Tuesday, April 2, 2013

About North Korea, Power, Risks, and Leadership

North Korea's leader says that he'll restart a nuclear reactor.1 This is particularly troublesome, since Kim Jung Un seems intent on confronting 'imperialists.'

North Korea has, at most, a handful of nuclear weapons: and a production capacity of perhaps one per year. The current Kim also has missiles which could reach parts of the United States, as well as Japan, eastern Russia, and China.

I hope that, like his ancestors, the young leader has the wisdom to know when to stop threatening: and accept the best offer presented as appeasement.

Nuclear Threats and Diplomacy

As I said yesterday, this is a serious situation: and I do not think that the United States would be North Korea's biggest concern, no matter which nation the latest Kim attacked.

The United Nations Secretary-General says that "Nuclear threats are not a game." (BBC News) In the sense that they are not trivial, I'll agree: although in a sense all diplomacy is a sort of 'game,' which can be very useful in helping nations deal with issues.

The Quality of Leadership

Finally, I think it's a mistake to regard North Korea as an 'ordinary' nation. For one thing, I don't think there is any such thing. Each nation is a unique entity, with its own history, culture, and goals.

Nations can, however, be separated into categories. Some are obvious: like "large" or "small;" "new" or "old." Others, not so much: like "democracies," a term which I think has suffered from generations of over- and mis-application.

The quality of leadership is arguably more important than whether a nation's government is organized as a constitutional republic, a hereditary monarchy, a military junta, or whatever. (December 29, 2008)

Kim Jong Un runs a 'democratic people's republic,' a one-man dictatorship whose leader uses familiar 20th-century rhetoric. Despite the somewhat shopworn trappings, I think North Korea may be more of an old-style Asian kingdom: the real thing, not the Fu Manchu and Shangri-La variety.

As I've said before, I think any form of government can work: provided that there's good leadership. In the case of North Korea, I am particularly concerned, because we've got a young ruler who may not yet understand the profound risks which come with the power he wields.

Related posts:

1 Excerpts from the news:
"North Korea says it plans to restart shuttered nuclear reactor"
Jethro Mullen, CNN April 2, 2013)

"After weeks of hurling threats at the United States and its allies, North Korea announced Tuesday it will restart a nuclear reactor it had shut more than five years ago.

"The declaration demonstrates Kim Jong Un's commitment to the country's nuclear weapons program that the international community has tried without success to persuade it to abandon.

"The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the reclusive state's atomic energy department intends to 'readjust and restart all the nuclear facilities' at its main nuclear complex, in Yongbyon...."

"North Korea 'crisis gone too far' says UN's Ban Ki-moon"
BBC News (April 2, 2013)

"UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said the North Korea "crisis has gone too far" after Pyongyang announced plans to restart its main Yongbyon nuclear complex.

"Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Andorra, Mr Ban called for urgent talks with the North.

"The move by Pyongyang is the latest in a series of measures in the wake of its third nuclear test in February.

"North Korea has been angered by the resultant UN sanctions and joint US-South Korea annual military drills.

" 'Things must begin to calm down, there is no need for the DPRK [North Korea] to be on a collision course with the international community. Nuclear threats are not a game,' Mr Ban said.

"Earlier, a South Korean foreign ministry spokesman said that if true, the North Korean move - which includes reactivating a reactor mothballed for six years - would be 'highly regrettable'.

"Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei called for restraint from all sides to resolve the 'complex and sensitive' situation.

"Weeks of rhetoric and almost daily threats by the North have raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula to their highest levels for years...."

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.