Tuesday, 26 May 2009

North Korea - Nuclear Test

Great the nutter has a nuke, Kim Jong II has tested a nuclear weapon. From the data they have on the test, it's an explosion of up to 20 kilotons, which is comparable to the American bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He followed this up today with firing short range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

What's worrying is how volatile the situation and he is, it leaves the international community treading on egg shells. Military action seems very unlikely, given he clearly has weapons and is mad enough to use them. Sanctions have largely been by passed or only effected civilians, no doubt allowing Kim Jong to use it as propaganda. Diplomacy and negotiations to date have only gone so far, before Kim Jong withdraws and does something like this.

The international community response seems to still be the diplomatic one, though Obama is pushing for the one voice together approach. He and the UN/EU may be a good position now to really put pressure on China to include there voice among everyone else's. Their main tactic however may just be trying to keep a lid on it in order to wait out Kim Jong, given he clearly doesn't look well. His son Kim Jong Nam will inherit his position, he seems to be slightly less unstable, and could prove to be open to negotiations.

Kim Jong typically makes a point and steps down from his hostile position, though with a powerful nuclear weapon in the situation, it could push this into a Cold War area. The big unknown here is if he's on borrowed time with an illness he has nothing to lose. The diplomatic approach is by far the best response given it's not a good idea to push people, when you don't know how far you can.

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