Friday, May 29, 2009

North Korean Tests

My reaction to North Korea conducting another nuclear test and launching a few short range missiles? "Eh? Who cares?"
Not that I want North Korea (or anyone for that matter) setting off nuclear devices, but we didn't learn anything from this. Did we know North Korea had nuclear weapons, and that they didn't work very well? Of course. The last test was kind of a fizzle, this one was less so. It's like if you shank a golf shot and drop another ball on the same spot, your second hit is usually better. But in this case it wasn't even all that much better/bigger. It wasn't a shank into the woods and then a shot onto the green, it was a shank and then a weak hit into the rough. And the missiles it launched weren't ICBMs, those don't work, the were glorified bottle rockets. I'd be scared if I lived in Seoul, but not much more so because of the recent tests.
My read is that this is Kim Jong-Il tring to hold on to power, demonstrate that he is still alive, and make his generals happy. He wants attention, so he is throwing a tantrum like a two year old. The best reaction would be for us to shrug our shoulders. Sure, a UN Security Council resolution is a good idea, because that's what you do, but it won't accomplish much unless China wants to start playing hardball. But until then, ignore the tantrum and put Kim Jong-Il on a timeout.

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