Carol Platt Liebau: Stick, No Carrot

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Stick, No Carrot

We've tried negotiation. We've tried appeasement (back in the 1990's). Neither worked. So the Bush Administration is quite right to be emphasizing the stick and not the carrot in its dealings with North Korea.

Note in the linked article that North Korea is threatening to fire off a nuclear missile unless its demands are met. For now, it's far from clear that NK's device even worked. But its behavior is a salutary reminder of how it would conduct itself if it ever did manage to obtain a functioning nuclear weapon.

And does anyone think its ally, Iran, would behave any better?

These threats need to be addressed before our enemies can act on them.


Blogger wile e coyote said...

I wonder if deep down, the Chinese prefer regime change in which the South took over the North. At this point in time, China should prefer a vibrant trading partner to a rapid pet.

12:35 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Carol, I have been to the Far East a few times, on business and for other occasions. If my impression means anything, here is what to make of North Korea:

-- They are not a clear and present danger to the US in the conventional sense. By this I mean, they are not going to be able to directly hit our soil.

-- Whatever firepower they think they have, China has 1000x more. So, the closer they get to the time of becoming a dire threat, the closer they get to a point considered intolerable by China.

If the leadership understands this, they will be no threat. If they do not understand it, they will be finished. Neither way directly affects us. HOWEVER:

-- The biggest, most unconventional wildcard is, what can they sell. This is where I am truly frightened.

North Korea is poor. Suffering of its people ordinarily doesn't impress the leadership (obviously), but resultant sanctions may make them suffer even to the point of bothering dear leader.

More specifically, if South Korea abandons its sunshine policy (and if enough sanctions make them suffer enough), Dear Leader might conclude that the only reliable way to get income - is to sell its goods to whomever can purchase.

That is very frightening.

2:11 PM  

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