After failing on previous attempts, North Korea successfully launched a satellite into orbit. Pyongyang claimed that it was a "scientific" satellite but it's only a matter of time before the North Koreans put nuclear warheads on their missiles and launch them against South Korea, Japan, the United States, and who knows where else. The diplomatic cognoscenti at the United Nations and in other foreign ministries are working themselves up into a rhetorical frenzy. They promise consequences, claim North Korea will be more isolated, and begin drafting another empty United Nations resolution into the forest of empty and ineffective United Nations resolutions denouncing North Korea.
Our clueless UN Ambassador Susan Rice was part and parcel of this diplomatic charade today with her public pronouncements. These individuals and organizations continually fail to understand that Kim Jong Un and his regime don't give a rip about international opinion. They don't care if they are internationally isolated and ostracized and that world opinion criticizes them for developing a nuclear arsenal while many North Koreans are starving. This is a regime that is only interested in maintaining its political and military power no matter the human or economic costs. They will continue proliferating weapons of mass destruction and related technology to Iran and other buyers unless they are stopped by military force.
South Korea has naively believed it could dialogue and engage with Pyongyang through its sunshine policy. Not going to happen! Seoul even has a national reunification ministry in the delusional hopes that the two Koreas can be peacefully reunited like Germany was two decades ago. Another pipe dream. The South Koreans should invest their resources on updating their military forces to include a viable nuclear deterrent and ballistic missile defense system. This family quarrel won't end with smiles and hugs.
Many American and other Korean specialists continually hope that North Korea can be reasoned with according to their "enlightened" and "rational" hopes for diplomatic comity. Their hopes are in vain.We've tried containment, congagement, and even outright appeasement in our efforts to avoid the ugly reality of this problem from hell.
North Korea is a proverbial kick the can down the road international security problem that has gone on for nearly six decades since the armistice ending the Korean War. While South Korea has become democratic and prospered, North Korea's Stalinist regime continues to butcher its people and retains a potent military force that now has nuclear weapons and is getting closer to having the means to deliver them effectively. Do we really want to see Seoul, Tokyo, or parts of the western U.S. go up in a mushroom cloud before we remove this pestilential regime? North Korea's obtaining of the means to deliver nuclear weapons means we must be prepared to take unpleasant and bloody steps to remove the contagion.
It would be nice to think China would tire of North Korea's tantrums and cut them off, but internationalist proletarian solidarity keeps them together in a codependent relationship. China is the only power with the geopolitical and economic leverage to make Pyongyang cry uncle, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
Only when the international community gets serious about using force against this regime, bloody and costly though that will be, will we have the prospect of ending this insolent gangster country. Until that happens, though, we'll see world leaders and diplomats curl their brows, contort their faces, watch beads of sweat fall from their hair, and do absolutely nothing except mouth empty rhetorical pieties. They truly are laughing at us in Pyongyang.