World Watch Focus: Nuclear Menace


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     North Korea is marching steadily toward test firing the first variant of its Taepodong 2 ballistic missile, which missile will likely be capable of hitting targets throughout the Pacific, possibly even able to reach the West Coast of the US. This development is especially troubling considering that North Korea has nuclear warheads that can be mounted on top of such a missile.

     This development once again highlights the ongoing reality of the failure of diplomacy to deal with the nuclear ambitions of a rouge state. With North Korea, it is glaringly apparent that the diplomatic stage was used as a method to distract the world from its deeper intent, and that is the ability to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them against those nations North Korea perceives to be enemies.

     North Korea’s intent appears to be to strong arm its way into a more significant role in the affairs of the eastern Pacific Rim by proving that it can face down the US by nuclear force. The ultimate goal of such a policy can only be interpreted as one of hostility, and that is a hostility made all the more dangerous by a nation that possesses the capacity for nuclear annihilation.

     While the issue with North Korea deserves great attention in its own right, it also highlights the dangerous policy currently being pursued by the UN Security Council and Germany with Iran. The comparison of the Iranian situation to North Korea is important because so many of the fundamentals are the same. In each case, the world is dealing with a nation that fully intends to do whatever it intends to do. In each case, that nation is using diplomacy merely as a curtain behind which its ambitions can be hidden.

     What the world is failing to realize is that the elements of diplomacy that have been the hallmark of especially Western policy over the past fifty or sixty years do not apply to nations led by despotic dictators with militaristic ambitions or capability. These nations, once clearly defined as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, continuously act toward their own interests despite all of the international pressure leveled against them, and this is because such nations have a zealous dedication to the ideals that allow their despotic totalitarian regimes to continue to exist.

     The moral of this dilemma is that the US cannot afford to continue a solely diplomatic course with nations like Iran and North Korea any more than it could have afforded to continue such a course with Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Rouge states are not states to which diplomacy should be indefinitely applied. Instead, such states must know that force is always an option and an option that is readily available. Force is a language such nations understand because that is the language they speak, as evidenced by North Korea’s suspected missile test. Perhaps now is the time to let such nations hear a little of their own talk.


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