Thursday, May 28, 2009

Relax, the DPRK is not governed by suicidal nuts

I used to listen to Radio Pyongyang on shortwave, and it was always somewhat amusing as it sounded like some bad propaganda film from the 50s. So in a way, it's hard to take the loud threats from North Korea too seriously.

Then again, one has to remember the South Koreans, Japanese, French, Americans and others that the regime has kidnapped or killed over the years. And Ragoon, Burma* where in 1983 North Korean agents blew up and killed a number of ROK government officials in an attempt on the president's life. Or its bombing of a civilian aircraft (CAUTION:Wikipedia link). The USS Pueblo. The attacks on the US Army on the "DMZ" during the Vietnam War which left at least 75 members of the US military and 299 ROK soldiers dead; its ax murder of a US Army major in the mid 1970s, again in the "DMZ;" its attempt to murder the then president of South Korea, Park Chung-hi.

Those things are generally considered purty close to being acts of war. So it's hard to be reassured by those "in the know" that Kim Jung Il and the North Korean leadership are not nuts and wouldn't really risk a suicidal war.

Now the leadership of North Korea has decided to say the Korean War truce is no longer valid and threatened to attack South Korea if its ships are searched as a result of the little nuclear detonation and missile launch games they are playing.

Analysts in Seoul said they regarded North Korea's warnings as serious but doubted the willingness of Kim to provoke a large-scale confrontation.

"The problem is that both sides cannot afford to make a concession," said Dong Yong-seung, a senior fellow at the North Korean division of Samsung Economic Research Institute. "It is like a game of chicken." NYT, non-Onion version (?).

And that's probably true. Trouble is, one of those playing chicken has shown numerous signs in the past of being just a bit unstable in the noggin' by most standards, regardless of its real goals and intentions.

If Japan had the bomb, none of this would be happening of course. There's magic in them thar bombs.

*Some prefer the military dictatorship's "Myanmar."

No comments:

Post a Comment