Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hostage to a Moronic Madman

The scenario the world sees unfolding before our apprehensive eyes is one best left to the lunatic writerly antics of a creative fiction novelist, hoping to create an epic of suspense and anti-moralistic bravado in an atmosphere suited to a lunatic asylum. Just for laughs, and a bit of a send-up of international strains between countries. But then it has been so often remarked that truth can be and often is, stranger than fiction.

Now, a bumptious, ego-driven ignoramus - complacent to leave his nation foundering in a perpetual state of semi-starvation for the greater achievement of Kim Jong'Il's "military first" policy - honing his legacy to at least equal that of his father's - the saviour of North Korea - holding the world hostage. It does not take much to raise his ire, any move or criticism or suggestion that runs counter to his agenda elicits threats.

South Korea's new no-nonsense attitude toward its failed-state cousin insults North Korean sensibilities. That South Korea has imposed sanctions on deliveries of food aid and energy in response to the North's aggressive tactics where once it simpered and spoke of forbearance, and now has signed on to the Proliferation Security Initiative, is grounds for war.

The long-held truce that ended the Korean war is in danger of collapse, with North Korea warning it may yet launch a military attack on the South. Kim Jong-Il claims now the North will no longer tolerate the assaults against its sovereignty. Nor will it permit its ships to be searched for carriage of forbidden weaponry.

"Those who have provoked us will face unimaginable merciless punishment", claims the military statement on North Korea's Central News Agency. "Any tiny hostile acts against our republic, including the stopping and searching of our peaceful vessels ... will face an immediate and strong military strike in response."

The 1953 armistice will be abandoned. A reasonable and peaceful North Korea is fed up. Its military will "no longer be bound" by the end of hostilities and the reasons are many and obvious, the latest that the U.S. has drawn its South Korean "puppet" into the PSI pact. And with the collapse of the armistice "the Korean peninsula will go back to a state of war."

Well, how much worse can things get, in fact.

North Korea's pauper government has visions - aside from its delusional visions of nuclear empowerment and trembling world powers - of selling its successful technology to other countries of the world, not held in particularly high esteem by the Western powers.

It has already sold some of its missile technology to Iran, Yemen, Syria and Pakistan. What a web of intrigue; Pakistan's mad nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan sold nuclear data to North Korea, to Libya, and to whoever else expressed interest in acquiring it. In a spirit of solidarity among Islamic nations. And to earn a little extra cash.

It's fairly clear that the Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2008 was built with imported technology and assistance from North Korea. Experts also believe that North Korea is helping Burma build a reactor of its own. To achieve some kind of regional balance, Taiwan and Japan are in the process of attempting to protect themselves through nuclear conversion to weaponization.

All of this traces back to India's accession, Pakistan's following, the two mortal enemies clashing, and rogue Pakistani scientists sharing technical expertise with all the unsavoury and dangerous countries of the world. Pakistan also distinguishing itself by presenting as the breeding ground for the world's store of Islamist jihadists. An unbeatable combination of world terror; fanatical Islam and nuclear warheads.

Leaving us with the current deadly duo, the nightmares of dealing with North Korea and Iran. Both barking mad.

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