Freitag, 17. Dezember 2010

On Korea - Good Night and Good Luck

Anyone who has paid attention to the crisis in Korea and, well, crises anywhere else, will have noticed that the wikileaks cables did not reveal anything new. And those who aren't interested won't read the cables anyway. Take as exhibit A the cable saying that the tanks discovered aboard the MS Faina, captured a little while ago by a bunch of pirates off the coast of Somalia, were indeed designated for the Government of Southern Sudan. Anyone with a vested interest in the Horn of Africa knew that all along. Or take as exhibit B Chinese government officials referring to Kim Jong Il as a spoiled child that does not know how to behave itself (Hail to the conquering heroes, I've been making that point for well over a year now). But what is interesting to note is that here finally the international community is already on the same terms. In his memoirs Decision Points George W. Bush made the exact same comparison. North Korea behaving like a child that wants attention and in order to get it would occasionally throw its food on the floor (which is remarkable, given that there isn't that much food in North Korea). 

Well, that much is true today more than ever. North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea, should Seoul follow through with its live fire exercises. Sorry, Kim, bummer (go back to visiting factories that produce virtually nothing). Kim Jong Il has overplayed his hand, he has unleashed more acts of war in 2010 than in previous years, sunk a South Korean frigate, shelled a South Korean island and re-engaged his enrichment program. So when former DNI Dennis C. Blair says that South Korea will bomb North Korean targets next time Kim instigates one of his war crimes, he is probably right. There is only so much a sovereign nation can bear and when someone is fighting a war with you only to get some international attention, there comes a point at which you'll have to be hitting back or else loose the little freedom you enjoy. So next years first skirmish is probably going to take place on the Korean peninsula. How Kim Jong Il will respond to a serious counterattack is anybodys guess.

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