Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gi Korea
2nd test?
Alook from Japan

This is 4 looks at what the heck is going onin my world now. To say that I am scared would be an understatment. Pay close attention to all 4 and re-read the comment from Japundt about "At the end of World War II, Japan had relinquished its control on Korea and the two dominant victorious super powers, the Soviet Union and United States, swooped in for control." Very Intresting..

Once again a long read but one well worth it..

Most of all some are not even sure if this explosion was even a nuclear blast

“We have assessed that the explosion in North Korea was a sub-kiloton explosion,” said the intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. He added, “We don’t know, in fact, whether it was a nuclear explosion.” He spoke as intelligence analysts in Washington were in the early stages of assessing the explosion.

A one-kiloton blast would be extremely small for a nuclear weapon. But regardless of the size of the blast, the North Korean announcement reverberated throughout the world of diplomacy, and seemed likely to be felt in American domestic politics as well. There were suggestions, moreover, that the Communist state might be preparing a second test.

That's right folks there might be another test either today or in the coming days. Could this be a sign that their first test wasn't as successful as they claim?

France has been even bold enough to say that the test might have failed:

France estimated it as merely the equivalent of about 500 tons of TNT, and did not confirm that it was the result of a nuclear device, The Associated Press reported.

Russia tends to think the test was a success:

Russia’s defense minister, Mr. Ivanov, said that the Russian military had confirmed the test and estimated its force at somewhere between 5 and 15 kilotons — much larger than estimates from South Korea.

Predictably nations around the world have condemned the North Korean nuclear test. Even Venezuela condemned the nuclear test, however one country didn't:

Iran, which is already at odds with the United Nations Security Council over its own nuclear program, stood out from the general mood of condemnation. Its state-run radio today blamed pressure from the United States for North Korea’s decision to test, A.P. reported, calling it “a reaction to America’s threats and humiliations.

Pressure? Like enforcing our counterfeiting laws and allowing North Korea international aid so they can use their scarce resouces to build nuclear weapons? How would Iran like the North Koreans counterfeiting their money? I do think this test is not good for Iran because if quick and decisive action is taken on North Korea the global community may wrap Iran into any resolutions to come in stopping the development of nuclear weapons.

Here is what the US President George Bush had to say:

President Bush on Monday said North Korea's claim that it has tested a nuclear weapon is a threat to international peace and said the world "will respond."

"The transfer of nuclear weapons to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States," Bush said. "And we would hold North Korea fully accountable to the consequences of such action."
Bush said the U.S. was still trying to verify North Korea's claims that it had tested a nuclear weapon on Monday.

Here is what US Democrats had to say:

Senate Democrats quickly condemned North Korea, but they criticized the Bush administration as well.

The Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, assailed North Korea for its “reckless and counterproductive actions.” But he asserted that the Bush administration has been in a “state of denial” about North Korea, in part because the administration has been “distracted by Iraq and parayzed by internal divisions.” A comprehensive review of American policy toward North Korea is essential, the senator said.

Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said the administration had “wasted the last five-plus years sitting on the sidelines” and must now use its influence with China and South Korea to bring the North to the table. Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said the administration “must go into diplomatic overdrive” and work with its allies in the region. And Senator Charles Schumer of New York said that, in addition to undertaking a diplomatic offensive, the United States must develop nuclear-detection devices as soon as possible.

“North Korea going nuclear shows how much we need allies to succeed in the war on terror,” Mr. Schumer said.

"State of Denial" is new the Democratic catch phrase after the name of Bob Woodward's new book critical of the Bush Administration. I guess the "Culture of Corruption" catch phrase just wasn't cutting it anymore. So what review of policy do these Democrats want? Give Kim Jong-il his pay day that he has been demanding? That was tried in 1994 and didn't work. Then of course Senator Kennedy uses the other Democratic catch phrase, "work with our allies". If there is any issue that the US government has worked with allies on, it is this one. The US has consistently made it a policy to deal with North Korea in the context of the six party talks so that regional allies in the area were involved in resolving the crisis. Now the Democrats are coming out and saying we need to work with our allies when before they were blasting Bush about not holding bi-lateral talks with Kim Jong-il. Then Schumer talking about developing nuclear detection devices I can only assume he is referring to nuclear detection devices in all of the US ports so North Korea can't send a boat into New York and nuke it as absurd of a scenario that, that is.

