are, fortunately, saner).  The United Nations refused to even admit they were “concerned” with the missile test. 

In order for America to lead the world on this issue, rather than let the world simply turn over and fall back asleep, the President of the United States must appear less of a starry-eyed idealist intent on proclaiming “disarmament in our time” and more willing to devote political capital to the pressing issue of rogue states coordinating their development of the world’s most dangerous weapons.  We cannot ignore this event, as Russia and China want, or simply offer more goodies to North Korea’s citizen-prisoners in an effort to make this all just go away.

After all, let’s face it: in Pyongyang, the world has already permitted one fanatical regime to obtain nuclear weapons, transfer them to terrorist-supporting states, and defy the world without the world deigning to show “concern” at illegal tests of missiles that could someday be capable of carrying WMD.  If the United States does not seek to aggressively respond to North Korea’s latest provocation; what reason is there to stop anyone, anywhere from caring when Tehran test-detonates their first bomb in, say, 2010?

And that clear and present danger, is the true danger of simply dismissing North Korea’s latest outrage.

Recent Posts by Zac Morgan

4 Comments so far ↓

  • krove

    During Bush’s time N Korea launched 5 increasingly efficient missiles. They carried out an underground atomic bomb test. He could do nothing about these events.Newt Grinrich this weekend made one of the stupidest statements I have ever heard. He said if he was President (God Forbid) he would have used a LASER weapon to shoot down the missile.Apart from the fact that there is no Laser weapon alive that could do this the outcome of shooting down this missile would be an immediate war on the Korean peninsula. With the possibility of China and the USA becoming involved. So Grinrich makes no sense at all. There is no easy way to deal with a rouge machine when it is backed by China. Period, Also

  • krove

    There is no such word as misunderestimating. Its a Bushism although wikipedia will try and convince you otherwise.

  • sinz54

    krove: I’m sure David Frum used “misunderestimating” deliberately, to put the North Korea situation in the context of the Bush and Obama administrations.Obama has been in office only 3 months, and the list of “Obamaisms” is still small, compared to the list of 8 years worth of Bushisms. But it’s growing:http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/barackobama/a/obama-isms.htmWe're soon going to have lots of stupid Obama statements to make fun of.

  • ZacMorgan

    Hi sinz, you are correct. I used “misunderestimating” intentionally.