Well, they’re claiming that it was, and there’s evidence that it happened in the form of an earthquake,so that’s how everyone is betting. Japan is calling for an emergency UNSC meeting; South Korea, dealing simultaneously with this and the suddenly-more-murky suicide of its former President, is doing the same. The White House hasn’t put up the President’s official statement on this yet, but you can read it here – it differs from the White House statement in 2006 most notably in its unconscious reliance on the UNSC to resolve this situation. Also missing is any indication that the President has personally consulted with our allies in the region, but no doubt he’ll address that when he holds a press conference this morning on the North Korean crisis. Note that I am merely assuming at this point that there will be one, and that it will take place before noon.
Meanwhile, John Bolton predicted that this test was going to happen last week; he also noted last week that the administration wasn’t taking the possibility of a second test all that seriously. Compare the White House statements from today and 2006 again and ask yourself, Which one sounds like it was written by people taken by surprise? Also ask yourself, Is Bolton right when he suggests that not taking even a soft line on this will merely encourage North Korea – and Iran – to proceed?
Please also note that we are in a situation where two of the biggest current, active, and intractable threats to world peace are rogue nations simultaneously pursuing nuclear weapons and missile technology. Successful creation of both will put at immediate risk our regional allies; allies that we have spent a lifetime cultivating; and who are genuinely alarmed at the activities of their neighbors. And in both cases, the enemies of said rogue nations were picked for essentially irrational reasons, meaning that normal rules of deterrence may or may not work.
The above was the title of a photo slideshow from Foreign Policy (H/T: American Power) about North Korea, and it’s a useful reminder to us about just how small Communism is as a philosophy. Small, dingy, and grimly miserable:
If that was a painting, its title would be Solitude.
PS: I tell a lie. There is one big thing that Communism does well.
North Korea has threatened to carry out nuclear missile tests unless the UN Security Council apologises for its condemnation of a recent rocket launch.
Pyongyang said it would be compelled to take self-defence measures “including nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests” if no apology was made.
There are times when I suspect that the North Korean regime is deliberately pretending to be barking mad insane, solely out of some twisted sense of humor. I actually don’t know if that is preferable to the alternative – which is that fifty years of combined isolationism and Marxism* can cause actual brain damage in the general population; at least that alternative offers the hope that their engineers won’t be able to put a real bomb together – but it does explain the disconnect here. Which is, for those who are wondering, that informing a world that doesn’t want you to have missiles that can hit Beijing, Tokyo, or Honolulu that you will immediately start trying to make missiles that can hit Beijing, Tokyo, or Honolulu unless you get an apology from the planet over them raising a fuss about your program to create missiles that can hit Beijing, Tokyo, or Honolulu.
Yes, that’s the North Korean position. Think about it too long, and your brain starts to hurt. Which may be the point.
PS: Out of idle curiosity: is the White House planning to do anything about this, aside from not visit the West Coast for a while?
*Remember, kids: friends don’t let friends go Commie.
Announcement of Glorious Nuclear Achievement to Gangster Stooges of Blogosphere
In the back yard of scientific researchings behind the Great Storage Shed of the People, Iowahawk scientists successfully conducted above-ground nuclear missile test explosions under secure and many malt liquor conditions on early hours of October 10, 2006 April 6, 2009, at a stirring time when alarm clocks of the neighborhood have yet to clangle. To the impotent yappings of the neighboring gangster devils, Iowahawk responds: howl away, bourgeois traitors of Lakewood Mobile Home Court! Your pitious lamentations and cowardly 911-callings will never stop Iowahawk from the great leap forward into great and powerful prosperity, using his mighty quiver of nuclear-tipped cherry bombs and fully-fissionable bottle rockets for peaceful unity purposes!
Let’s say that the Japanese carry through with their promise to try to sweep from the sky any North Korean missile that even looks like it’s going to violate their airspace (yes, I’m paraphrasing, and running the statement through the politeness filter). And let’s also say that they do so.
If that happens, can we assume that the missile defense system that they used – and developed jointly with us – will be sufficiently ‘proven’ to satisfy you?