North Korea’s Nuclear Test

While not entirely surprising, news tonight that North Korea conducted a nuclear test in the northeastern part of the country is sobering. Not to put too fine a point on it, but all the nattering about YouTube and Google, Mike Arrington at ONA, and PayPerPost’s ethics feels entirely disposable, like so much Paris Hilton gossip.

Nevertheless, there are many losers here, including the Chinese, whose wasted diplomatic efforts are quickly coming back to haunt it, and the U.S., which watched in vain as North Korean built enrichment and test facilities. The entire region is almost certainly going to change, with Japan newly under immense pressure to reconsider its anti-nuclear stance, and South Korea may  not be far behind. What this will do for already tense U.S.-Venezuela relations — the latter country has become a significant supporter of North Korea — can only be guessed at.

The biggest loser, of course, is North Korea itself. That this country, one of the poorest in the world (#194 on the CIA Factbook list), one sustained largely by foreign aid, spent so much time, effort, and money on nuclear weaponry, only to be faced now with almost certain deep economic sanctions, is tragic indeed.


  1. Paul, You are absolutely right that the North Korea N-test put things in perspective.
    With respect to Chinese’s “wasted diplomatic efforts”, you are right that China wasn’t able to use it influence on NK to discourage NK from the test but I honestly hope the Chinese government (one of the last NK backer) has now changed its total view on NK and will now join the international community in reining in NK and create an appropriate respond for the N-test in the UN security council. As a side-effect, I hope the Chinese and Japanese governments will have a closer tie and working relationship as a result.
    Like you point out, at the end, the North Korean people will be the biggest losers in all of these. After all, the grand NK leader KiJ will keep on sipping the best French wine, watch western movies and eat the best cuisines from around the world, while the NK people and children are starved to death and brain-washed by the greatest on the NK grand leader. It is indeed a sad and tragic day.

  2. This is sad, but inevitable. To me, it’s not realistic for us to believe we can stop others from developing nuclear weapons, it’s even hypocritical for us to do so. After all, we are the only ones to actually use these weapons…
    We probably all need to think about what the world is going to be like when many, many countries have nuclear weapons…especially those who hate us…