The ultimate bluff.
Posted by Exile on October 3, 2006
Exactly four years ago today, the situation was the same with North Korea, as it is now with Iran.
On a visit to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly presses the North on suspicions that it is continuing to pursue a nuclear energy and missiles programme. Mr Kelly says he has evidence of a secret uranium-enriching programme carried out in defiance of the 1994 Agreed Framework. Under this deal, North Korea agreed to forsake nuclear ambitions in return for the construction of two safer light water nuclear power reactors and oil shipments from the US.
14 days later the US announces that the North Koreans admitted to having a nuclear arms program.
Today North Korea has announced that it will be testing a nuclear device. It does not say when, or how large, or small, a device this is, merely that they are going to test it. They will explode a nuke.
This could be a bluff. And probably is.
They haven’t given a time or date for this test, so there is time to discuss the wisdom of it with the rest of the world. If the world caves in to whatever demands the North Koreans have in exchange for not testing this weapon, then no test of a non-existent weapon takes place. North Korea gets what it wants and the free world appears to have been successful in defeat again. We would also have to assume, therefore, that from that date forward, the North Koreans have an untested nuke somewhere.
That puts North Korea in the atom club and we will all have to live with it and be afraid. They would threaten to use it at every possible opportunity and we would have to believe them or take the consequences. By bowing to them now, we will have to believe that the threat is real simply because they say it is. They never have to prove it.
A brilliant strategy. Letting us believe that they have a nuclear bomb and then not testing it because we talked them out of it and bought their cooperation.
Either way, North Korea wins twice. Once when we talk them out of testing it by offering them what they want, and then we have to indefinitely believe that they have a nuke ready to use against us, even though we have no proof that such a weapon exists.
I´ll tell you why I don’t believe them. If they really had a nuke, they would have tested it by now. They would not announce the fact until after the test was complete.
I say, let them test the damn thing if they have it. Show us. Let us see what it is, that they have been building for the past four years. Call the bluff. No test, no nuke.
This will allow us the luxury of knowing for sure whether it is a real or imaginary threat. We can either begin to plan for the eventual use of it, or it will allow us the absolute joy of laughing at them. It may also give us a marker by which we can estimate when Iran will be ready with similar claims.
There is no doubt that these two rogue states are working together. Oil for North Korea means nuclear technology and the missiles to deliver it, for Iran.
It would be nice to know if we are dealing with real, or with phantom, nukes before we start bowing and scraping again.