The North’s Game of Brinkmanship
Stories abound on MSNBC.com about the DPRK’s preparations for a possible second nuclear test, the world’s reaction to the first test, and it’s reaction to this latest news about a possible second test. Meanwhile, Condi Rice is jaunting around Asia drumming up support for the U.N’s sanctions against N. Korea, which, at this point, seems to be going rather well.
Parallel to this, Beijing sent the highest ranking government official (only the title of envoy is given) to Pyongyang, who delivered a personal message from Chineses President Jintao to Kim Jong Il. Not much information is given about the nature of the visit, but one can probably safely assume that the major topics of discussion focused on the North’s continued (supposed) preparations for a second nuclear test, and the aftermath of the fist test. The DPRK maintains that their nukes are only defensive in nature, and that the conitnued pressure from the U.S. and U.N. constitutes actions of war. This sentiment was echoed by a N. Korean general who, in a statement to ABC, also said that at the moment, the DPRK had no intentions of selling it’s weapons to third parties.
Their remains, however, a continued, and widening, rift between the U.S. and N. Korea. The Koreans think the U.S. is trying to force them to “kneel” to our will, while the Bush White House maintains that they are not asking the DPRK to kneel, but to offering them “a better deal. Better economy, more security, better relations with their neighbors, [and] integration into the world economy as opposed to isolation.
I suppose time will tell whether or not cooler heads will prevail in this issue. Neither side is backing down, though, for once, I actually agree with the White House on this. I agree that it’s in the best interest for all for N. Korea to cease it’s nuclear research. I’m ok with them having nuclear reactors and powerplants, but the idea of Kim Jung Il with a “little red button” of his own really doesn’t sit well with me.