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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On the road to MAD with the North Korean madman

By Dennis Byrne

Welcome back to the 1950s.

With the United Nations, specifically its Security Council, demonstrating anew that it won't or can't do much about the North Korean nuclear threat, it's back to when deterrence was the only weapon left to us:

Mutually assured destruction. Or Mini-MAD, if you prefer.

That's where we are, thanks to the Security Council, which bypassed a meaningful arms embargo proposal from the Bush administration in favor of toothless resolution 1718, which tries to gum North Korean madman Kim Jong-il into submission.

Among it serious loopholes is a provision that "asks" nations to cooperate in the inspection of North Korean vessels for illicit arms, based, I suppose, on the premise that it never hurts to ask. The U.S. had proposed a tougher provision, but China, asserting that such inspections would violate international law, successfully stymied the American proposal.

Then, after the resolution passed, China said it would not inspect cargo entering or leaving North Korea, for fear of raising tensions in the region. Given the Chinese mindset, the bigger problem is its own 880-mile border with North Korea, which we can't guarantee will be any less as porous than our own border with Mexico.

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BeeJiggity said...


Good commentary. If we're really going to be effective against these independent dictators, what means do we really have?

Doing nothing lets their threat gather.
Talks don't work.
Sanctions hurt, but they are a step in the right direction.
War is presently impractical.

Glad I'm not president.

Stephen Schade said...

Sanctions do indeed hurt civilians and are usually ineffective. Indeed, it was not sanctions that ended apartheid. Rather, it was fear of a violent revolution that would drive away foreign investment. In the end, it's a MAD, MAD world.