Japan from the inside out

Are you surprised?

Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ARE YOU SURPRISED that North Korea conducted another nuclear test? And fired more short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan?

Former American Assistant Attorney General, Undersecretary of State, and UN Ambassador John Bolton wasn’t. Here’s what he said a week ago:

The curtain is about to rise again on the long-running nuclear tragicomedy, “North Korea Outwits the United States.”

Are you surprised at how the current American administration views the issue?:

U.S. Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth said last week that the Obama administration is “relatively relaxed” and that “there is not a sense of crisis.”

Are you surprised that the Japanese and the South Koreans would not be “relatively relaxed” and do have a sense of crisis? They’re taking their complaint to the United Nations, however, which is analogous to phoning the local university’s debating society to tell them about gunshots in the neighborhood.

Are you surprised that the rogue state’s behavior became more roguish after the previous American administration chose dialogue and conciliation in its second term, and that it intensified after the inauguration of the new, blame-ourselves-first administration?

In April, Pyongyang launched a Taepodong-2 missile, and National Security Council official Gary Samore recently confirmed that a second nuclear test is likely on the way. The North is set to try two U.S. reporters for “hostile acts.” The state-controlled newspaper calls America “a rogue and a gangster.” Kim recently expelled international monitors from the Yongbyon nuclear complex. And Pyongyang threatens to “start” enriching uranium — a capacity it procured long ago.

Are you surprised that those two reporters were seized on the Chinese side of the border? And, as the DPRK Studies site notes, the American Secretary of State thinks the young women at Barnard College in downtown Manhattan should get on the Internet and give the North Koreans a piece of their mind?

Are you surprised that the new administration still hasn’t put two and two together yet?

Despite Pyongyang’s aggression, Mr. Bosworth has reiterated that the U.S. is “committed to dialogue” and is “obviously interested in returning to a negotiating table as soon as we can.”

Are you surprised that the North Koreans have spotted what they view as an excellent opportunity to do what they’ve always wanted to do, regardless of what they say? For example, in 2003:

The official Korean Central News Agency said that, although Pyongyang was pulling out of the NPT, it had no intention of producing nuclear weapons.
“Our nuclear activities at this stage will be confined only to peaceful purposes such as the production of electricity,” Friday’s statement said.

Are you surprised that people are still “committed to dialogue”, despite enough dialogues and broken promises to fill a small library? Again from 2003:

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said: “It is a serious decision, heavy with consequences”. He is in China for two days of talks on the crisis.

If you start to wonder how heavy those consequences were, remember that M. de Villepin was a poet in his spare time.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that U.S. President Obama telephoned South Korean President Lee and the two leaders agreed to punish North Korea.

Are you surprised that this is what Mr. Obama’s plans call for?:

They agreed to work closely together to seek and support a strong United Nations Security Council resolution with concrete measures to curtail North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities.

Will you be surprised if this month’s visit to the Security Council turns out to be as effective as last month’s visit?

The U.S. and its allies failed to push the 15-member security council to adopt a legally-binding resolution condemning North Korea’s April 5 rocket launch amid strong opposition from Russia and the North’s staunchest ally China.

A presidential statement was issued by the council instead, which called for sanctioning three North Korean firms involved in the trading of weapons of mass destruction and component parts.

Will you be surprised if the DPRK tests an ICBM before the Security Council meets? The Marmot links to a Korean-language report:

South Korea’s NIS, meanwhile, is warning that North Korea may attempt to test fire an ICBM as early as today.

Here’s one that’s no longer surprising: Some people never realize that some approaches never work, while the ones they dislike usually do.

Mr. Bolton repeats a warning he’s been making for some time now:

It’s time for the Obama administration to finally put down Kim Jong Il’s script. If not, we better get ready for Iran — and others –to go nuclear.

If the Obama administration doesn’t put down the Kim Family Regime’s script, don’t be surprised if those others include Japan one day.

