Thursday, March 20, 2003
--Randall Parker on DPRK aid and trade;
--VOA news on what's next for North Korea
SEOUL, South Korea, March 20 — The first American air and missile strikes on Iraq inspired worries here today that North Korea might be next on the list of Washington's targets and that South Korea could be drawn into conflict whether it likes it or not.
Robert Gallucci, the chief negotiator of the 1994 Geneva framework agreement with North Korea, said he was "concerned about the trajectory we're on" in bombing countries suspected of harboring weapons of mass destruction.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, NORTH KOREA ITSELF IS SILENT ABOUT THE WAR
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Adam: Well, we're studying the causes of the second Korean War and I just don't get it.
Gen. Spears: As I've explained before, Adam, President George W. Bush was obsessed with Saddam Hussein, not to mention with Iraq's oil reserves. He managed to convince most Americans that Iraq was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington. So, people just weren't paying much attention to the North Korean threat.
There's much more but this is my favorite:
Adam: So why didn't the United States just negotiate with North Korea? It seems like they were working hard to get our attention.
Gen. Spears: They certainly were. After they admitted to developing a nuclear weapons program, they disconnected the International Atomic Energy Agency's monitoring cameras, kicked out the weapons inspectors, withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, restarted an atomic reactor and threatened to end the armistice that halted the first Korean War.
No sense of irony here whatsover. Admitting to a clandestine nuclear weapons program, expelling the IAEA, withdrawing from the NPT, restarting the Yongbyon reactor and threatening to end the armistice are all simply categorized as attempts to get American attention, cries for help that Bush refused to heed. Just off of the top of my head, here are a few better ways for Kim Jong-il and the DPRK to get our attention:
1) Officially announce the cessation of the HEU program.
2) Officially renounce any sale of nuclear technology or material abroad
3) Close Yodok and other concentration camps and release the prisoners held there.
4) Allow South Koreans to freely communicate with and visit family members in the North.
5) Announce that Kim Jong-il will make the long promised reciprocal visit to Seoul.
6) Rather than threaten to end the armistice, how about unilaterally declaring that North Korean armed forces will never attack the South and ask for the South to make a reciprocal promise?
7) Allow DPRK citizens to freely leave the country if they wish.
I came up with this list in 30 seconds. There are surely many more ways in which the DPRK could get outside attention that would actually be constructive and confidence-building.
The Bush official said, "We want this to be sort of like an alcoholic intervention, with everyone at the table saying, 'We can either hurt you or we can help you.' " By contrast, bilateralism may be a dangerous trap.
To make this clearer, I'll interpolate a little. (This is me, now, and not the Bush official.) Suppose the United States cut a bilateral deal with Pyongyang. Suppose Pyongyang then broke the deal -- not a big stretch, given that North Korea promptly broke the 1994 nuclear deal, and given that it clearly wants both to extort concessions for its nukes and to build the nukes anyway. Other countries in the region would immediately call for America to avert war by making yet another deal. Washington would have to either submit to never-ending nuclear blackmail or face the nightmarish prospect of taking military action, and quite possibly igniting a nuclear war, without its allies' support. Thus bilateral talks lead all too easily to precisely the catastrophe they are supposed to prevent.
To the extent that North Korea succeeds in bilateralizing its disagreement with the U.S., North Korea effectively succeeds in neutralizing America's allies, or even turning them. That should be obvious to anyone who has watched recent events pertaining to Iraq. At the end of the day, a bilateral confrontation with North Korea may be inevitable. It would be foolish, however, for America to volunteer for one now.
But even he concludes that it is far from clear whether this approach will work:
Well, it might work. It might not. The official succeeded in convincing me that bilateral U.S.-North Korean talks are not a shortcut but an ambush. What is not so clear is whether the ambush can ultimately be avoided.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Bad loans at local credit-card firms surged by nearly fourfold to 2.1 trillion won at the end of last year from 500 billion won a year earlier, a report from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) showed yesterday.Gotta love American style capitalism!
Seven in 10 said they supported Bush's televised call to go to war without the blessing of the United Nations unless Saddam Hussein and his sons leave Iraq within 48 hours.
An equally large majority believe that Bush has done enough to win support from other nations. More than two in three said his policies on Iraq are the right ones, although fewer than half are strongly convinced.
Rally round the flag in full swing. At this point, I certainly prefer rallying round the flag (despite my misgivings about the war) to actively opposing the war effort. Not surprisingly, some don't agree.
UPDATE: Bush has a 53% approval rate in Britain (thanks to Instapundit for the link)
As a result of these uncertainties, there is no basis for assuming that early tests of a TD-2 would be successful. Even if they were, some number of flight tests-possibly small but more than a couple-would be required to provide an estimate of the reliability of the missile. While North Korea might field a missile based on one or two tests, its confidence in its ability to use such a missile would be very low.A useful corrective to the somewhat overwrought "North Korea can hit the Western U.S. with nuclear-tipped missile" rhetoric that has been circulating around the net.
Knowing the reliability of a missile has important implications for the type of warhead that might be used on it. North Korea is believed to have separated enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons. Even if it had developed a working nuclear weapon, any leader would be reluctant to place such a valuable, scarce resource on a missile of unknown reliability, reserving it instead for other means of delivery.
Monday, March 17, 2003
From: Mrs. Fatima A. Azad
I wish to write you pleading with you to be my Investor trustee over $12.5million.
My late Husband was a rich oil magnet in Libya . . .
Rich, oily, and magnetic? What's not to like in that combination?
In a short space of 200-odd years' time, the United States has developed from a small colony into a peerless empire of today, the reasons for this are: besides the fact that the country enjoys perennial relative political stability, continuing scientific and technological innovations and new achievements in economic development, but an important reason for this is, without doubt, its constant external expansions.
Expansion is an eternal theme in American history, as well as a main line running through US foreign policy. American diplomatic historian Williams described the American act of establishing an "empire" by relying on power politics as the American "way of life". When the European immigrants just set foot on "the new continent" the America, they found there was neither tile over their heads nor a speck of land under their feet. Therefore, the first task for the new immigrants in the America was to expand westward from the East Coast they landed. This instinct reaction was integrated with US unique commercial expansion spirit and the puritan's "concept of mission" to become the theoretical foundation and fundamental characteristics of US external expansion.
No one inside Iraq is for war (note I said war not a change of regime), no human being in his right mind will ask you to give him the beating of his life, unless you are a member of fight club that is, and if you do hear Iraqi (in Iraq, not expat) saying “come on bomb us” it is the exasperation and 10 years of sanctions and hardship talking. There is no person inside Iraq (and this is a bold, blinking and underlined inside) who will be jumping up and down asking for the bombs to drop. We are not suicidal you know, not all of us in any case....
To end this rant, a word about Islamic fundis/wahabisim/qaeda and all that.
Do you know when the sight of women veiled from top to bottom became common in cities in Iraq? Do you know when the question of segregation between boys and girls became red hot? When tribal law replaced THE LAW? When Wahabi became part of our vocabulary?
It only happened after the Gulf War. I think it was Cheney or Albright who said they will bomb Iraq back to the stone age, well you did. Iraqis have never accepted religious extremism in their lives. They still don’t. Wahabis in their short dishdasha are still looked upon as sheep who have strayed from the herd. But they are spreading. The combination of poverty/no work/low self esteem and the bitterness of seeing people who rose to riches and power without any real merit but having the right family name or connection shook the whole social fabric. Situations which would have been unacceptable in the past are being tolerated today.