Friday, June 23, 2006

Possible North Korean Missile Launch Should Not Become A Pretext For War

The news of a possible North Korean Missile launch is certainly not good news. It is a great matter of distress when an erratic regime like the totalitarian one of goofball dictator, Kim Jong-il. There is incidently some conflicting reports of whether or not Kim is visiting Russia or not right now. However it seems very unlikely when his country is on the verge of a major missile test launch.

It also seems very unlikely that North Korea is seeking to start a war with the U.S. with only one missile of very limited technology. It is likely an atempt to launch a satellite in orbit. But North Korea failed once before towards this goal. And while North Korea may have up to 8 nuclear devices, it is also possible that none of them are compact enough to be used as a nuclear warhead for a missile.

But as erratic and disturbing as Kim Jong-il's North Korean dictatorship is, I also find it extremely disturbing some voices in the U.S. , who actually seriously are offering that the U.S. should shoot this missile down or even destroy the missile on the launch pad with a cruise missile. Either could push the wacky North Korean regime over the edge towards all-out conventional war.

North Korea has a huge conventional military and rocket force. This huge force could leave tens of thousands of South Koreans, U.S. soldiers or Japanese citizens wounded or dead. The last thing the U.S., Japan and South Korea need at this time is a huge war in Asia. Hopefully China would avoid entry in this conflict. But if China should side with North Korea instead of on the side of restraint, then the problems could take on nightmarish proportions.

Another serious problem is that it would be a terrible message of U.S. weakness and only invite more possible aggression towards the U.S. if the much touted antimissile system does not work. This would be a disasterous message for the U.S. to send right now. Rag-tag insurgent forces in Iraq have prevented the U.S. from stabilizing Iraq. Low budget Al Qaeda terrorists have made many Americans cower in fear since the outrageously bold 9/11 attack. 7 Al Qaeda "wanna be" types in Miami who had no money for any weapons or explosives have revived new homegrown terrorism fears. And the little nation of Ghana kicked the U.S. right out of contention in the World Cup Soccer tournament. The U.S. hardly needs to send any more messages of weakness at this critical point.

There is a huge flotilla of U.S. ships in the pacific right now with plenty of firepower to aim at any true North Korean aggression. But very likely the possible North Korean missile launch amounts to less than some fear. While the missile could likely threaten Alaska or Hawaii, and of course Toyko or Seoul, it is likely either another feeble attempt at putting a satellite into orbit or a lame effort to shake down the U.S. for some money, after witnessing the generous offer made to Iran of Western incentives for them not to develop their own nuclear program. Paying bad people not to terrorize only encourages more to behave badly it appears.

It is in the interests of no one for the North Korean possible missile launch to become a real crisis. The world hardly needs the U.S. to counter the erratic North Korean regime with an erratic military move at this point that could really topple the apple cart of world peace all over the floor. If North Korea only intends to lauch a communications satellite or something equally fairly benign, then this rigid Stalinist regime should at least be open enough to admit that to the world and alay the regional and U.S. fears. The inverse of this is to invite a military confortation with the U.S. that could spin out of control in the Pacific. World peace is simply too precious of a commodity to squander over a silly test of a North Korean missile that is Fred Flintstone in technology compared to the one's that the U.S. and other major states possess.


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