Really, it is.
There's a new President in Washington, D.C., and North Korea is up to their same old monkey business.
Just what kind of monkey business, you ask?
Well, if you haven't been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you would know that North Korea is once again making rumblings about conducting yet another test launch of a Taepodong-2 missile from one of its launch sites along the northeast coast of North Korea.
I know, right?
What's going on is fairly predictable. It's Kim Jong Il (aka The Dear Leader) up to his old tricks by taking advantage of Washington's distractions elsewhere (read: Iraq and Afghanistan).
Let's face it, the so-called Six Nations talks that have been going on since the autumn of 2002 really haven't gone anywhere in terms of getting North Korea to abandon its clandestine nuclear weapons program. If anything, the big winners in this "corrupt sham of an endeavor" (to quote famous American sports broadcaster Howard Cosell) have been both North Korea and China. Why China? From what I've read, China isn't too serious about the whole Six Party Talks. After all, China has a treaty of alliance with North Korea, so do you think that they are really going to do anything? Plus, I'm sure that the Chinese just absolutely revel in perceived American weakness in this issue. Unilateralism does have some benefits.
Over the past few years, North Korea has received tons of aid, such as food and heating oil, from the United States and Japan. (Supposedly, South Korea has been a donor country as well, but I really don't give a fuck about their contributions. If South Korea isn't sucking China's dick, then they're sucking North Korea's. It's that simple, really.) In addition, North Korea was recently removed from U.S. State Department's list of countries that sponsor international terrorism at the behest of people like Condolezza Rice, the former Secretary of State, and Christopher Hill, the former American negotiator at the Six Party Talks and now the apparent U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Who, one may ask, is setting policy in Washington? Well, the hope was that by removing North Korea from the list, the North Korean government would finally come clean about its nuclear weapons program.
Right. Sure. Like that's ever going to happen.
The nameless, faceless bureaucrats at the State Department surely must be smoking crack if they think that Kim Jong Il will ever honor any kind of agreement. Hmmm, let me see... No, I can't think of any agreement that Kim Jong Il has ever honored over the years.
North Korea is just like South Korea. They make all sorts of demands and just keep on taking and taking, but they don't give anything in return. Surprise, surprise.
It's time to get serious with North Korea.
If North Korea really does in fact conduct a "test launch" of a Taepodong-2 missile like they did back in 1998, then here's what should happen in my opinion.
First, if the missile is launched over the Sea of Japan (Yes, that is the correct name for that body of water.), then it's time for either a Japanese or American Aegis battle cruiser to shoot that missile out of the sky. Here are two posts (here and here) from GI Korea about just such a scenario. It's not as far-fetched as one would think. Last year, two of Japan's Aegis battle cruisers were involved in testing whether an Aegis could shoot down a missile in Hawaii last year. From the articles I read, the tests were successful.
Second, the launch site of the missile, the Musudan-ri Missile Test Facility, should be bombed to smithereens by one of America's Stealth bombers from bases either in Japan or in Guam. Fuck the South Koreans. They'd never approve such a mission IMHO.
It's time to stop dicking around with North Korea on this issue.
There are some in Washington who feel the same way. However, it's the typical Washington, D.C., bureaucratic speak that people do when the President they work for is no longer in power. It's similar to those former U.S. Army generals you see on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox that supposedly opposed the war in Iraq, but waited until they started to receive their retirement checks to make their opinions known.
GI Korea gives his opinions as to why we shouldn't shoot down the missile and bomb the launch site at the link in the previous paragraph. I disagree with just about all of his reasons for not striking North Korea.
First, I just don't really care about what North Korea's missile capabilities are. From the articles I've seen and read, North Korea's missile program is very much a paper tiger. The previous attempt by North Korea to test launch a Taepodong-2 missile ended in failure as it exploded 35-40 seconds after launch. These launches that stir up so much trouble are nothing more than adverts for North Korean weaponry in an effort to get countries like Iran or Syria to buy these weapons. After all, it's no secret that Iran has been collaborating with North Korea on missile technology. Furthermore, North Korea's major exports are weapons, like the Taepodong missile, and drugs.
Second, more sanctions just aren't going to do anything to Kim Jong Il and his regime. Oh boy, more sanctions? Big deal. From my reading about him when I worked in South Korea, he doesn't seem to care about being an international pariah. As long as he has good relations with China and Russia, he could care less about what other countries think about him, especially the United States.
Third, I just could care even more less about Kim Jong Il strengthening his iron rule over his people in the event of a US attack. Who gives a fuck? After all, not too many people seem to really care about the prison camps and re-education camps inside North Korea, especially the South Koreans. The only person I can think of that seemed to really care was German doctor Norbert Vollaertsen, who ended up being kicked out of South Korea in 2004 or 2005.
Fourth, who cares about a North Korean provocation either in the Yellow Sea or along the DMZ? Big deal. I was in South Korea when there was that sea battle in the Yellow Sea (Yes, that is the proper name of that body of water. Where is the South Korean outrage that that body of water isn't known internationally by its Korean name [i.e., the West Sea]? Fucking hypocrites.) between the North Korean and South Korean navies in 2002 that killed five South Korea sailors. That was a pretty funny incident as General La Porte, the main U.S. commander in South Korea, sent his sympathies to the families of the dead South Korean sailors, while the South Korean government apologized to the North Koreans but nothing for the families of the five dead South Korean sailors. How embarrassing!!! If North Korea had any real guts, they would use some of that long-range artillery to destroy, for example, that notorious monstrosity in southern Seoul near Highway 1 that is known as the Hyundai-Kia Motors headquarters building. I would just love to see that piece of shit building go down in flames. While they're at it, the North Koreans could also destroy the headquarters buildings for Hyundai and Samsung as well.
If the North Koreans had the balls to do such a thing, I would applaud.
So go ahead, fire at will.
I dare you.
As for consulting with our South Korean "allies", who cares? After all, our "alliance" with South Korea is just "a piece of paper", to paraphrase Kaiser Wilhelm II, a rather brilliant but flawed man.
My guess is that North Korea will do a test launch their Taepodong-2 missile into the Sea of Japan, it will crash into the sea, there will be this huge controversy that occurs with all sorts of phony outrage and talks of sanctions; however, at the end of the day, nothing will happen as a result.
North Korea will continue to get what it wants.