Friday, February 27, 2009

North Korea Set to Launch - Communications Satellite?

It's the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, of course: Or, for running-dog warmonger capitalistic aggressor oppressors, North Korea. I tend to call Kim Jong Il's end of the Korean Peninsula "North Korea," but recognize that others prefer different names.

The DPRK, North Korea, or whatever, says it's planning to test-launch a very peaceful communications satellite launch vehicle. Some other countries, including Japan and America, are dubious about just what the DPRK is testing.

Peace Committee: Reduce Puppet Warmongers' Stronghold to Debris

The DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said about the upcoming launch, and the Republic of Korea's ideas about sanctions against the DPRK.

According to the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, South Korea is "trumpeting about 'sanctions'", but foreigners will know "what will soar in the air in the days ahead." (AP)

That last, I believe.

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea wasn't finished: " 'If the puppet warmongers infringe upon our inviolable dignity even a bit ... we will not only punish the provokers but reduce their stronghold to debris,' which certainly shows how peaceful the Committee is. (AP)

Why Worry About a Communications Satellite?

I'm not all that concerned about other countries developing advanced transportation systems. India's Chandrayaan 1 mission, for example, is the sort of competition that I think keeps everybody from getting lazy. (There's more than politics to the Asian moon race - communications satellites are big business, and India is one of the countries that wants a piece of the action.)

What's different about North Korea's efforts is partly a matter of what we're calling "transparency" these days. A "transparent" administration allows outsiders to see what's going on inside. That can include:
  • Allowing reporters to talk to officials
  • Making documents available
  • Letting inspectors inspect
Kim Jong Il's DPRK is about as transparent as lead.

Then, there's the matter of attitude.

If the Democratic People's Republic of Korea wants nothing but peace, love, and understanding: They hide it well. Wonderfully choreographed dance numbers, on a scale that directors in Hollywood's golden age might have envied, photograph well. And, make for colorful and entertaining celebrations of the DPRK's achievements.

Equally well-choreographed displays of People's Army soldiers - and their equipment - are what concern me.

I don't have anything against professional dancers, or soldiers: and I think that choreographers and generals both contribute to society as a whole. In different ways, of course.

In both cases, it's not what they do so much as why the do what they do.

Japan, America, and Threats: This Isn't 1942

Japan's Defense Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said that his country is considering whether or not to shoot down North Korea's "communications satellite," if it goes over Japanese territory. Considering the flight path of a North Korean launch in 1998, they may have an opportunity to act. (The Australian, Al Jazeera)

Meanwhile, over in America, the Navy's head of U.S. Pacific Commands, Admiral Timothy Keating, said that the American military is ready to deal with the launch.

"If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," he said. And: "Should it look like it's not a satellite launch -- that it's something other than a satellite launch -- we'll be ready to respond." (ABC News)

Depending on your point of view, those statements show that Japan is a puppet warmonger, too - or that the Japanese and American military are, reasonably, ready to defend their countries from possible nuclear attack.
This isn't 1917, or 1941 - A Digression
I'm pretty sure that some, on American college campuses and elsewhere, will speak passionately in defense of one of the world's few remaining worker's paradises. I got over socialism in 1968, around the time Russia invaded and purged Czechoslovakia, but for some the fascination with 1917's revolution seems deathless.

Change is hard to accept.

In 1941, many of America's self-defined best and brightest still believed a Pulitzer Prize winner's glowing accounts of Stalin's efforts to industrialize Russia.

Five-Year Plans weren't quite so in vogue in 1975, when the Fall of Saigon was hailed as a triumph of the peace movement: by some of my fellow-students, anyway. At that time, some Americans still hadn't gotten over Pearl Harbor. Some haven't, to this day.

In Japan, some have tried to replace the less palatable aspects of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere with a nicer history. They haven't been entirely successful. Japan, along with America and some other countries, has embraced the Information Age, with its occasionally-embarrassing lack of respect for national boundaries.

Actually, in terms of consumer electronics, Japan has made quite a bit of the Information Age. But I'm digressing from this digression.

Today, I get the impression that a few people are still living in 1975, basking in the glories of righteous indignation over Watergate and My Lai, and looking back with nostalgia to a time when the worker's paradise was truly appreciated.

Living in the past isn't a good idea.

About two and a half millennia back, Heraclitus said: "Nothing endures but change." I'd say that he still has a point.

Change happens.

North Korean Leaders May Believe What They Say

North Korea doesn't seem to have gotten over failing to conquer the rest of the Korean Peninsula, after WWII. And, there's a chance that some of the DPRK's leaders actually believe their propaganda about America.

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification's statement on reducing the puppet warmongers' stronghold to debris shows, I think, just how peace-loving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is.

I don't mind the thought of a country like India having nuclear weapons and advanced missile systems so much. That country has its problems, like everyone, but it's a relatively stable democracy, and seems to have realized that there's more to gain through trade, than conquest.

The DPKR, on the other hand, is an ideologically-driven, tightly controlled, self-isolated country with a very top-down leadership. The DPRK may be trying to get into the communications satellite business, but they could also be getting ready to spread peace to Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, and China. Minnesota is out of range of North Korea's missiles - for now - but that's not all that comforting a thought.

Related posts: In the news: Background:

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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.