Barn Door Open, Hay Left With Cows
So, the Norks did another nuclear test. Obviously, everyone is up in arms.
President Obama on Tuesday called North Korea’s third successful nuclear test a “highly provocative act” that “undermines regional stability” and threatens action by the international community. He said North Korea’s nuclear program constitutes “a threat to U.S. national security.”
The White House released the statement early Tuesday after North Korea detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a northeastern test site, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.
At this point, empty rhetoric doesn’t do much. The country is now a full member of the nuclear family, and this is going to lead other countries to spin up. Look for Japan to finally throw in the towel and go nuclear by the end of the decade. They have the capability now. Michael Austin at NRO has similar feelings:
…Denuclearization is dead. The policy has failed. If the Obama administration marches into a blind alley by pretending there is a hope of denuclearization, we will waste another four years, and Pyongyang will likely perfect its nuclear program by then. Similarly, if we rely on the U.N., as presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett indicated we should this morning (video here), the empty resolutions will simply be ignored, as usual by North Korea, and likely, China.
I’ll admit to not being a foreign policy expert. But I do have a pretty handy set of strategy skills. One nice strategic rule I use… when it’s obvious that someone is doing something, don’t ask them to stop doing it. React to it instead. The US (and China, who’s really the lax one in the equation here) have both sat idly by while North Korea built up this capacity. We now get to live with the consequences.
China and Japan are likely the most worried right now, but I would not put it past Korea to plan for an EMP attack over the Pacific that would affect the Pacific NW. I’m not saying it’s imminent, but an unstable regime within some form of striking distance of the US is something that should concern us. Either way, the world has changed, and I’ll be interested to see what the Obama administration does to adapt to it in the next few years.