So what should the US do? Well you can post your opinion and read many others over at the New York Times Blog The responses are definitely all over the place from people wanting to attack North Korea, which is easy to say when you wouldn't be the person crossing the DMZ to do it, others saying that Bush will nuke North Korea in order to win more votes for the Republicans, more saying that Bush created this nuclear crisis to win votes as well (that Karl Rove sure is clever), and a Korean commenter even complained that the Sea of Japan is really the East Sea. In a time of crisis you can always count on a VANKer to remind us what is really important.

N. Korea preparing second nuke test?

Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) is watching the area around Punggye-ri, Kilju-gun, Hamgyongbuk-do for a possible second North Korean nuclear test, reports Yonhap.

NIS believes this morning’s supposed nuke test took place in Kimchaek-si.

NIS chief Kim Seung-kyu told lawmakers on the National Assembly intelligence committee that his boys were closely watching the Punggye-ri area, where intelligence officials initially believed a test would take place.

One lawmaker said Kim warned that there was sufficient possibility the North would conduct additional tests.

Korea’s chief spook explained that the morning test took place not in Hwadae-gun, as initially reported, but near Sangpyeong-ni, a town some 15 km away from Kimchaek-si. Sangpyeong-ni is 51 km south of Punggye-ri and 48 km west of the North Korean missile base in Hwadae-gun. Or so an Uri Party lawmaker on the intelligence committee said Kim said.

Interestingly, Kim is reported to have said that this morning’s test area was under surveillance up till Sep. 7, but when no unusual signs were detected, NIS decided to concentrate on the Punggye-ri site. Also interesting is that he said the United States still believes this morning’s test took place at Punggye-ri, indicating that Korean and American intelligence officials differ in their analysis. Kim said more minute intelligence analysis was needed.

The NIS chief also noted that with the tremors posting a mere 3.58, the warhead tested this morning was presumed to be under 1 kt (a 1 kt device would cause tremors of over 4.0). He also said it would take 3-5 days to confirm the presence of radiation and, likewise, confirm whether the North actually did what they said they did, namely, successfully test a nuclear device.

From Japundt

It seems that today, Monday October the 9th 2006,Pyongyang has much to celebrate. Reports are coming in that indeed North Korean is now an active nuclear power.

If there is any nation on earth that knows first hand the dangers and effects of nuclear weapons,it certainly is Japan. And tonight, Tokyo has been forced to go back to the table and decide how to deal with the “nuke” kid on the block.

The Korean peninsula and Japan have a long bloody history that dates back to 1592 when Japanese military dictator Toyotomi Hideoshi first drew up plans to attack and tried to subsequently annex Korea which ended in failure for the Samurai lord.

From 1910 to 1945, the Japanese military now modernized and deadly successfully occupied Korea utilizing its resources to fund its budding Asiatic Empire. But once again, the sun would set and Korea would be freed from Japanese rule. At the end of World War II, Japan had relinquished its control on Korea and the two dominant victorious super powers, the Soviet Union and United States, swooped in for control. No agreement could be reached between the two cold war enemies and after a blood three year battle, Korea was split in two.

North Korean boasts the fifth largest army in the world with an estimated 1.8 million standing armed personnel. If ever there was a threat to modern post-war Japan, this would be it.

On May of 2004, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan released a statement saying “The Government of Japan will aim to normalize the relationship with North Korea in a manner that would contribute to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asian region, in close co-ordination with the United States of America and the Republic of Korea.” On September 17, 2002, Former Prime Minister Koizumi visited North Korea and held a summit meeting with Kim Jong-Il, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, and signed the “Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration”.

Today, all has once again changed and a new page of history is to be written. As Japan decides how to proceed with its now nuclear neighbour, it is certain that there will be difficult decisions made that will no doubt affect the world entire.

North Korea tested nuclear device.. and why now? These questions of course assume that North Korea did in fact test a nuclear weapon and didn’t just detonate a large amount of conventional explosives in order to simulate a successful nuclear test. This could be the case considering the well publicized failure of the Taepodong ICBM on 4 July.