The Asahi Shimbun has just reported that, in addressing the view of some within the ruling LDP that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces need the capability to attack “enemy bases”, Prime Minister Aso Taro said:

“Under the law, we can (attack enemy bases) under a specific, pre-determined framework. It is my understanding that attacks have been allowed since (the period from the mid-50s to the mid-60s).”

The Asahi also notes that the government has not recognized the possession of the weapons themselves to be used to attack another country.

Don’t be surprised if he receives the strong backing of the Japanese people for this stand, regardless of what it says in the Japanese Constitution.

7 Responses to “Are you surprised?”

  1. Kay B. Day said

    Americans are as concerned as you are. Basically we’re horrified. And very frustrated with our own government, after sanctions that might have worked–or at least might have caused some constraint– were lifted late in Bush’s second term. Of course that action was politically driven, and US media, always ready to bash a conservative, didn’t help. At the moment our country is in the hands of a neoliberal Democratic Party Congress with an appease-at-all-costs policy. At any rate, I just wanted you to know the American people share your concerns. And I’m wondering why no one has asked about the environmental impact of all these tests. You’d think with the global warming mob convening in Copenhagen, someone would bring that up.

    I enjoy reading your blog.
    best, Kay B. Day

  2. tomojiro said

    I hate to go nuclear and I am still strongly against that, but if this cituations continues, I found it hard to argue against someone who wants to.

  3. Bender said

    I’m 100% certain the Japanese will never cross the line. Americanos assume too much without knowing nada ’bout how pacifismo has overwhelmed Japanese psyche. It’s no longer reason but more like belief.

  4. Somehow all the talk of how Kim is a crackpot eccentric, while Obama is portrayed as fatherly, all-knowing, and wise doesn’t quite square with reality when the “crackpot” is running circles around our flawless messiah.

    This is the same Obama that was apparently busy with his puppy-vetting process or playing basketball while the Russians where nabbing our Afghan supply air-base in Kyrgizstan.

    Obama is endangering our national security, a failure of his most primary duty as president… maybe we should draw a line here?

    Living in a celebrity-driven/liberal/MSM fantasy world is not a right of Obama supporters to cling-to indefinitely, as it’s both the voters and the press’ duty to make informed, good-faith decisions… not waste power making a hollow fashion statement instead.

    It’s rapidly getting to the point where this kind of willfully-ignorant “thinking” is not just irresponsible, but dangerous. Obamania’s sheeple are deeply delusional, and as Obama’s enablers, these fools are going to get us killed.

  5. Bender said

    I think being “liberal” has nothing to do with being soft on North Korea, just one of those empty criticisms the “right” throws at the “left”. I’d like to hear what “conservatives” propose as the effective way to deal with North Korea. Send one thousand warning letters instead of one?

    With military option being out of the question here and China (and Russia) being pretty much complicit, what is there to do? You guys believe economic sanctions will have effect on an already impoverished country?

    BTW, I think the Norks should be left to rot.

  6. Kay B. Day said

    This American would like to see her country assist Japan in building armaments equivalent to N. Korea’s power. Japan has the right of self-defense any country has. Under no circumstances should any US group assist with food or other humanitarian aid–the N. Korean government has decided to starve the people to pay for arms buildup and to fund a munitions industry. The UN should cancel N. Korea’s membership and the NY office should be closed. That’s just for starters. Of course I think the US should withdraw from the UN as well. That organization does not live up to the mission stated at its first utopian ideal meeting and it is a black hole for US and other nations’ tax dollars.

    China is key to the problem, as Bender notes. It seems to me a world boycott of Chinese goods might be effective and I realize the implications of that suggestion.

    And I don’t think “liberal” is a true description of the political ideology I believe you’re describing. I’d think “neo-liberal” would be more appropriate, given the current political climate and approaches in the US Congress and the executive branch.

  7. […] Are you surprised that North Korea conducted another nuclear test? And fired more short-range missil… Ampontan made a list of surprises to comment on the new round of North Korea nuclear and missile test. Cancel this reply […]

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