Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hey, Won't You Play Another Kwangmyongsong

If I had a rocket launcher
Some sonofabitch would die

-- Bruce Cockburn

Turns out that Kim Jong-Il is a Bruce Cockburn fan. While they don't often issue rocket launchers to leftist Canadian folkies, sometimes other people get them.

North Korea's official news agency had been warning about the launch from the moment that Obama had been wrapping up his business at the NATO meetings on Saturday. "Preparations for launching 'Kwangmyongsong-2,' an experimental communications satellite, by carrier rocket 'Unha-2' have been completed at the satellite launching ground in the east coastal area of the DPRK," the Korean Central News Agency reported.

But few believed that North Korea's long-range, multi-stage rocket test had anything to do with communications, other than sending a warning to its neighbors. While North Korea claimed Sunday that their satellite was successfully deployed to launch its space program, U.S. and South Korean watchers said no satellite or other object went into orbit as a result of the launch.

I watch it for a little while
I like to watch things on tv
Satellite of love

-- Lou Reed

Okay, so the North Koreans are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon and being able to deliver it someplace where it could hurt people. What does the Leader of the Free World say?

"North Korea broke the rules once more by testing a rocket that could be used for a long range missile," Obama said Sunday to a crowd of more than 20,000 in Prague, Czech Republic. "This provocation underscores the need for action — not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons."

Okay, but what action is that?

"The U.S. believes this is dealt with most appropriately through the United Nations," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."

Okay then. He's going to kick the can down the road like everyone else has. Good talk.


Night Writer said...

When guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns. When nukes are outlawed...

(HT: The Teleprompter of The U.S., c/o Facebook)

Anonymous said...

In defense of all four of our last Presidents, can I ask if you have any concrete ideas about how to handle N. Korea? I ask because I can't think of a serious military analyst across the political spectrum who has looked at this issue and come up with a decent solution. But they all do seem to agree that any military option is an awful one.

We could bomb the crap out of suspected nuclear sites in North Korea, but we almost certainly wouldn't get everything, and would probably just drive that goofy SOB right over the edge. I am not sure if you know this, but in the worlds largest network of caves, facing Seoul from the north, it is widely accepted that the North Koreans have enough conventional firepower to incinerate Seoul, Drezden-like, in less than 24 hours. God only knows how many would be killed, but we would be talking about a major human catastrophe. At that point, the whole thing could readily degenerate into a land war on the Korean peninsula, with the real possibility that the Chinese would be drawn in, creating a potential US-China military confrontation.

Thus, my question: What is your proposed response for North Korea? What could we possibly do that might actually be effective? If I come off a little petulant, I apologize. But this is one sticky wicket that no one has been able to get a handle on. And if anyone has a good idea, I'm sure there are lots of folks in the State Department, the White House, the Pentagon, in Tokyo, in Seoul and in Beijing who would be very interested to hear it.

I am afraid that all anyone can do is kick the can down the road, and hope that the Chinese can keep a lid on their red-headed step-child until the world's largest collector of Daffy Duck memoribilia kicks the bucket.


Mr. D said...

When I get to be President, I'll let you know, Rich.

Mr. D said...

Now, let's be serious for a moment. I'm aware of all those things. My main point is this -- going to the UN Security Council looks like action, but it isn't. And predictably, nothing came of it.

And I might add, President Obama can make all the speeches he wants about ridding the world of nuclear weaponry, but it's nonsense on stilts. As long as the technology exists and human will exists, people like Kim, Ahmedinejad and others will continue to pursue it.

Night Writer said...

Our best hope is that Jong il blows himself up with his own faulty petard on the next launch.