However, North Korea had a combination of reasons for testing a nuclear weapon; The timing of it, as author Chuck Downs has pointed out (by phone on an MSNBC broadcast, 0105-0115 am EST 9 Oct), has to do with South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon’s nominated at the new UN Secretary General – North Korea is trying to steal the spotlight and highlight it’s importance and technical acumen. As it is autumn, it is unlikely that fuel and food aid will be cut right before winter sets in. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has also just visited Beijing and arrived in Seoul, which was a bonus.

This is not the first time North Korea has done this. In a failed attempt to upstage the South, Pyongyang hosted an elaborate Arirang Festival over the summer of 2002 and made a point of opening it up to foreigners at the same time South Korea was jointly hosting the World Cup with Japan.

The obvious reason is for deterrence of an attack or invasion from a U.S. seeking regime change. However, military action by the U.S. was already extremely unlikely as any such action would put Seoul, South Korea’s capital, in danger of being hit by the thousands of artillery pieces just north of the border and well within range. That’s aside from the U.S. being overextending in Iraq. So a nuclear deterrent is only another level of deterrence.

The not so obvious reason is that North Korea has been implementing a strategy of disengagement since 4 October 2002, when then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly in Pyongyang meeting North Korean Deputy Foreign Minster Kang Seok-Ju. When confronted with U.S. evidence, Kang admitted that North Korea had secretly continued a nuclear-weapons development program.

After that the words “complete, verifiable, and irreversible” became a part of the U.S. negotiating lexicon concerning denuclearization, which caused a shift in North Korean strategy from Regime survival by Extortion of Concessions to Regime survival by Strategic Disengagement.

North Korea cannot accept engagement for two primary reasons. First, invasive inspections would make the regime look weak internally and risk control of the military. Second, inspections on the scale that would be required for any new package deal would likely bring in an unprecedented influx of foreigners, something North Korea does not want.

This is because the legitimacy of the regime is build on a cult mythology that would be in jeopardy if outside information were to reach the isolated and misinformed North Korea population. The exposure of the North Korean people to reality vis-à-vis the cult is an enormous vulnerability for the regime.

What can be done about North Korea now? Excluding military intervention, there are still some options left for applying pressure on North Korea.

U.S.: First, the U.S. could make the world economy choose between itself and North Korea, effectively shutting down all international financial transactions for North Korea. China and South Korea would be most effected. Second, the U.S. could pressure regional powers to enforce the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) against North Korea. The PSI prevents proliferation of WMD-related goods and technologies. Third, if the U.S. chose to push for near-term regime change, China’s access to the U.S. marketplace could be threatened if China continues to support the regime. This might include a deal where U.S. forces in Korea remain in South Korean territory below the 38th parallel once Korea reunifies.

Japan: Remittances from Japan are estimated to be in the tens of millions; that’s probably going to stop, and it will hurt the North Korean elite.

South Korea: Condition free aid may come to an end, although it may wait until Roh is out of office.

China: The key is China; only China controls the fuels and aid that literally keeps the North Korean regime from falling. But China will only use this leverage if the U.S. uses its leverage to force China. So not likely that China will be the deciding factor here.

Is This a Failure for the Bush Administration? In a word, no. North Korea had no intention in making a realistic deal from the outset, and has broken every nuclear-related agreement is has made with both the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea has steadfastly refused to come back to the Six-Party Talks since September last year, literally throwing away aid packages that could have helped it’s starving population.

Aside from invading North Korea there is no realistic action any U.S. administration could have done that would have stopped North Korea from producing nuclear weapons. The notion that another deal like the 1994 Agreed Framework could have stopped this is deceptively attractive, but nonetheless incorrect.

The only deal North Korea would accept is one that did not include “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization,” in other words, another deal where North Korea reaps concessions for stopping nuclear activity, but actually continues such activity, as it did with the 1994 agreement. It’s also worth noting that North Korea likely had nuclear weapons before Bush 43 was even elected.

Do you notice a few people have said that a repeat of 1994 is what(NK) They want and recall when John Kerry went after Bolton with this a few months ago

John Bolton

John Kerry: This has been going on for five years, Mr. Ambassador.

John Bolton: It's the nature of multilateral negotiations, Senator.

John Kerry: Why not engage in a bilateral one and get the job done? That's what the Clinton Administration did.

John Bolton: And, very poorly since the North Koreans violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed.

So we cant go back and if we go forward its war. Food for thought for today.

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