Tuesday, May 26, 2009


DPRK's latest nuke test has all the other actors in the play clucking, and in the case of the US, of course, huffing and puffing.

For whatever reason, the four months of the Obama administration have seen the North Koreans determined to convince all that they have given up on the six-party talks, regard South Korea as being unacceptably aggressive, and no longer see China or Russia as a counterweight to US designs in the region.

The nuclear test, along with the missile tests, are just the latest step in responding to the new situation that basically started when the US added new conditions to moving ahead with negotiations to denuclearize N. Korea. While that started in the dog days of the Bush administration, Obama has had four months to at least try to start anew, but it has instead done nothing. That, to the DPRK, is as good as saying that there is no new policy.

That was confirmed by the UN condemnation after the 'satellite launch'. As with the Iranians, the surrounded nations are asked to first surrender, then talk. As they have seen with Saddam, it doesn't matter how compliant one is, each surrender is always match by moving the goalposts for the next round. Iran, so far, has kept cool, but the N. Koreans seem to be trying another strategy, escalate before the other guy can. From their point of view, it makes sense.

For all of Obama's pre-election talk about diplomacy, there is little evidence that the administration sees it as anything but a photo-op. Once again, we see Bush policies painted over with a smiley face by President HopeChange. I hope this will change, but don't expect it to.


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