Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Primitive Psychopathy of Kim Jong Un

"But, if no Iranian missile could possibly meet the criteria set by Resolution 2231, what was the resolution originally meant to curb? On the basis of its very different interpretation and approach, the Trump administration responded to the latest missile test quickly and firmly. It immediately called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the test, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (who has since resigned) then issued a statement that 'put Iran on notice' while informing the Iranians that the U.S. will no longer be turning a blind eye to their provocations. Sanctions were quickly imposed on 25 Iranian individuals and companies involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and with connections to terrorist activities. Later, it was reported that the U.S. was considering naming the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] a terrorist group. Trump himself warned Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani that he 'better be careful' with his words."
Dr. Emily B. Landau, senior research fellow, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv
Iran missile
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

"I want to emphasize again that China is firm in its resolve to oppose the deployment of THAAD in the R.O.K. [Republic of Korea] and will resolutely take necessary actions to safeguard its own security interests."
"Any consequences entailed from that will be borne by the U.S. and the R.O.K. We strongly urge relevant parties to stop the deployment process and not to go further down that wrong path."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, Beijing
A South Korean television broadcast reports on the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on July 13, 2016, in Seoul, South Korea
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images  
China is furious that the United States is deploying its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea, an ally in need of a defence capability against the clear threats consistently emanating from North Korea. But the presence of that system is a critical message in and of itself, to North Korea that the United States is serious in reacting to its continued threats that will inevitably lead to a violent clash with its neighbour.

And for that matter, given the unpredictable volatility of Kim Jong Un, that the trajectory of its ballistic missiles still in development will not be directed toward the U.S. coastline in the future.

Earlier this week North Korea launched five ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, the near territory of yet another long-time American ally with which the United States has a mutual defence agreement. Four of the missiles succeeded in landing within the exclusive economic zone of Japan, while the fifth failed in its launch, but the threat was clear and unequivocal. A threat that no country can afford not to take heed of. And American military bases in the Pacific are included in that threat.

North Korea may not yet have succeeded in developing a longer-range intercontinental ballistic missile, but it isn't for lack of trying, and it certainly is not for lack of competent technologists working at the system in service to their inimitable Dear Leader. Hard on the heels of those send-offs was another, even more sinister event, the revelation that the North Korean regime has been busy with a fire sale, with some similarities to the situation decades earlier when Pakistan's chief nuclear scientist offered technical advice and prescriptions to high bidders.

North Korea's regime has no wish to rest on its laurels of compelling world attention and concern from time to time with its provocatively alarming stunts of launching missiles, its sudden artillery barrages, and suspense-laden nuclear tests, all of which the Republic touts as its method of 'defending' itself by demonstrating its capability to do so. Now,  however, with its offers to sell advanced nuclear materials to unnamed sources which would aid in miniaturizing nuclear weapons into compact warheads to fit onto ballistic missiles, the alert has gone sky-high.

North Korea's closest ally in spurning world opinion and international normatives is none other than the Islamic Republic of Iran, itself taking pains to stick its thumbs into the eyeballs of incredulous international onlookers concerned with intelligence and security. The components for sale, critical to the building of a neat nuclear device as an intercontinental ballistic deliverable, and the capacity to build an impressive arsenal just happens to represent the aspirations of both countries having much in common with each other.

How THAAD works. 
Lockheed Martin

And if the installation of the preventive, defensive THADD system so roils Beijing's sensibilities, there is a solution in sight. To avoid a conflict in the Korean Peninsula that would be in no nation's best interests, China must address itself to conveying to Pyongyang that its current  trajectory has grown stale and far too dangerous to continue pursuing. The alternative is simply unthinkable. Does the world really need another explosively violent conflict?

The prospect of which Kim Jong Un finds so delectable, but causing the rest of the world to shudder in disbelieving apprehension. North Korea as suicide-prone paranoid state. This is a situation where China must finally agree to working in tandem with the United States to resolve completely and finally.



 

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