Friday, December 01, 2017

Whose Provocations?

"One gets the impression that everything has been done on purpose to make Kim Jong-un snap and carry out further inadvisable actions. [The Americans] should explain to us all what they're after."
"If they want to find a pretext for destroying North Korea, as the U.S. envoy said at the U.N. Security Council, then let them say it outright and let the supreme American leadership confirm it."
"We have already emphasized several times that the squeeze of sanctions has essentially come to an end, and that those resolutions which introduced the sanctions should have included a requirement to renew the political process, a requirement to renew talks. But the Americans completely ignore this requirement and I consider this a big mistake."
"It’s as if the recent actions of the United States are consciously directed to provoke Pyongyang towards other radical actions."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, watches he missile launch on 29 November
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, watched the launch on a TV screen    EPA
Do any of these officials along with Kim Jong-un resemble anything but gleeful juveniles in this photograph meant to be seen across the globe? The silly triumphalism wrapping a gift to the world of sinister intent in the pathological focus on featuring an intercontinental ballistic missile with plans to twin it with a nuclear warhead to emphatically prove to the world at large that North Korea won't be pushed around is the stuff of schoolyard bullies on a grandly grave scale of global threats.

For Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to speak of outside international forces driving this North Korean lunatic and his pathetic generals to 'snap' through the understandable reaction of a powerful country that keeps receiving threats from Dear Leader Kim is beyond ridiculous. In the constant shuffling between cooperation and dissembling competition between world powers for influence and gravitas, Russia ends up behaving little better than North Korea.

Its defence of the North in fact encourages it to increase its dangerous commitments.

Kim launches these ever more threatening proofs of his rocket scientists' capabilities of improving advanced rocketry for the kind of effect he finds utterly delightful, knowing full well the utter consternation that South Korea, Japan and the United States undergo never knowing when next he will pull another rocket-rabbit out of his hat of threatening tricks.

As the heat accelerates between missile 'tests' meant to test the patience of the world while proving the misplaced resolve of a man who is emotionally developmentally delayed holding in thrall an entire nation to  his megalomaniac episodes of psychotic displays of intent, the opportunities for misadventure grow apace.

The latest missile launched from North Korea landing in the Sea of Japan within 370 kilometres of the Japanese coastline effectively called a stop to any potential diplomatic assurances that reason could be instilled in a man for whom reason is a foreign, exotic and impossible concept of surrender. When one nation continually receives threats that its mainland and its cities are within destructive reach of a ominous power vested in an irresponsible regime, it must respond.

Declaring North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism also misses the point, that it is itself a terrorist state. There cannot be sufficient sanctions imposed on such a nation's upper echelon of leadership, from Kim to his unctuously enslaved generals. It is the responsibility of the state against whom threats are posed to respond in kind, albeit with calm purpose.

Foreign Minister Lavrov is himself, on behalf of the Kremlin, and the inscrutable but equally irresponsible President Vladimir Putin playing a dangerous game of aligning Russia with outliers like Iran, Syria and North Korea; the implications seeming that any rogue regime threatening world stability represents a strategy close to Russia's own interests.

Graphic: Possible range of missile fired on conventional trajectory

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